One-off Lewis Hamilton tribute art car heading to auction

Mercedes art car is avant-garde in more ways than one

A UNIQUE piece of commemorative art will be sold at auction on November 24: a one-off Mercedes painted to celebrate Lewis Hamilton’s landmark fifth Formula One world championship title.

The 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK 500 has been given the unique design by award-winning British artist Paul Karslake.

Though most of the artwork is inspired by the livery of Hamilton’s Mercedes W09 Formula One car, Karslake has added his own flourishes. A large Union Flag and portrait of the British athlete adorn the car’s bonnet, and the driver appears again on the boot wearing his helmet and racing overalls.

The modifications go beyond the paintwork. As well as sporting a Sarto wide body kit, a bespoke rear spoiler was designed for the car, and the CLK now sits on Cosmis Racing rims.

In comparison with the distinctive exterior, the cabin has been left pretty much untouched, with the only notable change being the black headlining to “give the car a GT feel”.  As the vehicle began life as an ‘Avantgarde’ spec Mercedes-Benz CLK, it includes premium features such as aluminium interior trim, dual-zone climate control and power-adjustable front seats.

Though the project is being pitched as a collectors’ piece, the future owner isn’t expected to keep the car locked up in a garage for perpetuity. Karslake has had the car fully serviced, and the CLK’s MOT certificate expires in September 2019.

It’s unclear how much buyers are willing to pay for this custom Mercedes-Benz, though Historics reckons the car will sell for somewhere between £20,000 and £25,000 when sold at Historics’ auction at Mercedes-Benz World.

This also isn’t the first time Paul Karslake has used a car as a canvas for a tribute piece. In 2012 he airbrushed a Bentley Mulsanne to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

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