Warhol's Painting of Fangio's Car to Fetch $16m


There isn't much fine art devoted to cars, but this painting is worth quite a bit. Almost as much as the car itself.

The worlds of art and of automobiles do not often intersect. But one notable, if unlikely, exception was Andy Warhol, who ironically, never actually even had a driver’s license. BMW’s fourth art car, a 1979 M1, was painted by Warhol. At the time of his death, he was working on “Cars”, a series of paintings for Mercedes-Benz to celebrate their centennial. This series included the painting “Mercedes-Benz W196 R Grand Prix Car (Streamlined Version, 1954)”.

That painting is now going up for auction at Christie’s auction house, and is expected to fetch as much as £10 million (about $16 million). The painting, like several others of his, features one image repeated in several different colors, and is of the legendary race car driven by Juan Manuel Fangio. That’s a lot of legends all brought together by one painting, which has been in the possession of Mercedes-Benz since it was completed in 1986. But Mercedes has decided to part with the piece, figuring that it belongs in the hands of a proper art collector, someone who will care for it properly.

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