Force India VJM01-05 art car by Dexter Brown

Far and away, BMW has commissioned more Art Cars than any other manufacturer. But the German automaker doesn't have exclusive purview over the realm, and this one is quite different.

This is the first art car based on an F1 racer. The Force India team commissioned renowned automotive artist Dexter Brown to apply his wares to the VJM01-05 which Giancarlo Fisichella drove – rather unspectacularly, mind you, without a single championship point finish – in 2008, the year before he scored that remarkable second place at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix and subsequently signed with Ferrari.

The result is quite innovative, and will be auctioned for charity, complete with the signatures of various F1 drivers and personalities, Bernie Ecclestone first among them. The project will also be commemorated with a special book to be published by Opus – the same publishing house behind the $275,000 Ferrari book. Check out the car in the high-res image gallery and follow the jump for the full press release.

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Force India, Intentio Partners & Dexter Brown present the Art Car

It is often said that a Formula One car is a work of art in itself. But in the case of Force India's Art Car, those words have never been more true. The Silverstone-based squad has teamed up with renowned motorsport artist, Dexter Brown, to use one of its cars as the canvas for his latest creation. The end result is the first Formula One Art Car painted by hand, which will be auctioned off to raise funds for charity later this year.

The Artist
Dexter Brown has been a fixture of the automotive art scene for almost three decades. In recent years his work has evolved to focus on the abstract expression of racing images. Combining his artistic skills with the ultimate piece of Formula One memorabilia is sure to create a unique collector's piece.

The Car
The chassis being transformed is the VJM01-05, the car that Giancarlo Fisichella drove in 16 races during the 2008 Formula One season. The painted car will be completed early this week and displayed at several high-profile events in the lead up to Sunday's British Grand Prix. Guests of the F1 Ball at London's Natural History Museum will get a sneak preview on Wednesday before the car moves to the Hurlingham Club for the Grand Prix Ball. The official presentation takes place at the team's post-race party on Sunday.

The Auction
The Art Car will be auctioned later this year after the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October. The funds raised will be split between Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Force India's Academy giving youngsters in India the chance to get involved in motorsport.

During the course of this week, Formula One drivers and motosport legends will be invited to sign the Art Car. Bernie Ecclestone will be the first to add his signature to the nosecone on Wednesday.

The Book
The Art Car project was the brainchild of Linda Balzanella and Erik Meijer, founders of Intentio Partners. Together they will write a limited edition book to be published by Opus, the official publishing partner of the project. The first edition will be presented at the Indian Grand Prix in October.

Dr. Vijay Mallya: "Seeing one of my Formula One cars transformed into a painting is a wonderful initiative that combines two of my greatest passions: cars and art. I wish to thank Dexter for producing this exquisite piece of work, which I am sure will be of great interest to art collectors around the world, and will raise valuable funds for charity."

Dexter Brown: "When I was approached by Erik Meijer to paint an Art Car, I was immediately excited by the project. Of course, it's not the first car I've painted, but it's the first time I've had the chance to work with a modern Formula One car. The last car I painted was a BMW in Genoa in 1993, but the Formula One car was a different challenge because I had to work around the complex bodywork. It's great to be involved in such a unique project and I look forward to seeing the reaction of the public."