When you have a combination of crazy designers and car manufacturers or those who call themselves artists, the result is a work of “art.” While some cars a generally just hard to look at, some people actually take time to design cars that inspire and that are show stoppers. Even if they are not painters, some artists do things to cars as we know them to make them into modern day pieces of art. If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these art pieces on the road, at an event or anywhere else, you often can’t help but be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Cars are easy to view as canvases, and if you’re rich enough or famous, you might be lucky enough to work with a high-end vehicle manufacturer to turn your car into a work of art. While some of the cars on this list are actually useless and can’t be driven, some work well in the home, and some work well for costume parties and for owners who want to make an impression. So hopefully, some of our choices on this list will be able to “wow” you or make you wonder how stupid some persons can be. You may even see car art inspired by television.
20 Yayoi Kusama, Audi R8, 2010
When you see dots, sometimes it is easy to think of something that is retro. However, in this case, when we are bombarded with a white Audi R8 outfitted with polka dots of varying sizes, it’s hard not to think of the vehicle as a Valentine’s Day memorabilia. But this should not be a surprise to us because dots are everywhere in Kusama’s art. She was commissioned to design Audi’s flagship R8 to celebrate Audi’s 100th anniversary. The car is a work of art titled, “The Audi Spirit of a Water Droplet Covered Future.” We understand that the car represents Japan’s flag, but it is a bit much.
19 Cadillac Ranch by Ant Farm
If you have some old Cadillacs and you don’t know how to dispose of them properly, you can take them to the farmland on the outskirts of Amarillo Texas. When you get there, you yourself will be in for a treat when you find old Cadillacs buried upright and at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza.
These cars are not just buried, but they have graffiti on them, making them pretty interesting to look at rather than being an eyesore or pollutant.
This Ant Farm is interesting because it seems to pay homage to the characteristics of American cars.
18 Ferdinand GT3 RS by Hannes Langeder
This Porsche 911 GT3 looks like something that us humble folks cannot afford, but the good news is that it is not gold plated or even gold finished.
The car’s body derives its looks from gold duct tape! And that’s not all, under the exterior lies a plastic frame and the clockwork heart of a bicycle!
So, it’s not really a car as it can only go as fast as your feet can pedal. It seems as if the artist doesn’t just do a good job of playing with our eyesight, but he does an excellent job of messing with our emotions and the fantasy of owning a fast car.
17 Printed paper Mustang by Jonathan Brand
When we first saw this Mustang, we got a bit excited, because we never really expected to see a Mustang in yellow, right? Yellow is more the expected color of a Volkswagen Beetle. We can breathe easy knowing this Mustang was printed using an Epson photo printer and it obviously took a lot of time. It’s hard to believe though, that each part is made from pressed or folded paper. It may have been easier to get this 3D printed. Nonetheless, this is a full-sized replica (except for the engine) and we’re a little glad that it is not actually a real yellow Mustang.
16 Carhenge by Jim Reinders
Some of our artists have way too much time or inspiration on their hands. Case in point is Carhenge, one of the most interesting things to see in Nebraska. In a couple thousand years from now, historians, and future generations will be a bit confused and shocked. This is actually an accurate replica of Wiltshire’s Stonehenge and it also aligns with the Summer Solstice. The only difference is that it was built using 39 old U.S. cars that were all painted the color of stone. If you happen to be in Nebraska you should definitely check it out and get some pictures.
15 Wireframe Impreza by Benedict Radcliffe
When you see a wireframe of a car, it gets a bit confusing because you’re not sure if the car’s body was stolen from it. And you’re also not going to be sure that it’s artwork.
Benedict Radcliffe is responsible for the wireframe Lamborghinis and Black Cab designs plaguing Heathrow’s Terminal 2.
We’re not complaining, but it’s like putting a jar of delicious homemade cookies in front of someone who is trying to lose weight. But, it is pretty amazing that he is able to weld his creations from 10mm tubes.
14 Crashed Ferrari coffee table by Charly Molinelli
If you’re truly a fan of cars and love all things cars, especially Italian cars, but you can’t really afford it, you should consider searching online auction sites for Crushed Ferrari coffee tables. It’s not going to be priced like your regular coffee table obviously, and it’s still going to have a hefty price tag that requires a trip to the atm or a couple months’ salaries. But, what you pay for obviously is the Ferrari badge, and finding one that is fully written off would be a task. You can get this coffin turned coffee table for $15,000 if you’re lucky.
13 Crashed cars by Dirk Skreber
Dirk Skreber loved painting scenes of car wreckages and accidents. When this didn’t appease his muse, he graduated to the real thing. So how do you re-enact an accident? Well for one, you have to get the car wrapped around a post first.
This type of art, if you would call it that, is a bit too risky for our taste and not to mention wasteful.
It seems as if the new trend these days is to wrap your Hyundai Coupe or Mitsubishi Eclipse around a post. You will probably never see a German car caught up in this piece of art though.
12 Beetle Sphere by Ichwan Noor
Artists tend to do some pretty insane things and don’t really think about the consequences of their actions. In this case, Ichwan Noor could have risked the wrath of Volkswagen with his design of the beetle sphere. What Noor did was compress a 1953 Beetle in our favorite color (yellow) into a sphere. There are several questions we have to ask him. Why would you compress a car that could be a collectible item? We also want to know if the car is worth more now, compressed, compared to when it was whole. Luckily, we can still see the VW badge on the wheel.
11 Andy Saunders' Picasso Citroën 2CV (2007)
When a car is inspired by one of the greatest artists of all time, it is going to be outrageous. The Picasso Citroen was inspired by British custom car creator Andy Saunders. This car is the epitome of art because it is asymmetric and the placements of key parts are pretty cool. It is probably not a car that we would want to get into because the doors look all mangled, and the color of the car is a bit mismatched. However, it is a piece of art that will see asphalt. If you’re adventurous enough to get in, after numerous attempts to open the door, the car runs at 65 mph.
10 Cheshire Cat from "Alice in Wonderland
If you’re a fan of Alice in Wonderland, and you were fascinated with all the creatures and costumes, you’re going to be enamored by this car that looks like Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.
Similar to the real Cheshire, this cat car is two different shades of pink, and has a sinister smile.
The only thing weird about this as we know it is that this automobile version of the cat has what seems to be a pirate flag in its cat paw. The car looks good as a piece of art, but it is most likely useless for anything else.
9 Alexander Calder, 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL Art Car
When we think about a car that depicts art, it is easy to think about Alexander Calder’s “Art Car” commissioned by French race car driver Hervé Poulain. Calder was challenged to think of the car as if it were a blank canvas. It seems as if that was not too hard for him to do, considering that he contributed to the most well-known series of art cars with his abstract paint coat, fragments of color and lines that highlighted speed and mobility. It’s a 1975 beauty, so even trying to buy this if it were for sale would cost you a fortune.
8 Gabriel Orozco, La DS, Modified Citroën DS, 1993
This car was surgically reduced to ensure speed and precision. A lot went into the design of the car. It was cut lengthwise into three segments, then reassembled removing the middle segment, making the car a single seater. Its designer was propelled to the upper echelons of the art world. The car is as entertaining as it is provocative. It has been described by critics as a work of art that shows Gabriel Orozco’s ability to transform the mundane into something marvelous. It may be a piece of art for those inspired enough to see it, but it just looks like a menacing or possessed car.
7 Erwin Wurm, Fat Convertible, mixed media, 2004
This car is probably very loosely described as "art" and it is one of the ugliest cars on our list. It looks awkward, almost like the swollen face of some non-human creature. This is a bit ironic especially considering that it was supposed to combine human and automotive forms.
Despite the car not having the best of looks, it was a marketing exercise to encourage us that “fat not only grows outside, but it also grows inside of us.”
So really, the car is a parody of modern value systems that encourage driving instead of walking. So don’t take it too seriously, as everything is exaggerated.
6 Phone with wheels
Who said telephones had to be boring? Well, technically, old telephones have a pretty vintage look about them and a concave finish. What’s impressive about this is that someone actually came up with a telephone car. The only thing the car misses is the telephone cable connecting the earpiece to the dialer. Other than that, the car has its buttons and if you’re up for some kicks, two people can get on top of it for a pretty cool hang out. But be warned, it’s just a piece of art and nothing else. It is not safe for long distance journeys.
If ever you feel you need a blast from the past, then you can create your own dinosaur car with a Flinstone finish. While Fred and Wilma no longer grace us with their presence on television, it is easy to be reminded of a time that was a part of most of our childhoods. The Dinosaur Car is just that, a dinosaur. There is no practical use for it unless you want to be the sure winner of a costume party. The car is pretty cool and is definitely a work of art with its vibrant colors and dinosaur teeth implants. It’s just for parade purposes and is unlikely to get you to Bedrock.
4 Marcel Wanders' VW Beetle-based Antelope (2004)
It seems as if Volkswagen’s Beetle is a really popular car to turn into "art." Well, if you have an old VW Beetle lying around and you have an artistic eye, there is so much that you can do with the vehicle.
Like Dutch artist Marcel Wanders, you could cover the chassis of the car in tiles.
The result of such a madman experimentation is a funky looking antelope-like car. The only problem is that we can’t imagine him putting grout between the tiles, so how does he keep the titles together? Honestly, we don’t want to know because we’re not crazy enough to take apart a VW Beetle.
3 Crash's Ferrari F430 (2015)
A list of artistic cars would be incomplete without the Ferrari of graffiti art legend Crash. So, if you thought graffiti was illegal and would land you in jail if you’re really good at it, you may end up a legend who gets to spray paint artwork directly onto the body of high-end cars. It doesn’t only stop there for you, but these cars would actually be displayed at auto shows, and your career could easily take off from there. It’s an unlikely appearance for a Ferrari F430, but somehow it seems to work with the car’s body and was a hit at the 2015 NY auto show.
2 Peter Blake's Bentley Continental GT (2016)
This Bentley Continental is probably one of the best art cars known to man as well as the most inspiring. It may be a bit too flamboyant for some tastes, but somehow the green, blue, pink, red and yellow seem to work.
If the car’s body wasn’t enough, the pop art legend behind the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band trimmed each seat in a different color.
The car definitely depicts the album art cover and the designer was very thorough. It’s a nice car, but that many colors in one place can be a bit too confusing especially when you’re used to seeing one color on a car.
1 Joel Brown's Anglerfish (2012)
If anyone had said a few years back that we would encounter Jaws on land, we would have told them that they were crazy. Well, with the Anglerfish car, Jaws has sort of come to land. Luckily this car is just art and was featured at the Nevada-based desert festival for self-expression. We’re probably never going to have to see the car again unless of course, its owner decides to take it out for a public spin again. Maybe the team for the Carnival was full of Mad Max enthusiasts. This probably represents the show well, in a scary way. But it is probably not something we’d want to sit in.
Sources: artuner.com, businessinsider.com, carmagazine.co.uk