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Andy Warhol’s BMW M1 Art Car Resurfaces in Exciting New Pics

For most BMW fans, the M1 remains the only true sports car designed by the Bavarians. Born in 1976 as the first mid-engine BMW car to be mass-produced, the vehicle proved its worth both on the road and on the racetrack. And it even became a work of art.
BMW M1 Art Car by Andy Warhol 6 photos
Andy Warhol’s BMW M1 Art CarAndy Warhol’s BMW M1 Art CarAndy Warhol’s BMW M1 Art CarAndy Warhol’s BMW M1 Art CarAndy Warhol’s BMW M1 Art Car
Forty years ago, American artist Andy Warhol chose the M1 as his entry in the BMW Art Car Project - an idea of French race driver Hervé Poulain that called for artists to express themselves on cars. And now this vehicle is back in the spotlight.

It took Warhol less half an hour to work his magic on the car, and the result is a painting that the artist said is meant to “show speed as a visual image.” The particular M1 used for the project is the 470 hp racing version produced in conformity with Group 4 regulations.

“I attempted to show speed as a visual image,” Warhol said after his work on the M1 was done. “When an automobile is really travelling fast, all the lines and colours are transformed into a blur.”

On the art work’s 40th anniversary, BMW took it out of storage. The car was taken to an old factory building in Cologne, Germany, and placed in the care of automobile photographer Stephan Bauer, the winner of last year’s social media photography contest Shootout 2018.

What results in an exciting set of images – unfortunately only five of them – that shows how decades ago one of the industry’s iconic cars met one of the world’s most appreciated artists.

The BMW Art Car Project is still a thing. Since its creation in 1975, about 20 art cars were created – Warhol’s was the fourth – by artist like Frank Stella, Matazo Kayama or Cesar Manrique. The last car in the range, an M6 GT3, was designed by Chinese artist Cao Fei in 2017.

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