That left their Mark upon the Racing World…
While there are currently 19, albeit the last
one raced was No. 18 BMW Art Cars, Cornfuzed? Naturally I’m mostly interested
in just those that actually competed, with No Disrespect towards the other renown
As I must confess that the topic of BMW’s Art
Cars had fallen Off of my collective radar, since it’s now been some Gory five
years since the last Art Car contested the 2017 Rolex 24, as part of ‘Ol boobie
Ruble’s brace ‘O BMW M6 GTLM IMSA GT Le Mans entry.
And like many topics here upon No Fenders, it
was another Car and Driver magazine article I listened to via my NFB Newsline
for The Blind telephone service awhile ago that caught my Attenzione. Although
I must also confess I’d never heard of Artist Jeff Koons before…
As Messer Koons has once again been commissioned
by BMW for a limited edition run of 99 BMW 8 Series Saloons known as the 8 X
Jeff Koons model. For which Koons stunning graphics take BMW 11 Stages to paint
and will only produce two per week. And if you want one of these ultra rare 8 X
Koons models Stateside, prepare to open your wallet! As they’re only available in
the 2023 BMW M850i XDrive variant, which retails for $351,000, Aye Karumba!
As Koons was also responsible for BMW Art Car No.
17, but I’m getting Ahead of myself…
BMW Art Cars Nos. 7-8 are both one of the
marque’s most cherished models, those Bad Arse three series M3’s.
Michael Jagamara Nelson, an Aboriginal Australian Artist was responsible for Art Car
No. 7, using the ancient method of Papunya Sand Art. With Jagamara taking seven
days to transform the black 1989 M3 Group A racecar revealing landscapes and
ancient animals into a one of a kind masterpiece!
Art Car No. 8 was also another ’89 BMW M3 Australian
Group A Touring Cars racecar, this time painted by Australian Artist Ken done.
It features broad brush strokes, bright colours and multitudes of Parrots and
Parrot Fish, which the Artist says represents speed…
As the Australian Touring Cars Championship (ATC)
Group A regulations ran between 1985 and 1992, before morphing into the hugely
popular V8 Supercars Championship. As BMW won the Aussie Touring Cars title twice
in 1985 and 1987, with the latter being with the M3 piloted by perennial Kiwi’
Touring Cars Champion Jim Richards.
Art Car No. 15 by Jenny Holzer now has to be my
second favourite racing BMW Art Car! Eclipsed only by those stunning 3.0 CSL
Batmobiles. Although I must confess that I only had eyes for the evocative Ferrari
333 SP when I attended the 1999 Rose City Grand Prix at Portland International
Raceway. As this was during the American Le Mans Series years, it’s Debut
season, and there were three BMW V-12 LMP1 racecars competing.
The two Werks’ Schnitzer Motorsport BMW V12 LMR’s
finished second and fourth behind the winning and third place Panoz LMP1
Roadsters. With the third #27 BMW V12 LM of Price + Bscher Racing finishing
As it’s Uber funny to Mwah that now almost a
Quarter of a Century later, I’m just discovering that David Price Racing ran a year
old BMW V12 LM Prototype, the predecessor to the V12 LMR. Which BMW had sold one
of these chassis to German Privateer Thomas Bscher, finding Herr Bscher and
Pedro Lamy at it’s controls August 1st, 1999…
As Williams F1 only produced four V12 LMR Prototypes
chassis in 1999. With Holzer’s V12 LMR Art Car, which was festooned by “Word
Art” utilizing reflective chrome lettering and phosphorescent colours intended
to be seen Day and Night. Making it’s public Debuted at that May’s Le Mans Prologue
test, but then was subsequently withdrawn, with Team Schnitzer only running two
BMW V12 LMR’s during the race.
As Holzer’s V12 LMR Chassis 004 reportedly only
ever raced in the 2000 Petit Le Mans ALMS season finale, where BMW entered
three cars as it’s send off of their final race outing.
As mentioned above, American Artist Jeff Koons created
Art Car No. 17, a 2010 BMW M3 GT2 racecar, running the number 79 in Homage to
Andy Warhol’s 1979 BMW M1 Art Car . Andy Priaulx, Dirk Muller and Dirk Werner were
the stunning M3 GT2 Art Car’s Chauffeurs, with Koons Bright colours displaying
power and appreciated by Fans. Yet sadly, the car ended up retiring after only
53 laps due to an uncooperating Fuel sensor.
The final Bimmer’ Art Car to be raced to date
is Art Car No. 19 as mentioned above. Ironically the 2016 BMW M6 GTLM Rahal Letterman
Lanigan Racing (RLLR) entry sporting the #19 in deference to it’s Art Car’s
significance, featured one of BMW’s most legendous’ racing drivers behind it’s
Renown Californian Artist John Baldessari was
the creator of Art Car No. 19. With Baldessari known for his minimalist approach
using only four colours, i.e.; red, green, yellow and blue, along with his monochrome
Dots. The Artist left another iconic work upon his M6 GTLM canvas, summoning
upon his 50 years of Art! As Baldessari Died in 2020 at Age 88.
Bill auberlen, who I’ve long taken to calling
Bimmer billy’ here upon No Fenders, was one of the M6GTLM’s four Pilotes. As
ironically Auberlen was just beginning his long association with BMW Wayback’
in 1999, as one of Team Schnitzer’s Factory BMW Drivers piloting one of it’s
two BMW V12 LMR’s…
As the #19 BMW M6 finished 12th
Overall and eighth in the GT LM (Le Mans( Class, behind three of Chip Ganassi
Racing’s Ford GT’s, including the Class winning #66 entry of Sebastien
Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller. Plust two Porsche 911’s, a Corvette C7.R
and a Ferrari 488 GTE.
Thus it seems High time for BMW to invite
another world class Artist, or preferably Artists to apply their unique skils
to another BMW racing car. Like let’s say, one of next year’s Team BMW RLLR’s
IMSA GTP Prototypes, either at Daytona or Le Mans. Along with either a BMW M4
GT Pro/GTD entry. Or if they must, one of the new, electric Bimmer’s in the E-E-E-lectrified
(EV) DTM series.
As Y’all can check
out All of the 19 BMW Art Cars in the link below…