Lindsay Lohan And The Maddening Question of Matte Black

When you see a mode of customization show up on Lindsay Lohan’s Rolls–Royce, you know it’s time to move on. Or is it?


Where were you when the matte meme began? I was looking at photos of the then-unveiled Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 from the 2006 Geneva Motor Show and reveled in the punk gesture of gunship gray from a carmaker known for Miura green and Day-Glo orange.

Kustom kulture has probably employed the device before, but its spread in the past few years has been wildly expansive. Observing it first-hand on a short-lived matte black hood of a Toyota Corolla AE86 drift car, I couldn’t help but notice how the finish attracts and amplifies grime from dust and rain like no other.

But then cars are supposed to be shiny shiny, aren’t they? At least according to Nick Maggio of A Time To Get, who writes:

Show me the ‘69 SS with the cheap-ass primer, the ‘32 Coupe with the patchy, flat gray, and I’ll show you a smile. Like all trends, there is a time and a place. But let me tell you, a ‘10 Lambo perched on mirrors, rotating behind velvet ropes at SEMA… ain’t it. […] If Enzo wanted his cars to be murdered out, he would’ve petitioned to have Italy’s race color changed, and trademarked a matte black instead. Show some respect.


If naval technology were suddenly to regress to its state in the early 1900s with madly colored Razzle Dazzle camo battleships, we could do an honest comparison to decide whether ships and cars can carry each other’s colors. Until then, it’s a question of style—and I honestly cannot make up my mind. What do you think? Should cars ever be camouflaged as military equpiment?


Photo Credit: Metro, saebaryo/Flickr, Razzle Dazzle

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