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 |  Jul 21 2012, 11:01 AM

BMW has a strong presence in London for the 2012 Olympics, recently unveiling its pavilion that will be seen at the Olympic Park. The German automaker will also have its collection of art cars exhibited for the first time in the UK from July 21st to August 4th.

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 |  May 10 2011, 12:51 PM

Finding a BMW M1 is a rare thing. Finding a BMW M1 art-car is almost impossible. Now one of these rare M1 art-cars is going to the auction block. Interested? Thought you might be.

Back in the mid-1970s BMW recruited artists to paint their race cars, which eventually lead them do some road-cars. Artists such as Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder did one-off designs which brought both the car-maker and the artists much publicity. However, all the art-cars commissioned by BMW themselves sit in a museum and are unlikely to ever be sold.

But this Frank Stella designed M1 is going to be offeredfor sale by Bonhams in August, during the Pebble Beach Concours activities. So how did this art-car escape from BMW’s clutches?

While this project was prepared by a BMW factory authorized artist, it was commissioned by Peter Gregg, a seven-time International Motor Sports Association world-champion racer. He wanted an art-car of his own and requested BMW to make one just for him. The car was prepared in 1979 by BMW Motorsport GmbH and hence has the bodywork of the BMW Pro Car Group Four racer.

In 1999, the car was given to the Guggenheim Museum, and has since then made only a few public outings. The car is currently on display in the IBM building at 56th and Madison Avenue in New York, and will remain there for the rest of the week.

Bonhams will auction the car at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, CA. on Aug. 18th. It is predicted to pull in around $450,000 to $600,000. That is a lot of money, but we think it’s a much better way to spend money on art rather than buying an oil painting on canvas.

[Source: NY Times]