The BMW Art Car Project was introduced by the racecar driver Hervé Poulain, who wanted an artist to create an art canvas on a BMW automobile. Poulain commissioned the artist Alexander Calder to paint the first BMW Art Car, a BMW 3.0 CSL which Poulain himself would race in the 1975 Le Mans endurance race.
Many other renowned artists throughout the world have created BMW Art Cars, including David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol.