Perhaps you’re in the mood for a new piece of artwork, really fancy Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave print, but would prefer it painted on an Alfa Romeo 4C. Lapo Elkann and his Garage Italia heard your very specific wishes and produced the one-off art car you see above and below. After a debut this summer in a gallery in Los Angeles and a quick showing at Pebble Beach, the marriage between Japanese and Italian cultures is back on U.S. soil and available for purchase at Prestige Imports and Lamborghini Miami.
The completely bespoke car, on sale for $199,000, isn’t the first Alfa Romeo 4C to come from Elkann’s Garage Italia customizing operation. But that snake-skinned coupe was merely a wrap. The latest automotive art from the grandson of the former CEO of Fiat is painstakingly hand-painted and highly detailed. The wave dominates the entire rear side of the car and the roof, meant to complement and showcase the car’s curves. Inside, Japanese touches abound, from the Kurabo denim and koi-patterned Foglizzo leather to the covering of the tiller and handbrake in a wrapping procedure reserved for a samurai’s sword hilt.
Elkann’s passion for the project is partially what drew Brett David, CEO of Prestige Imports, to the car. “Lapo is a great friend and we discussed the proper location to display this incredible vehicle. The design of the car and the tsunami concept fit well with the Miami flow,” David told us. While the car drives perfectly fine – Elkann left the 237 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque-producing 1.75-liter turbo four cylinder stock – David isn’t looking to sell it as a daily driver for someone inclined to make quite the statement. “I will not be offering test drives,” David chuckled. “This is a rare piece of rolling art and will go into a collection. We’re not looking to connect with a fan of Alfa or the 4C necessarily. It’s got to be a fan of Lapo’s, someone who wants something different than a baby grand piano in their living room.”
Interested? Act quickly. David’s already got three appointments with prospective buyers set for next month, during Miami’s Art Basel. “One of the clients is looking to suspend it vertically as an ornament piece on his wall, which is doable since the 4C is a relatively light car,” David said. “He’s very intrigued by the design and sought us out when he heard about this. Another possible buyer is coming in from Europe to view it and the last is a famous NYC entertainment guy who wants to remain anonymous but has a massive art collection and thinks this would fit well. It’ll definitely sell soon.”
As a piece of artwork, history seems to indicate Elkann’s design touch is a good investment. Earlier this summer, his camo Ferrari 458 went under the hammer for $1.1 million at Cannes.