The Car: Through a Glass, Darkly

In the 1920s, oriental potentates began ordering their Rolls-Royces with smoke-blackened windows so that their wives could ride comfortably "in purdah"—screened off from the eyes of other men. Now "purdah glass" has been revived, and is the latest rage of London.

The Aga Khan and his uncle, Sadruddin, have the back and side windows of their Mini-Coopers done in inky black. So do Greek Snipping Scion Alex Goulandris, Actor Albert Finney and Beatle George Harrison. Fellow Beatle John Lennon's Rolls is completely blacked out except for the windshield—despite the impairment to vision....

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