For those automotive connoisseurswho are also art critics, the Bonhamsauction house has an interesting offer for you at this year’s Quail Lodge Auction during the Pebble Beach Concours. Deemed the only BMW “art car not in captivity,” a BMW M1 sports car painted by abstract artist Frank Stella in 1979 is going up for sale.
According to Bonahms, this is the only BMW “ever painted by a factory artist for a private customer;” seeing as the 16 official BMW art cars are still owned by the automaker, this M1 is more than a little unique. The car was given to the Guggenheim Museum in 1999 and was rarely driven, including once in 2003 by German racing driver JochenNeerpaschwith the artist riding shotgun.
Fewer than 500 M1 sports cars were built from 1978 to 1981; arguably, the most famous example is the official art car, which was painted by Andy Warhol in 1979. Confusingly, although this particular M1 wasn’t an official art car, Stella himself was commissioned by BMW to craft such a vehicle (based off a 1976 3.0 CSL coupe). Both Stella’s M1 and the CSL wear a graph-paper-esque paint scheme, and is signed by the artist on the car’s tail.
It is expected that the Stella M1 will reach a price of somewhere between $450,000 and $600,000, the proceeds of which will be used by the Guggenheim Museum to fund other exhibitions and acquisitions. The car is currently on display in New York City at the IBM building that also houses Bonhams’ New York offices.
Source: The New York Times