Lee, Chris, Newsweek
Byline: Chris Lee
Pop stars in chrome cars.
When Justin Bieber was cited for reckless driving last month, the teen heartthrob claimed he was simply trying to avoid aggressive paparazzi. His car, however, made flying under the radar impossible. Bieber's $110,000 Fisker Karma is custom coated with a mirrorlike chrome body wrap. It's a look that's currently all the rage among platinum-selling rappers such as Flo Rida--who chromed out his $2.4 million Bugatti Veyron--pro athletes, and other wealthy spotlight seekers like Scott Disick of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
"You want to separate yourself from the average Joe? This is the paint job you get," says David Maxwell, sales director for West Coast Customs, the Southern California firm that wrapped Bieber's Fisker in metallic vinyl. "It's so different, no one has it. It's a very expensive process that not everybody can afford."
The price tag for a vinyl chrome wrap at West Coast Customs starts at $20,000 and can climb as high as $60,000 for a chrome paint job. While such upgrades certainly violate codes of good taste, pimping one's ride in chrome does not run afoul of any existing laws despite certain--ahem--glaring liabilities.
Steve Saghdejian, owner of Los Angeles's Specialty Car Craft, says he declined to foil-treat a famous client's vehicle in 2009 because of the danger it could pose on the road. …