45 years of BMW Art Cars

1975 saw the introduction of what would become an iconic part of BMWs history. The BMW Art Car collection began when Hervé Poulain asked artist, and friend to swap his canvas for a BMW. Poulain, a French racing driver, would later race this car. In fact, nine of these Art Cars competed in motorsport. There was only ever meant to be a single Art Car but now a total of nineteen official BMW Art Cars have been painted.

Interestingly, artists do not get paid for their design, however the eye-catching BMW Art Car collection is something most artists could only dream to be a part of. Artists are decided by an independent jury of people from the art industry which changes yearly.

There is at least one BMW Art Car on display at BMW Welt, museum in Munich, at any time. Most have been estimated as worth millions of pounds each, not that these one of a kind works of art would ever be seen at a public auction.

“Uniting the worlds of art and Motorsport”


One | Alexander Calder | 1975 | BMW 3.0 CSL


Two | Frank Stella | 1976 | BMW 3.0 CSL


Three | Roy Lichtenstein | 1977 | BMW 320i Group 5 Race Version


Four | Andy Warhol | 1979 | BMW M1 Group 4 Race Version


Five | Ernst Fuchs | 1982 | BMW 635 CSi

Six | Robert Rauschenburg | 1986 | BMW 635 CSi


Seven | Michael Jagamara Nelson | 1989 | BMW M3 Group A Race Version


Eight | Ken Done | 1989 | BMW M3 Group A Race Version


Nine | Matazo Kayama | 1990 | BMW 535i


Ten | César Manrique | 1990 | BMW 730i


Eleven | A. R. Penck | 1991 | BMW Z1


Twelve | Esther Mahlangu | 1991 | BMW 525i


Thirteen | Sandro Chia | 1992 | BMW E36 M3 GTR


Fourteen | David Hockney | 1995 | BMW 850 CSi        


Fifteen | Jenny Holzer | 1999 | BMW V12 LMR


“Protect me from what I want”

Jenny Holzer, BMW Art Car

Sixteen | Olafur Eliasson | 2007 | BMW H2R Project

Seventeen | Jeff Koons | 2010 | BMW E92 M3 GT2


Eighteen | Cao Fei | 2017 | BMW M6 GT3


“The #18 Art Car questions the existence of the boundaries of the human mind”

Cao Fei

Nineteen | John Baldessari | 2016 | BMW M6 GTLM


BMW have not yet revealed any plans for Art Cars of the future, but I for one would love to see this collection grow. With no regular schedule for their creation who knows when we will see an addition to this remarkable group.

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