There are two ways to make your car's roof shine. You can whip out the chamois leather and start buffing, or you can give Jacques Blanc a call. Blanc is the owner of Golden Rooftop, a London-based company that specializes in adding a lustrous finish to auto exteriors. Hand him your car and, for around $20,000, his group of skilled craftsmen will coat its roof with 24-carat gold leaf or if you're determined to go one better and can shell out twice as much a precious film of platinum.
Blanc, a former art director in the French ad industry, founded Golden Rooftop in 2006 after spotting a paint-stripped Porsche in a Paris street. "It had a brilliant aluminum body, and I thought that it would look beautiful with a single golden stripe," he says. Inspired by this glimmering vision, Blanc quit the advertising world and gathered a team of gilders, including Jacques Patric, a master once hired to gold-leaf the ceilings of a Tunisian presidential palace.
Blanc brought his company's golden touch to the British capital last year. Now operating out of a workshop in the less than glitzy London suburb of Perivale, his team of gilders takes around a week to complete a car. First, the roof has to be polished and varnished to provide a shiny surface for the almost transparent gold leaf to reflect. Individual gold leaves are then picked up with a fine, static-charged brush and placed on to a layer of gelatin-based glue. Finally a layer of varnish is added to the roof, making the surface scratch-proof and impossible for passersby to pick off. After all that, just don't forget where you parked the car. www.goldenrooftop.com
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