It’s 40 years this year since the first BMW Art Car was shown to the world for the first time.

In 1975, French racing driver and art enthusiast Hervé Poulain asked artist and friend Alexander Calder to design his BMW race car. The brightly coloured 3.0 CSL was an instant crowd’s favourite when it lined up at Le Mans. The BMW Art Car was born.

Since then, 16 more BMW Art Cars have been added to the BMW Art Car Collection, with unique works of art from artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney and Jeff Koons. The cars are a mixture of production and race models.

A Cool Intersection Between Cars and Art

“The BMW Art Cars provide an exciting landmark at the interface where cars, technology, design, art and motor sport meet,” says Maximilian Schöberl, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Governmental Affairs, BMW Group. “The 40-year history of our ‘rolling sculptures’ is as unique as the artists who created them. “

Some of the cars are displayed at the BMW Museum in Munich while the remaining BMW Art Cars travel the globe to attend art fairs in Los Angeles, London and Hong Kong, as well as exhibitions at the Louvre, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai.

The BMW Art Car Collection

  1. Alexander Calder (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1975)Alexander Calder BMW Art Car
  2. Frank Stella (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1976)Frank Stella BMW Art Car
  3. Roy Lichtenstein (BMW 320 Group 5, 1977)Roy Lichtenstein BMW Art Car
  4. Andy Warhol (BMW M1 Group 4, 1979)Andy Warhol BMW Art Car
  5. Ernst Fuchs (BMW 635CSi, 1982)Ernst Fuchs BMW Art Car
  6. Robert Rauschenberg (BMW 635CSi, 1986)Robert Rauschenberg BMW Art Car
  7. Michael Jagamara Nelson (BMW M3 Group A, 1989)Michael Jagamara Nelson BMW Art Car
  8. Ken Done (BMW M3 Group A, 1989)Ken Done BMW Art Car
  9. Matazo Kayama (BMW 535i, 1990)Matazo Kayama BMW Art Car
  10. César Manrique (BMW 730i, 1990)César Manrique BMW Art Car
  11. A.R. Penck (BMW Z1, 1991)A R Penck BMW Art Car
  12. Esther Mahlangu (BMW 525i, 1991)Esther Mahlangu BMW Art Car
  13. Sandro Chia (BMW M3 GTR, 1992)Sandro Chia BMW Art Car
  14. David Hockney (BMW 850CSi, 1995)David Hockney BMW Art Car
  15. Jenny Holzer (BMW V12 LMR, 1999)Jenny Holzer BMW Art Car
  16. Ólafur Elíasson (BMW H2R, 2007)Ólafur Elíasson BMW Art Car
  17. Jeff Koons (BMW M3 GT2, 2010)Jeff Koons BMW Art Car

Caroline Kidd