First BMW ‘Batmobile’ competition Art Car coming to Amelia Island Concours

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Photo courtesy of BMW

The first BMW Art Car ever created, a 3.0 CSL GT racer painted by the acclaimed artist Alexander Calder to run in the 1975 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will headline a special BMW “Batmobile” class at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 9, 2014.

The Calder project, which melded motorsports with fine art, was inspired by French race driver and art auctioneer Herve Poulain. BMW race cars used as painting canvases by the world’s most-renowned artists – including Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol – became an annual tradition for the German automaker.

Driven by Sam Posey, the 1975 Batmobile qualified first in its class and 11th overall as it carried Calder’s colors through the world’s most famous endurance race. A driveline failure ended its race early, but not before BMW had made a major impression on both the art and the racing worlds.

BMW’s groundbreaking Batmobiles presented fans with a new kind of all-out road racing and marketing during the mid-1970s. The 19th annual Amelia Island Concours will present a number of these historic cars in its special Batmobile class.

For more information about the Amelia Island Concours, see ameliaconcours.org. 

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.