Alexander Calder’s BMW 3.0 CSL Art Car, the first one ever, completed in 1975. He looks like such a gruff ol bastard doesn’t he, I love his posture in the top photo, it looks like those dudes in suits are scared shitless of him.
I love the shape of the CSL, it’s so aggressive. It had a top speed of 291ks too!
BMW: The BMW with which Alexander Calder initiated the Art Car series in 1975 was one of the last works he produced before his death. It was also to be one of the most interesting. In painting a real racing car, Calder had the opportunity of working with a true-to-life medium which at the same time offered new scope for playing with color and shape in motion.
As early as 1973, he had done something similar by painting a passenger jet of Braniff South American Airlines. Nevertheless, the “Art Car” experiment represented an unusual challenge: a sculptor – who is normally accustomed to producing shapes of his own – coming to terms with existing technology by attempting to stamp his own inimitable character on it.
He achieved this by breaking free of the formal restraints imposed by the automobile. In “defacing” the car, Calder did not orient his art to the streamlining of its body, but subjected it instead to his own artistic style. As with his sculptures and mobiles, he returned to powerful colors and attractive curving expanses which he applied generously to the wings, hood and roof. Alexander Calder was also present at the Le Mans 24-Hour Race as a guest to witness his work’s premiere.
The Art Car designed by Alexander Calder was driven in the 1975 Le Mans 24-Hour Race by the American Sam Posey and the Frenchmen Jean Guichet and Herve Poulain. This was the first and only occasion on which this automobile was to take part in the race. After seven hours, the car had to retire due to a damaged drive shaft, and has been an exhibit ever since.
Here’s a little clip from 1975
“Where everything is already perfect, there can be no fulfillment.” — Alexander Calder