2013 MORGAN LMP2 ART CAR
MASTERS ENDURANCE LEGENDS EUROPE
MASTERS ENDURANCE LEGENDS USA
DAYTONA CLASSIC 24 HOUR by HSR
ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPOSTS REUNION
SEBRING CLASSIC 12 HOUR by HSR
MORGAN LMP2 - OAK PESCAROLO
NISSAN VK45DE 4.494L
450HP. @ 7,200 RPM
XTRAC 6 SPEED
There are many cars with original and aesthetic decoration, as the colours and shapes on a body serve to 'identify' a car and make it remarkable. But cars with a livery borrowed from the art world, or even used as artistic objects, are less numerous. In endurance racing, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has featured original creations since the 1970s.
From the pioneering 'psychedelic' Porsche 917 to modern GTs and prototypes, a lineage was created. The Morgan-Nissan LMP2 Art Car seen at Le Mans in 2013, created by sculptor Costa, has a strong place in this family.
A tribute to the 24 Hours of Le Mans by the French Artist Fernando Costa
Since the first Art Cars, it is often great names who bring their vision to the automobile. This may be because they want to find a new and different medium, or because they want to continue their work. The American sculptor and painter Alexander Calder launched the movement in 1975 with BMW, followed by Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein, one of the most important American pop artists.
Andy Warhol also contributed to the history of the Art Car at Le Mans, in a BMW M1 entered in 1979. César's McLaren F1 GTR or the Porsche 911 GT2 receiving a work of art by the cartoonist Georges Wolinski marked the 90s. Jeff Koons' BMW (Le Mans 2010) and the Porsche liveries of the Flying Lizard, Prospeed and IMSA Performance teams, not forgetting the JMW Motorsport Ferraris, have all had the privilege of being 'works of art'. Prototypes are less numerous.
The Morgan-Nissan LMP2 belongs to this category. It has been honoured with the title of "Official Art Car of the 90th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans" by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). The work was officially presented on 9 June 2013, on the Test Day of the Le Mans event.
Fernando Costa's work as an artist and welder
In the presentation file of the work at the time of its unveiling, one could learn more about its meaning and the artist's vision: "Costa's welded panels often tell stories, with humour, at the confluence of several artistic currents, the New Realists, Pop Art and Street Art. Sometimes figurative, sometimes abstract, his works call out by their construction and the prominent place given to colour. Costa gives new life to these urban materials, which are both an integral part of our daily lives and a universal language. His works are in his image, both raw and full of subtlety. The Morgan thus displayed signs that we all know, but also the names of several sections of the circuit (Arnage, Hunaudières, Indianapolis, Mulsanne, etc.). A unique work... or rather a double one.
A work of art and a race car
Costa's Art Car is built based on an LMP2 that has competed four times in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The chassis was used to accommodate the signage that is characteristic of Costa's work. 1,000 rivets, 20,000 welding points, 120 kilos of sheet metal and 250 kilos of enamel plates were needed to assemble the patchwork.
The original LMP2 chassis, which weighed almost 400 kilos and became a work of art, could not be raced for obvious safety and performance reasons.
It was therefore decided to faithfully reproduce the work on an identical car, the Morgan-Nissan LMP2 (chassis 01-17). But this time with modern adhesive films, so that the car would be at the start.
Several partners were involved to ensure that the artwork was reproduced perfectly, giving the LMP2 the opportunity to enter the big race. This work was carried out in part thanks to the Dassault Systèmes Design Studio, a creative space that brings together designers, graphic artists and 3D creators. The company Hexis was responsible for producing an adhesive film in the image of the sculpture to perfectly cover the bodywork of the LM P2 race car.
A worldwide track record and two participations in the 24 Hours of Le Mans
What makes the Morgan-LMP2 Art Car so exceptional is of course its livery and its Art Car title, but it is also its track record that gives it real credibility. The car was not only prepared for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It has been entered twice (2013 with OAK Racing and 2014 with Larbre Compétition), but it also has two seasons of racing under its belt. After being delivered new to the Conquest Endurance team run by Eric Bachelart in the United States, it took part in all the races of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Sebring, Laguna Seca, Road America or Petit Le Mans, the first life of chassis 17 was American.
Back in Europe, it was entitled to a season in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2013. Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, Interlagos and Fuji all hosted it. In 2014, the car was entered by Larbre Compétition in two events.
It was not until the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours that the Art Car livery was applied. The n°45 was entrusted to a team of gentlemen drivers: Jean-Marc Merlin, Philippe Mondolot and Jacques Nicolet. In an original gesture, Philippe Mondolot had an original helmet made for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, using part of the artwork. This work was carried out by Amato Design.