BMW Art Cars: Performance Meets Palette

How do you make a BMW even better? Get a famous artist to customize them, obviously. Then you're left with an eye-catching collection of BMW Art Cars.

A gallery of the best BMW Art Cars since the first one in 1975 has been compiled by Autobytel. It includes BMWs like the 3.0 CSL painted by Alexander Calder and the BMW M1 customized by pop artist Andy Warhol.

BMW Art Cars: Performance Meets Palette


Art is subjective of course, but in my opinion, the best of the BMW Art Cars in terms of artistic appeal would be the first one: the Alexander Calder BMW pictured above. As BMWArtCollection.com puts it so well, "The use of differing colors within the individual elements of the car’s structure adds to the illusion of movement within the picture as a whole." Or, as we simple folk say, "It looks like it's moving when it's standing still." 

BMW Art Cars: Performance Meets Palette


The coolest BMW of the painted lot might be the 1999 BMW V12 LMR by Jenny Holzer. It's a 12-cylinder, 380 horsepower race car that was beautiful to begin with. Then Holzer, who disavows most things Western, used her background as the daughter of a car dealer to create a simple canvas with messages such as "Protect Me From What I Want."

Frankly, Andy Warhol had become a bit of a hack by the time he painted the 1979 BMW M1 Group 4 Race Version (above). It was kind of a lame attempt at portraying movement. At least the car itself did well at the 1979 Le Mans 24-hour race where the 470 horsepower V6 finished second in its class and sixth overall. Whatever the case, all of these BMW Art Cars are amazing in their own right. We say BMW should use the i8 as its next canvas.

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