Polestar 1 Is First Car With a Window Sticker of ‘Art’

If you own a piece of art valued at the price of a new Polestar 1, you can trade it for a new car. (Polestar)

In the past, if you had an expensive piece of art, and wanted to use its value to buy an expensive car, you had to sell the artwork then take the money and to the dealership to buy the car.

Now, Polestar lets you skip the middle man and trade your painting, sculpture, photograph, art installation, or other item for one of the company’s limited edition plug-in hybrid Polestar 1 models. If you’re paying with legal tender, the Polestar 1 starts at $155,000. But Polestar announced today that the Polestar 1 will be the first car that customers can buy with art.

This is the right time to offer a unique transaction opportunity like this, since "auction prices for classic and contemporary art [are] soaring," the company said. The company is working with private art advisor Theodor Dalenson, who specializes in modern and contemporary art, on the project.

"Historically, many significant art transactions have taken place outside of what we today associate with the art market," Dalenson said in a statement. "Going back several hundred years in time, art trading mainly took place between artists and patrons. Painters like Picasso were known to trade sketches for restaurant meals. Polestar's initiative is essentially a very natural extension of the tradition of art being used as payment for precious goods."

There are three steps involved in turning a piece of artwork into a Polestar 1:

First, you reach out to Polestar through a specific website (polestar.com/art/) and provide your contact information. Only people in North America and Europe can apply.

Second, you get an estimate for the artwork, which will be conducted first by Dalenson and then by Sotheby's and Phillips auction houses. If the value is at least as much as the price of a Polestar 1, the company will offer you a trade. “No cash will be involved,” the company said.

Third, as you might guess, is that the company delivers a Polestar 1 to you and you give them your art. You will have to prove your ownership of the artwork and its provenance, if requested. The last day to submit a request is August 15, 2021.

Polestar is only making 1,500 Polestar 1 PHEVs, and the run comes to an end later this year. As production winds down, Polestar will make 25 copies of a Special Edition Polestar 1 with matte gold exterior paint, gold stitching in the interior, and matching gold brake calipers. These special edition models will be available to trade for art.

Polestar said it plans to sell the artworks it trades for these vehicles at some point “after a period of ownership.”

Polestar's sibling brand, Volvo, earlier this year conducted a similarly innovative marketing effort in the U.S. market related to Super Bowl Sunday.