In 1999, for the Mini Cooper's 40th anniversary, David Bowie designed a mirror-plated mini. Shiny silver chrome plating covers the car top to bottom, excluding lights and tires. The chrome reflects light and surrounding objects and people. The mini's curves distort the reflections like a fun house mirror, creating something that inspires interaction, wonder, vanity, self-consciousness... The metallic skin and plated windows evoke a sense that the car is wearing a suit of armor. You cannot penetrate; you cannot see inside. But the armor is fragile, beautiful, and restrictive rather than protective. The car is blind and un-driveable. It has no sense of self because its form is always made from dramatically displayed manipulations of cultural context.
Still, it's the coolest thing in the room. Singular and spectacular. Quintessential Bowie.
In 2010 a fellow named Grice bought a chrome-plated mini from a London showroom as a Valentine's Day gift for his wife. Unfortunately, even with regular glass windows, the couple's car can't be taken on the road. Insurance companies consider the car too vulnerable to scratches and attractive to thieves to insure. 'I've been left with the world's most expensive mirror,' Grice complained. 'No one will touch it with a barge pole.'