SmART cars: Colourful BMWs painted by Warhol and Hockney on display as inner-city car park is transformed into free gallery

 n inner-city car park might not be where you'd usually expect to come across priceless pieces of artwork - especially those created by the likes of Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein.

But BMW has chosen to take their collection of art cars, each with its own distinct livery and never before displayed in the UK, to the apt setting of an unremarkable grey NCP in Shoreditch, east London for a free show.

The centrepiece of the exhibition, a joint venture between the London 2012 Festival, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the German car manufacturer, is a striking BMW M1 model painted by the late Andy Warhol in 1977.

The legendary artist took a mere 23 minutes to cover the Group 4 racing car, which went on to race at the 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race in 1979, finishing second in its class and sixth overall.

BMW is unlikely to part company with the Warhol, despite the pop artist's touch making it one of the world's most valuable cars.

Warhol, whose works fetch upwards of £40 million at auction, described his inspiration for the design by saying: 'I tried to portray speed pictorially. If a car is moving really quickly, all the lines and colors are blurred.'

BMW has commissioned 17 art cars since 1975, when French racing driver and auctioneer Herve Poulain persuaded his friend Alexander Calder to come up with a design for a BMW 3.0 CSL ahead of competing at Le Mans.

The result of the original art car is also on show in the unusual makeshift gallery alongside works by Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Frank Stella, Ernst Fuchs, M.J. Nelson, Ken Done, Matazo Kayama, César Manrique, A.R. Penck, Esther Mahlangu, Sandro Chia and Jenny Holzer.