Khodrocar - What’s the most mundane part of a car? There are certainly plenty of candidates, and the ignition key could rank among them. Whether it’s a simple piece of metal or a small electronic box transmitting a wireless signal, most of the time these bits are as uninspiring as a broken washing machine. That is, except when they’re freaking awesome.
For the most part, automotive keys are created solely for functionality. Some, however, are pretty darned cool while others are borderline works of art. We could wax poetic about the symbolic meaning of the key; it’s the singular device that brings the car to life, and it's also a part of the car that always stays with the driver.
But this isn’t a website for philosophy. We talk about cool car stuff, and while most keys are boring, there are some that are awesome enough to simply collect. Some of these are old school aftermarket designs, others are straight from automakers and represent the latest in ultra high-tech, but we’d love to put them all on display in our living room.
Tesla Model S Key Fob
Key fobs are standard-issue items for just about every new car, but Tesla’s car-shaped fob for the Model S is a favorite of ours. What’s not to like? It’s functional, it can actually summon your car, and when it you’re relaxing at home it looks like a cool little piece of car art sitting on your dresser.
Acura / Honda NSX Key
It was said that the early-run Honda/Acura NSX in 1990 featured a titanium key that was crazy expensive. Also, the key couldn’t be cut by normal methods because it was freaking titanium. In actuality the key wasn’t titanium, but a nickel-copper alloy called Monel, and it was offered on the NSX through 1996. Some might say its simple-yet-elegant look mirrors the car for which it starts. We simply say it looks sublime, and if you keep your eyes peeled, one pops up for sale like this factory key on Amazon.
BMW Key Fob
Key fobs from BMW have always been attractive, but the current batch with all their functionality – including a mini touch screen – are pretty amazing.These are definitely the high-tech keys of choice for collectors, and they're not bad to look at either.
Nissan 300ZX Key
The 300ZX arrived at about the same time as fellow Japanese sports coupes like the Mazda RX-7 and Toyota Supra, but the Nissan had the coolest key of the bunch. Made from a hunk of titanium, the opener had a futuristic look that matched perfectly with Nissan’s marketing push – billing the 300ZX as a machine on the cutting edge of automotive tech in the early 1990s with options like twin-turbo engines and four-wheel steering. And if you so desire, you can grab a blank from RGS Performance to add to your garage art.
Mercedes Smart Key Card
Mercedes-Benz pioneered remove hands-free keyless activation back in the late 1990s, and it’s now a common option for many vehicles. Admittedly the early Smart Card wasn't super attractive, but it’s certainly a neat part of automotive history. It’s also a bit thick and wasn’t well received as a convenient wallet accessory back in the day, so you can probably find an old key like this one on eBay for a fairly reasonable price.
Koenigsegg Platinum Key
This list couldn’t possibly be complete with the world’s most expensive key. The standard Koenigsegg shield-shaped key is plenty attractive all by itself, but this custom-made platinum/diamond affair is pretty much the epitome of opulent automotive accessories. It was made for a Koenigsegg Agera customer a couple years ago and it’s estimated to be worth $250,000, or roughly the cost of a new Ferrari 488.