What is an art car?

The introduction of the Alfa Romeo MiTo ‘art car’, designed with a special floral pattern by artist Laura Dear, got us thinking about these strange one-off cars.

Unlike extra trim levels or special editions such as the Fiat 500 Pink, the art car is usually a one-off, designed by an artist and used during exhibitions and motor shows.

The Alfa Romeo MiTo certainly isn’t the first in recent months and years to do this, in fact, as our collection of images below shows, it isn’t even the first Alfa Romeo to be given the one-off ‘art’ makeover.

While these cars are not available to buy, the cars they are based on are, once again proving the link between a good-looking car and the world of art.

Chevrolet Spark

This one-off Chevrolet Spark art car was designed by its owner, PopBangColour artist Ian Cook, who is famous for drawing all manner of cars using remote control cars as makeshift paintbrushes.

The Spark – or SpART – car has gone under a couple of changes since it was first designed, but never lost its style.

Vauxhall Astra

The Vauxhall Astra is a regular in terms of art makeovers including a model decked out in popular 70s children’s toy, the Spirograph. However, it’s the ‘Bee’ car – designed featuring a number of hand drawn bees – which caught our eye.

Artist Jessica Albarn designed the swarm of bees that covered the Astra, and even sold sticker sheets exclusively on the day of the fair.

Citroen Survolt

It could be argued the sporty electric supercar is a piece of art in itself, and the sports car-matching speeds from an all-electric powerplant is certainly impressive.

However, in 2010 Citroen commissioned French artist Francoise Nielly to add a touch more style in the shape of a luminous pink colour scheme to really make the Survolt stand out on the track.