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« The d'Orsay Adjusts to a Renovation | Main | Insipid Penny »

July 19, 2010

Mayfair Matte

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Maybe it's happening in Palm Beach or the Upper East Side. Or perhaps in Beverly Hills, Malibu or Rancho Mirage -- though I was in the latter three within the last six months and didn't notice it.

That "it" is cars with matte -- rather than shiny -- paint jobs.

I noticed this in London's tony Mayfair district a couple of weeks ago, spotting at least three cars with matte finishes. And each of those cars was an expensive one -- the cheapest of the lot being a Porsche.

Here are some photos I snapped:


Yes, there's one. Parked in front of that shiny new Jaguar XF.


And it's a Bentley four-door saloon costing several times the price of that Jag. The license plates are British.


This is the unloading zone for our hotel. The tan-colored car in the background with a normal finish is a Maybach, what Daimler hopes you'll buy if you think Mercedes' are too ordinary. Closer to the camera is a Mercedes SLS gull-wing door jobbie painted matte white. Both cars carried license plates from the Gulf; the SLS's number was "333333" or thereabouts (I forget how many 3s there were).

Of course one wonders Why?

I have no answer at this point, though my first reaction was that it must be some trendy thing for a small subset of those who buy cars costing more than $100,000.



[Cross-posted at Art Contrarian.]

posted by Donald at July 19, 2010


My BMW 650i is glossy...and I wouldn't have it any other way. You can have the matte finish. Actually, they look like cars that are in the process of having a paint job, but not yet finished.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on July 20, 2010 2:56 PM

I like the matte look in black for a sports car. It looks menacing with certain cars. But I don't understand why you'd get matte white. Or with a four door Bentley.

Posted by: amj on July 20, 2010 3:25 PM

I've seen the matte finish on a black ferrari. This was also in London. My impression was the colour was borrowed or intended to create associations with the stealth fighters from the 80s.

Posted by: enrico on July 23, 2010 9:59 AM

The matte black car has been moderately au courant among the young glitterati of Malibu and Los Angeles for the past two years, and is common enough on the luxury cars in the area.

What is surprising about the Bentley you have pictured is that the wheels are not also blacked out.

Such automobiles are not to the taste of the Manolo.

Posted by: Manolo the Shoeblogger on July 23, 2010 1:53 PM

There are only finite ways of making a thing new and fresh, and thus desirable.

One moderately popular trend this year has been matte fingernail polish.

Posted by: annk on July 28, 2010 2:04 PM

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