Friday, May 04, 2007

Just some good ole' boys, never meanin' no harm...

I read the most ridiculous thing today. A car that served as the original "General Lee" sold at auction today for $10 million.

For those of you unfamiliar with this mythical automobile, it is the orange muscle-car with (regrettably) the Confederate flag painted on top and the doors welded-shut. Sure, Superman can leap tall buildings in a single bound, but can he jump a river that has a conveniently-placed dirt ramp? Well, probably. But that’s not the point! Attempting such a jump with any other vehicle is life-threatening, with the General Lee it is just another Tuesday afternoon.

With all of its flaws – the aforementioned flag, the depiction of a fictitious “Hazard County, Georgia” (I am writing this from my office in Atlanta), and the recently-released movie version of the show – The Duke’s of Hazzard does hold a place in Americana. But is it really a golden foothold, encrusted with diamonds?

Perhaps this is just a reflection on the amount of money people are willing to spend on things they are passionate about.

A quick side note. You may be wondering why I chose to write about The General instead of Rupert Murdoch’s attempt at spreading his “Fair and Balanced” agenda to more of the world’s news. Perhaps you wonder why I didn’t pontificate about a weekly O’Reilly-authored column that explores the lefty agenda. Quite frankly, the thought of Murdoch expanding the reach of News Corp.’s tentacles sends shivers down my spine.

So back to the 1969 Dodge Charger. This is an example of a brand paying-off. Kit, the black Firebird Trans Am from the 1980s hit Knight Rider, never commanded this kind of cash. Could it be because David Hasselhoff was behind the wheel? Maybe. But as successful as Knight Rider was, it did not have the brand and street cred’ that The Duke’s created in six seasons of television. Marketers make note.

Now I just have to find my $10 million pop-culture brand to auction on eBay. Please, provide your suggestions in the “comment” section below!


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