40-years-ago a BMW 3.0CSL lined-up to start the Le Mans 24 Hours in what would become an iconic livery. Little did anyone know that it would go on to spawn some of the most famous liveries in the world, with artists practically queuing up to have their designs plastered over BMWs future factory efforts.
Now BMW is celebrating the anniversary of the ‘Art Car’ by showcasing what it calls its ‘rolling sculptures’ at events around the world.
The art car phenomenon began when French racing drive Herve Poulain asked artist and friend Alexander Calder to apply his creative talents to a racing car. After BMW Motorsport Director Jochen Neerpasch became involved the BMW Art Car was officially born.
Since that day BMW has released 17 different Art Cars, featuring artists including Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein. So successful were the Art Cars that other manufacturers have followed suit, most recently Aston Martin: who ran a special livery in 2013.
BMW has put together this gallery of every Art Car to celebrate the anniversary, and, following a joint launch in Hong Kong, at the Centre Pompidou, the BMW Museum and the Concorso d’Eleganza at Lake Como, events will be held in New York, Miami and Shanghai later in the year to continue the festivities. Check out the gallery above.