BMW M3 Michael Jagamara Nelson Art Car

It took seven days for Australian artist Michael Jagamara Nelson to transform a black BMW M3 into a masterpiece of Papunya art. Nelson was awarded the national prize for aboriginal art and was taught this ancient method of painting by his grandfather. Papunya artists paint traditional sand picture shapes and forms on different canvasses. The seemingly abstract, mosaic-like Papunya paintings symbolize landscapes and animals.


Nelson’s basic car was a black BMW M3 racing model, which he then transformed in a BMW paint shop on the basis of his own designs. After seven long days of tireless work, the result was a masterpiece of Papunya art. The geometric patterns and shapes appear deceptively abstract, but for those who are familiar with Australian mythology will recognize kangaroos, ants, emus, and possum. Papunya paintings can be understood as aerial views of landscapes. They sometimes feature diverse forms symbolizing water, men, caves and various animals.


Just like other BMW M3 race cars, the interior has been stripped in order to save weight, removing the door panels, the rear and passenger seats, carpeting and floor mats. BMW engineers have installed a full roll cage and a fire extinguisher to protect the driver from any possible injuries that could occur during a wreck. A Momo designed racing wheels replaces the standard BMW steering wheel. At the rear of the 1989 BMWM3, dual exhaust tips are located uniquely between the taillights.


Powered by a 2,332 cc inline-four cylinder engine, this BMW M3 produces 300 horsepower, propelling the car to 60 mph form a stop in just 6.9 seconds. The engine feature four valves per cylinder and double overhead camshafts. The 1989 BMW M3 Michael Jagamara Nelson Art Car can reach a top speed of 140 mph.


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