BMW Art Car # 4 - 1979 M1 by Andy Warhol
There was no art car for 1978, but BMW returned to the program with a bang in 1979. The company sent a race-spec form of its new M1 sports coupe to American pop artist Andy Warhol for a graphic overhaul.
As the car was destined for the track, Warhol drew his inspiration from, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “hot, nasty, bad-ass speed." “I tried to portray speed pictorially,” Warhol said. “If a car is moving really quickly, all the lines and colors are blurred.”
Warhol was actually the first artist to actually paint the finished car -- all artists prior to this simply painted designs on a one-fifth scale model, which was then copied by assistants and technicians on the real thing. Warhol also literally placed his personal touch on the car by running his fingers through the paint as it dried.
BMW again sent the Art Car to Le Mans, with none other than Hervè Poulain behind the wheel. Poulain’s team wound up with a second-place finish in its class, and snagged sixth place overall.