Most people cringe when they see Lamborghinis and Ferraris crumpled in accidents. Some might try to rebuild the wrecked supercar, either for the love of it or to score an exotic car for a slightly less exotic price. But Crash Jewelry owner/designer Christi Schimpke repurposes wrecked luxury cars to create wearable art. So even though you might not be able to afford a Rolls-Royce, you can own a piece of jewelry made from scraps of one.
Turning trash into treasure
Schimpke got the idea to use discarded car parts while working on her jewelry designs from her studio in her husband’s Los Angeles luxury car body shop, Beverly CoachCraft.
The rising cost of metal made turning a profit difficult. So Schimpke thought, why not use the metal from his shop and recycle the wrecked car parts into jewelry? It was better than sending the parts to a salvage yard.
How is the jewelry made?
So how does Schimpke make these unique pieces? First, she selects the metal and bases her design on the car part and paint quality. She has no preplanned design or blueprint — every piece is one-of-a-kind. Then she uses a mallet to shape the pieces after hand-designing them.
“We’ve developed manual techniques that allow us to manipulate steel and aluminum yet preserve the car’s original paint,” Crash Jewelry explains.
Every piece also comes with an official registration card with the vehicle information and even a Crash Jewelry VIN.
What materials and car models does Crash Jewelry use?
Schimpke uses pieces from the cars her husband’s shop services, such as Ferrari and Maserati models. Crash Jewelry doesn’t use materials from injury accidents. The materials come from doors, hoods, fenders, and quarter panels crumpled in minor crashes, such as fender-benders and damage from rogue shopping carts. Most materials are steel or aluminum, and Schimpke preserves the factory paint. She also engraves the vehicle’s name inside or on the back of the finished piece of jewelry.
Crash Jewelry’s biggest sellers are cuffs. For example, the shop sells a cuff made from two wrecked Ferraris — a white 599 GTO in pearl white and a 360 Challenge Stradale in classic Rosso Corsa. There are also earrings made from the metal of an Aston Martin Rapide S and a necklace fashioned from scraps of a Tesla Model S. Schimpke has even made a rosary necklace using metal from a 360 Challenge Stradale. And the jewelry isn’t just for women. For example, the shop creates cufflinks, cuffs, and bangles geared toward men.
If you’re looking for a unique gift for a car enthusiast or want to treat yourself, Crash Jewelry’s pieces are reasonably priced. And if you want customized jewelry from a particular car, you can email the company, and Schimpke will do her best to accommodate your requests.