The CAR Top 10: cars as art

Published: 02 September 2016

► CAR’s top 10 cars as art
► From crumpled cars and pedal power…
► … to coffee tables and printed paper

1) Cadillac Ranch by Ant Farm

What better way to dispose of a bunch of knackered old Caddies than to bury them upright – at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza, obviously – on farmland on the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas? It’s like an homage to the handling characteristics of American cars.

Ferdinand GT3 RS by Hannes Langeder

2) Ferdinand GT3 RS by Hannes Langeder

Finally! A Porsche 911 GT3 RS that even this humble writer can afford. Trouble is, it will only go as fast as you can pedal, since beneath that gold duct tape exterior lies a plastic frame and the clockwork heart of a bicycle. The artist is mocking our fast car fantasies, isn’t he? Git.

Printed paper Mustang by Jonathan Brand

3) Printed paper Mustang by Jonathan Brand

We’re familiar with 3D printing, but this full-size Mustang replica was created using nothing more than an old Epson photo printer, and a lot of time. Each and every part is made from pressed and folded paper. Influenced by the Trabant?

Carhenge by Jim Reinders

4) Carhenge by Jim Reinders

Quite possibly the only interesting thing in Nebraska, we’d also like to think it’s going to give historians a hell of a headache in about 3000 years’ time. Built from 39 good old American bangers, Carhenge is such an accurate replica of Wiltshire’s Stonehenge that it even aligns with the Summer Solstice. 

Wireframe Impreza by Benedict Radcliffe

5) Wireframe Impreza by Benedict Radcliffe

Looking like an escapee from an early version of Gran Turismo or the JDM version of Tron, it’s made from welded 10mm tube. Radcliffe went on to make wireframe Lambos and the Black Cab sculpture at Heathrow Terminal 2.

Disintegrating cars by Fabian Oefner

6)  Disintegrating cars by Fabian Oefner

At first glance, Fabian Oefner ought to be shot – having apparently blown up an E-type, a 300SL and a 330 P4. And it’s not CGI, either. But nor is it entirely as it seems, as the images, composites from thousands of painstaking photographs, are actually of highly detailed models.

Crushed Ferrari coffe table by Charly Molinelli

7) Crushed Ferrari coffee table by Charly Molinelli

Apparently it was quite tricky for this Los Angeles-based Corsican to find a Ferrari that had been crashed hard enough for it to be fully written off. Was it worth the effort? Hard to say, but the lucky owner of this coffin-cum-coffee table reputably got the remains of a 458 for $15k.

Crushed cars by Dirk Skreber

8) Crashed cars by Dirk Skreber

Dirk Skreber began this particular artistic journey by ‘obsessively’ painting car accidents before graduating to re-enacting the real thing. Wrapping them round a pole is arguably the best possible use for a Hyundai Coupe and a Mitsubishi Eclipse these days. He’s German, in case you were wondering.

Beetle Sphere by Ichwan Noor

9) Beetle Sphere by Ichwan Noor

Indonesian sculptor Ichwan Noor clearly knows no fear – you don’t risk the wrath of the Volkswagen scene without big shiny brass ones, surely? This spherical compression of a 1953 Beetle follows on from an earlier work which saw him transform another bug into a cube.

Toyota's Cat's Cradle by Gerry Judah

10) Toyota Cat’s Cradle by Gerry Judah

We’ve been trying to dodge the corporate stuff, but you can’t really cover cars as art without reference to Gerry Judah’s repeatedly epic automotive monuments at each year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. So many are so worthy, but the 2007 Cat’s Cradle of Toyotas is a personal favourite.

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By CJ Hubbard

Head of the Bauer Digital Automotive Hub and former Associate Editor of CAR. Road tester, organiser, reporter and professional enthusiast, putting the driver first