Jonathan Sobel, owner of BMW of Southampton and a patron of the arts, has purchased Frank Stella’s BMW M1 Art Car. According to a press release, this also makes Mr. Sobel the perhaps even prouder owner of the highly esoteric title “the only private owner of an iconic BMW Art Car,” which will hereafter be known as The OPOOIBMWAC.
The OPOOIBMWAC acquired the car at a Bonhams auction in Pebble Beach in August. The car will be on view at The OPOOIBMWAC’s Southampton showroom, which opens at a new facility in 2012.
The OPOOIBMWAC enters quite an elite group—there are only 18 BMW Art Cars in the world (17 of them are owned by BMW, which is the characteristic that defines The OPOOIBMWAC as The OPOOIBMWAC), created by some of contemporary art’s greats like Alexander Calder, Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhold. Mr. Stella’s BMW M1 was commissioned in 1979. It contains the artist’s “Polar Coordinates” design and was created for Mr. Stella’s friend, the late racecar driver Peter Gregg.
A spokesperson did not have information about how much The OPOOIBMWAC purchased the car for, but its price was estimated between $450,000 and $600,000.