If you find yourself in sunny Southern California between now January 22, 2023, make sure to check out “Andy Warhol: CARS” works from the Mercedes-Benz art collection on display at the Petersen Automotive.
The Petersen has 40 works of on display along with eight iconic Mercedes-Benz cars used in this commission. This is the first time in over 30 years since it was created that any of the collection was on display in the United States and North America. Once Warhol passed away, what was completed went to the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection and only displayed outside of it the few times mentioned before.
1937 MERCEDES-BENZ – W125 GRAND PRIX CAR
Adhering to regulations defined by weight rather than engine displacement, Mercedes-Benz introduced the W 125 in 1937. Well under the race limit of 850 kg (approximately 1,874 lbs), much of the W 125’s 750-kg weight was reserved for its supercharged, inline-eight-cylinder engine. A lightweight, yet extremely sturdy, nickel-chrome-molybdenum oval tube frame was fitted with a streamlined aluminum body. After numerous tests on the Nürburgring, engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut chose a revolutionary suspension design that reversed the conventional balance of suspension and damping, giving the W 125 a soft suspension with firm damping, a precedent for later Grand Prix car designs. Although only raced one season, the W 125 achieved six first-place, nine second-place, and six third-place finishes.
1954 MERCEDES-BENZ – W196 GRAND PRIX CAR
For its post-war return to Grand Prix racing, Mercedes-Benz introduced an innovative streamlined version of its domineering open-wheel monoposto W196. Unveiled at the French Grand Prix in Reims, the streamlined W196 featured a stunning wind tunnel-designed body, a tubular space frame, and a fuel-injected straight-eight engine with desmodromic, springless valves. Regarded as the most advanced race car of its day, two W196s finished first and second place in their first race, with a total of nine wins of the 12 races in which it was entered between 1954 and 1955. Both seasons driver Juan-Manuel Fangio finished as World Champion, with teammate Sterling Moss as runner-up in 1955. Shortly after, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from Grand Prix racing.
“Andy Warhol: CARS” works from the Mercedes-Benz art collection is on display at the Petersen Automotive museum until January 22, 2023.