Frank Stella BMW M1 Art Car on display at BMW of Southampton in New York
July 31, 2012 – Although not considered an “official” BMW Art Car, this 1979 BMW M1 Pro-car with “Polar Coordinates” livery by Frank Stella comes close. Before it was sold at auction for $854,000 (including buyer’s premium) at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2011, the car was part of the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. Purchased by Jonathan Sobel, the car is now prominently displayed at his BMW of Southampton showroom, where car and art lovers alike are welcome to admire it.
History of the BMW M1 by Stella
Commissioned in 1979, the Frank Stella BMW M1 Procar was painted to Stella’s “Polar Coordinates” design and created for Stella’s close friend, race-car driver, Peter Gregg. This was the only time that a BMW-commissioned artist created a car for anyone other than the manufacturer itself. The “Polar Coordinates” design is based on a series of prints that Stella made in homage to his friend, Swedish driver Ronnie Peterson, who passed away during the Italian Grand Prix.