August 27, 2008 As we’ve written before, you don’t drive cars, you wear them. To the male of the species, a set of wheels is largely a reflection of who they are. Customizing one’s wheels is accordingly a highly personal pursuit – some go for show, some go for go, and some go to extraordinary lengths to show how uncompromisingly “top shelf” they are. Appropriately-named London-based Alchemist now numbers amongst its customisation techniques a process which coats the roof of your car in 24-carat gold. “Gold-leafing vehicles isn’t a new luxury, said company spokesperson Jacques Blanc. “The Egyptians mastered the technique more than 3000 years ago and Tutankhamun’s chariot was decorated with gold leaves. We are simply continuing this ancient and opulent tradition.”
Based in the heart of affluent Kensington, Alchemist uses a patented process to cover a car’s roof with gold leaf, and prices start at UKP12,500, with each rooftop signed and numbered and the client presented with a certificate of authenticity. For wealthy supercar clients after extra-extravagant customisation, Alchemist can also embed precious gemstones into the gold leaf for drivers after lavish sparkling bodywork.
The company, run by French art director, Jacques Blanc, was established in London in February of this year and has completed custom gold-top finishes on Bentleys, Porsches, Mercedes and an Aston Martin.
To showcase its capabilities, the company is planning to completely gild a new Aston Martin DBS in 24-carat gold and platinum for the upcoming MPH show.
MPH runs at Earls Court in London between 30 October 30 and November 2 before the moving to Birmingham’s NEC between November13- 16.