In 1977, Roy Lichtenstein designed the third vehicle in the BMW Art Car Collection, a BMW 320 Group 5. The colourful, vibrant Pop-art landscape reflects his famous comic strip style in the paintwork, the surroundings flashing by depicting the driver’s view from the moving racing car.
“I pondered on it for a long time and put as much into it as I possibly could. I wanted the lines I painted to be a depiction the road showing the car where to go. The design also shows the countryside through which the car has travelled. One could call it an enumeration of everything a car experiences – only that this car reflects all of these things before actually having been on a road,” said Roy Lichtenstein commenting on his design of the BMW 320i.
Roy Lichtenstein, who was born in New York in 1923, is considered to be one of the founders of American pop art. Until 1938 he painted portraits of jazz musicians, attended the “Art Students League”, finally studying art in Ohio. His earlier works range from cubism to expressionism. He did not become interested in trivial culture such as comics and advertising until the late fifties. His pop art paintings were created in 1961. These were followed by caricatures of the “American way of life”, experiments with well-known works of art, sculptures and films. He died in New York in 1997.
Roy Lichtenstein – The BMW 320 group 5 racing version
four-cylinder in-line engine
4 valves per cylinder
twin overhead camshafts
displacement: 1999 cm³
power output: 300 bhp
top speed: 290 km/h
After its completion, Roy Lichtenstein’s Art Car was able to celebrate its premiere twice – as a work of art at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and as a racing car in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in June 1977. The car was driven by Hervé Poulain and Marcel Mignot from France. The car with the number 50 achieved a ninth place in the overall rating and finished first in its class.