No, Replacing the Flag on Bubba Watson's General Lee is Not Like Painting a Mustache on the Mona Lisa
Getting caught up in the current controversy over the Confederate battle flag, pro golfer Bubba Watson has announced that he’s going to paint over the Army of Northern Virginia’s flag on the roof of the authentic Dukes of Hazard General Lee Dodge Charger that he owns, and replace it with the stars and stripes of the American flag. I have no desire to rehash the controversy over the Confederate battle flag, but I do want to address an opinion that I’ve seen raised in comments about Watson’s decision.
A number of people have suggested that because Watson’s car is an authentic vehicle that was used in filming the television series, painting over the flag would degrade the car’s value as a collectible. From what I know about TV cars in general and about the history of the cars used in filming the Dukes of Hazzard show, that’s not likely. From what I know about collectible cars, even if Watson does repaint it, that might actually increase its value.
Sometimes events in the real world overshadow our little automotive corner of the universe. If you look over some previous posts and comments, you’ll see that I’ve recently been writing about television cars and already planning to cover the “General Lee” 1969 Dodge Charger from the Dukes of Hazzard TV series, so please do not accuse us of trying to exploit a controversy in pursuit of clicks. As it happens, I interviewed the owner of the authentic General Lee illustrating this post just last week.
Due to the horrific church shooting in Charleston, though, the Confederate battle flag, which was painted on the roof of the Chargers used in that television show, has become a national controversy, in no small part because of its display on the ground of the state capital in South Carolina. Since it would be impossible for me to discuss the General Lee in the current atmosphere without addressing the flag issue, I’m going to depart from my usual history and provenance based approach.
My departure from the cloistered world of automotive design was anything but pleasant: leaving the College for Creative Studies
scarred changed me, possibly ensuring the inability to conform to PR-friendly autoblogging. Luckily I am not alone. While Big Boss Man rests in Chrysler’s doghouse, a remotely nice comment about their door handles perked the ears of the local Chrysler PR rep…and she tossed me a bone.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of Hovas’ Hemi Hideout: so here’s a slice of Mopar history worthy of a deep dive into the Vellum. Oh, thanks for the invite, Chrysler.
Fong’s Taxi looked just like this.
The container yard stretched out into the distance as far as the eye could see. Next to the ship, three giant cranes worked at a feverish pace, plucking the 40 foot long containers from their racks, lifting them high into the air and depositing them onto one of an endless stream of flat-bed trucks below at a rate of around one every minute. The loaded trucks raced their engines and sped off into the yard where they were met by other machines, immense forklifts, that removed the containers and piled them in stacks six or seven units high. The stacks, numbering in the tens of thousands, merged with one another to form great flat topped mesas of multicolored steel cut by valleys of cement and the industrial landscape rivaled anything that nature could create with stone and water. It was a scene I had looked upon many times and it could have been a container port anywhere in the world. Only the stench of told me it was Kaohsiung Taiwan.
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