1979 BMW M1 Pro Art Car To Be Auctioned at Quail Lodge

The only BMW car to have ever been painted by a factory-authorized artist for a private client is to go under the hammer at Quail Lodge this August, Bonhams announced. The vehicle in question is a 1979 BMW M1 Pro Car, painted by Frank Stella, and its sale will benefit the Guggenheim Museum.

The original BMW Art Car Project was started by the French racecar driver Herve Poulain in 1975. His first idea was to have his BMW racing car painted in an unique way. Alexander Calder was then commissioned by BMW to paint a car that was to be raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Other artists that contributed to this phenomenon included Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and David Hockney, to name a few.

As for Frank Stella, he used his series "Polar Coordinates" as inspiration for the unique, one-off BMW race car offered here. Special ordered by seven-time world champion IMSA racer Peter Gregg, the car was built by BMW Motorsport GmbH to BMW Pro Car Group 4 specifications and painted by Stella as a tribute to the memory of his and Gregg's mutual friend, the great Formula 1 Grand Prix-winning driver Ronnie Peterson. The Stella M1 is totally unique from the 16 official Art Cars commissioned to date by BMW.

The Quail Lodge is set to take place in Carmel, California on August 18-19, 2011.

“In anticipation of its 14th annual summer sale at Quail Lodge (the longest running auction during the famed Pebble Beach Car Week), Bonhams is delighted to announce that it has been selected to represent the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's singular 1979 BMW M1 Pro Car painted by Frank Stella,” a statement from Bonhams reads.
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