BMW M1 Art Car

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I have always liked the BMW M1 Art Car. The concept for the BMW art cars was introduced by Hervé Poulain, an auctioneer and ardent racing driver from France. Poulain was searching for a link between art and cars and he asked his friend and renowned artist Alexander Calder to paint a rolling canvas on the BMW 3.0 CSL that he would race in the 1975 Le Mans endurance race. Poulain’s 3.0 CSL was the first car to create a symbiosis between the world of art and the world of motorsport. Prompted by enormous enthusiasm for this work of art on wheels, BMW then decided to put its brilliant idea of establishing the Art Car Collection into practice.

The cars raced mainly at La Mans and normally only once. The majority are not at the BMW Museum in Munich. The first series where all BMW 3 series cars, and they are beautiful. Of course, it is hard to go wrong with Calder, Frank Stella, and Lichenstien. In 1979, the artist was Andy Warhol and he painted a BMW M1. The previous artists had laid out a plan and made models, but BMW technicians using automotive paint actually painted the cars.  Warhol painted the car himself with a variety of paints including house paint. When it was done, you could see the brush strokes. The car also did not have paint that would hold up very well to the 200 mph speeds at La Mans.

The BMW M1 is a unique automobile. Starting with the fact that less than 500 where ever produced.  The M1 was a joint project between BMW and Lamborghini. The body was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign. Gugiaro has designed more than 50 automobiles ranging from Lamborghinis to the Yugo. The M1 ended up with the chassis being built in Germany by BMW, the bodies being built in Italy by Italdesign and the cars being assembled in Austria. I love the flying buttress design of Gugiaro's cars from the 1970's.

My BMW M1 Pinterest Board

Inspired Cars

Here are some examples of the the 1970's flying buttress design. I love the look. It improves aerodynamics. It makes it impossible to safely see what is behind you


Maserati Bora


Bricklin SV-1

Brikln sv-1

Mercedes-Benz C111

mercedes-benz c111

DeLorean DMC-12

1982 delorean dmc-12-pic-48247


"Wait a minute, Doc. Ah... Are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"

"The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?"


Model Art Cars

I have recently added a scale model of the Andy Warhol M1 to my car collection. BMW began offering the scale models through dealerships and the BMW online store in 2003. I have been searching ebay for one at a decent price for about two years.

In January 2009, I found one of the models and was able to buy it an a great price. The Model lists for $129. Since then, I have them for sale usally with a starting price of $100 plus shipping. I used to think the shipping was someone trying to beat E-bay on fees, but it does ship in a very nice box. Recently, the starting prices have shot through the roof. Several are for sale each week with starting prices between $300 and $600. That was 2011. In 2015 the going rate is $800-1,000.

BMW Art Cars at BMW Drives
Art Cars at World Car Fans
The Unofficial BMW M1 Page
BMW M1 on Wikipdeia