BMW M1 Procar Racer – BMW Art Car #4, Andy Warhol – 1979

BMW M1 Procar Racer - BMW Art Car #4, Andy Warhol - 1979

Sometimes the only way to high art is through deep pockets.

Perhaps this occurred to Andy Warhol when BMW asked him to paint its M1 Group 4 race car in 1977. Warhol, already a superstar, was constantly fascinated with the melding of the commercial and the artistic. BMW was happily molding America as its largest export market.

In the past 40 years, there have been just 17 BMW Art Cars, on average one every three years. Out of all of its Art Cars, this M1 — already nearly priceless as an automobile, let alone one breathed upon by the most recognizable name in modern art — is BMW’s most expensive and valuable. Recently, it was shown for just two days at Paris Photo LA at Paramount Studios, the prestigious art festival’s first foray outside France.

It was there that we spoke with Thomas Girst, whose official title is "Head of … Read More

365.002 280Z Project Potential

365.002 280Z Project Potential

For my second photo of this year’s Project 365, I post an image of my 1978 Datsun 280Z. I’ve had this car and enjoyed it since college. One of my first cars, a Ford Probe, had received damage to the engine head (which a friend of mine and I later rebuilt). I bought the Z on September 1 which happened to be the day that I later heard that I had lost my grandmother. Because of the combination of sad and happy news, I will always remember the date. Walking up to the Z after having looked at many cars that fit the bill of "affordable" and "fun sports car," I knew that this would be the one. Apparently, I trusted that since it died on the test-drive and stranded me temporarily at a gas station with the would-be seller. A good way to help with price negotiation. 😉

Like … Read More

Buick GSX – 1970

Buick GSX - 1970

The 1970 Buick GSX marked a 6-year march to automotive legend.

Starting in 1965 Buick fitted the largest V8 parent company GM would allow it to fit in the Skylark intermediate, a 400 CID (6,555 cc). Incidentally, the engine was actually a 401 CID (6,570 cc), and was rated at 325 hp (242 kw) and 445 lb.ft (603 Nm). Known in 1965 as the Skylark Gran Sport.

Over the next 5 years engine capacity and power increased progressively, and in 1970 the Gran Sport 455 received a ‘Stage 1’ 455 CID (7.4 litres) V8 of 360 hp and 510 lb.ft (691 Nm). These Gran Sport 455 Stage 1 cars were tested at the time, and in future years showing 360 hp SAE Net (this is the engine ‘as installed’ and with all power consuming systems in place, rather than the SAE gross which excluded these itesm, and had been the … Read More