Shiny, Happy Steel


pic: Michael Fordham

Thanks to the kind folks at Wikipedia chrome, or chrome plating, is actually a technique of electroplating a thin layer of the chemical element chromium onto a metal object.

It was originally used extensively in industrial and military applications, from as far back as 2000 years ago in China. Chrome’s hard, slippery properties helped reduce friction and increased the hardness of any metal surface to which it was applied.

But mid-century folk started applying it to objects of desire like cars and bikes, well, the rest is history.

But we couldn’t help noticing that new technologies, not to mention the ease of digital render, has made full body chrome, or chrome effect bodywork, become something to think about. Even this sort of job makes your ride look for Tron than American Graffiti.

We scoped the outrageously chromed AMG at the recent Autosport show, and the gallery is a ragbag digest of shiny contemporaries from all over the webs. Try to separate the renders from the real.

We reckon the mainstream carmakers should offer chrome as an option…