The Original BMW Art Car Heading for ‘The Amelia’

Alexander Calder's BMW Art Car 4 photos
Photo: BMW
Alexander Calder BMW Art CarAlexander Calder and Herve PoulainAlexander Calder BMW Art Car
For over 2 decades now, every second full weekend of March is highlighted by one of the biggest automotive events in the world, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Gathering over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world, the 2014 edition will have the first ever BMW Art Car on display.
The first ever car to kick-off the Art Car collection the Germans put together belonged to Alexander Calder, the famous American sculptor, mostly known for his mobile creations. However, he’s also known for the BMW 3.0 CSL he turned into art.

The car he created was unveiled to the public at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs at the Louvre in May 1975 by racer and art auctioneer Herve Poulain and BMW Motorsport chief Jochen Neerpasch. It featured broad swaths of red, blue and yellow, ignoring the car’s structure and shape.

Jochen Neerpasch later confirmed the status of ‘Art Car’ of the BMW when he insured the 3.0 CSL for $1 million (in 1975) as a work of art. Despite being breathtaking beautiful, the car was also raced in the 1975 Le Mans.

It was driven by American BMW factory racer and 2013 Amelia Honoree Sam Posey and Ferrari's 1964 Le Mans winner Jean Guichet alongside the man that unveiled the “Batmobile”, Herve Poulain. On the track, the Bimmer managed to qualify first in its class and 11th overall out of the 55 car field. Unfortunately, during the race, a broken drive line component forced them to retire.

Since then, a tradition was born and other artists took over to create masterpieces using a BMW automobile as canvas. Amongst them you could spot Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.
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