A co-worker of mine has a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. We were discussing its appearance one day when he said, “The only thing I hate about it is the Jeep badge on the grille.” Why? I asked. “Because it’s the only thing chrome. It just looks out of place.” Now, I notice it immediately whenever I see a Jeep with chrome letters on the front. And that has led me to study other cars. In this age of body-colored bumpers and carbon accents, it seems that the allure of chrome is still very much alive. Nearly all vehicles have at least a tiny dose of polished or plated brightwork somewhere. Shiny emblems are especially important, it seems. It might be silver or gold, but a shiny metallic finish on the nameplate is virtually required. Perhaps it’s just a thin chrome oval around the outside of it, but it’s nearly always there. I did notice a Jeep Wrangler Polar Edition in a Walgreen’s parking lot a while back that had flat black J-E-E-P letters above the grille. Was this, at last, a truly chrome-less car? Nope, it had shiny chrome “Trail Rated” and “Polar Edition” badges on its flanks. Even the menacing matte black Ford RS500 that JayP posted in the comments the other day has a shiny chrome Ford badge on its face. But if you look at the black Jeep Cherokee Altitude shown above, it appears we finally have a something that’s truly chrome (nickle/polished alloy/mylar) free. (Interestingly, when ordered in white, it gets chrome window surrounds.)
So, your encyclopedic task for today is to help me out by naming all the vehicles you can find that are totally free of brightwork. And I do mean totally. [Before y’all holler “GNX,” Darth’s ride has five tiny chrome letters spelling out “B-U-I-C-K” on its grille.]
Here are the caveats (there are always caveats):
- Stock, production vehicles only, please — stick to vehicles that anyone could walk into a dealership and buy.
- Let’s concentrate on road vehicles marketed to the general public for personal use. That means no heavy-duty trucks, forklifts, tractors, mining equipment, tanks, trains, or spacecraft.
- Post-war vehicles only. (For those of you who flunked History 101, that means 1946 model year and later.) If you go back any further, this gets absurdly easy.
- Chrome lug nuts, machined alloy wheel rims and headlight reflector buckets get a pass. But bonus points and bragging rights if you can avoid these.
Difficulty: Harder than you’d think, if you really get nit-picky. And I’m feeling really nit-picky on this one.
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Image Source: Manufacturer’s press kit photo via uautoknow.net.