Andy Warhol’s 1979 BMW M1 art car showcases at the Saratoga Automobile Museum
May 20, 2013

Andy Warhol’s 1979 BMW M1 Art Car

Thanks to our friends at Top Speed, we continue to bring you interesting news and information from the automotive world.

BMW is referred to as “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” and some of the company’s coolest models will be exhibited at the Saratoga Automobile Museum from May 18, 2013, until November 3, 2013.

The spotlight for the exhibit will be the 1979 BMW M1 Art Car, which raced in the 1979 Le Mans 24-hour race. This was the only race that the car was entered in, driven by Manfred Winkelhock, Herve Poulain and Marcel Mignot. The car finished second in their class and sixth overall. The Art Car will be featured along with the BMW 3.0 CSL that in 1976 won the 24-hour race at Daytona.

What makes this car special is that Andy painted the car himself. He used large blocks of color so that when it zoomed by at high speeds, the colors would appear to blend together. In previous Art Car versions, the painter would paint a scaled-down model then copy the design onto the actual car. Warhol painted his design in a spontaneous matter, adding his own characterization to the project.

He explained the concept of the artwork, “I tried to portray speed pictorially. If a car is moving really quickly, all the lines and colors are blurred.”

Not only will these two race machines be displayed, there will also be many of BMW’s premier automobiles and motorcycles from the manufacture‘s long history of premium machines. On display from BMW will be road vehicles and race vehicles from pre-war to modern times, as well as motorcycles featured from the company’s 90-year history of BMW motorcycles.

In a press release, president and CEO of BMW of North America Ludwig Willisch said, “This exhibition at the Saratoga Automotive Museum will provide visitors a great look at BMW’s long heritage and provide a sense of how the company has evolved to become the leading premium automobile and motorcycle manufacturer in the world. It will also show just how integral motor sports has been throughout the company’s history.”

Also, during the press release the following statements were made.

“This exhibit looks to be one of the best we’ve ever had at the Museum,” said Charlie Montano Museum Chairman.

“Working with BMW to create this one of a kind auto experience in upstate New York was thrilling,” said Exhibit Committee Chair Alan Rosenblum.

Exhibit Committee member Bob Bailey added “Both BMW of North America and our local dealer, Keeler Motor Car, have contributed hours of time, effort and resources to make this a reality.”

Other notable vehicles on display will be a pre-war BMW 328 that dominated races in the 1930s and early 1940s. A successor to the 1950s 507 roadster, a BMW Z8 manufactured in 2000, will also be on display. A high performance BMW 2002 from 1972 and a BMW M5 that was driven by David Donohue and claimed the 1994 Super Car Championship will also be displayed. A BMW M3 GT, which competed from 2009 – 2012 in the American LeMans Series, will also be featured.

Three motorcycles from the 1920s will be featured as part of the exhibition, along with a 1931 R16, a 1934 R11, an unrestored 1942 R12, a 1955 R25/3 and the most aerodynamic motorcycle on the road the K1.

If you are a fan of BMW, racing, or motorcycles, this will be a great experience and a must see.

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