Hervé Poulain

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Hervé Poulain (born 16 December 1940) is a retired French racing driver, author, and auctioneer.[1] He is best known today as the instigator of the BMW Art Car Project. Poulain's idea was to invite artists to use new automobiles as their canvas. In 1975, Poulain commissioned American artist and friend Alexander Calder to paint the first BMW Art Car. This first example would be a BMW 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile' which Poulain himself would race in the 1975 Le Mans endurance race.[1] Poulain drove Calder's BMW with Jean Guichet and Sam Posey, although the car suffered driveshaft issues and was retired early, and never raced again. Calder died a year later, in 1976; the BMW was his last work.

Andy Warhol's version of the BMW M1 was more successful at Le Mans, with Poulain, Winkelhock and Mignot behind the wheel. They completed 288 laps at the Sarthe circuit, coming in 6th overall, and 2nd in their class. During the course of that race the car made contact with other cars several times; Andy Warhol had painted spare bumpers and body panels, which were necessary! Poulain also drove the Roy Lichenstein's Art Car - a Group 5 BMW 320i, which finished first in its class, and was the most successful Art Car of all in competition. [2]


  1. ^ "Profile". Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  2. ^ Bailey, Nicholas. "Up Close with Andy Warhol's Art Cars". AutoWeek. AutoWeek. Retrieved 14 July 2015.