Alexa Montgomery | October 2016
“I always thought Andy’s car was one of his most telling possessions.” – Warhol biographer, Victor Bockris.
Andy Warhol exudes luxury. From his renowned screenprints to his star-studded art studio dubbed, The Factory, Warhol basked in the opulence of his ever-growing stardom. Thus, when it came time to purchase a car, Warhol wouldn’t have anything short of fabulous. Warhol’s 1974, two-toned, Rolls-Royce Shadow was just that and more. His chocolate brown coach mirrored his contemporary vision and was truly a work of art in itself. Warhol ordered the new car from London in 1974, sans a license; however, this didn’t hinder the pop artist from being mobile. In typical Warhol fashion, he was said to have his surplus of famous friends chauffeur him around. His car was said to have been driven by the likes of Liza Minnelli, Truman Capote, and Jacqueline Kennedy.
Since Andy’s untimely passing, the Silver Shadow has changed hands only twice before being acquired by Revolver Gallery. The previous owner kept the luxury coach in tip-top shape as Warhol would have. In addition to the car, all service records from 1990 were included in the sale along with provenance letters from Warhol’s biographer, Victor Bockris, and friend Ultra Violet. Also included, is a copy of the original purchase order from Rolls-Royce, a copy of the 1988 sales invoice and copy of the Warhol Enterprises title.
Although Warhol was not considered an auto connoisseur, he was no stranger to the world of four wheels. He created several screenprints featuring automobiles such as his Truck, Volkswagen, and Death and Disaster series. Moreover, he was asked to paint BMW’s M1 Group 4 race car in 1977. Too boot, one of his highest grossing artworks, “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” grossed $105 Million at auction. Oddly enough, his last artwork ever created was a series of screen prints titled, Cars, commissioned for Mercedes Benz. Warhol’s legacy in the automobile world persists – not bad for someone without a license.
Photo by Christoper Makos