I’m sure most of you are familiar with the story of how on Monday, B-list (or is that C-list?) actor/comedian Eddie Griffin plowed a super-rare, super-expensive and super-fast Enzo Ferrari into a concrete wall at Irwindale Speedway.
He was supposedly preparing for a charity race to promote his new train wreck, I mean movie, “Redline,” and the one-of-400 Ferrari was one of the high-dollar hypercars belonging to Daniel Sadek, who happens to be the movie’s producer.
Now regardless of whether or not you believe the rumors that the wreck was done intentionally as a publicity stunt to build buzz for a film that is sure to garner its share of Razzies, the fact remains that there is now yet another copy of the company founder’s namesake that is ready for the scrap heap.
Worse still, Sadek and his minions have actually bragged about destroying not one but two Porsche Carrera GTs, the car which is arguably the bratwurst to the Enzo’s pastrami, during the production of “Redline.”
Am I the only one who is appalled by not just those incidents, but the whole rash of high-end car abuse perpetrated by celebrities and other public figures of late?
I mean, just because you have so much money that it’s not a big deal if you get into a fender bender, or worse, doesn’t mean that you should treat these machines as disposable commodities.
Most of the cars in this price bracket are hand-assembled by real people with real feelings who take pride in the fruits of their labors.
A good analogy would be if you were a kindergartner, and you excitedly showed your parents a fingerpainting you did that day. Your parents then gave you the obligatory “Oooh, how pretty!” and whatnot, only to immediately put it at the bottom of the rabbit cage.
That would really suck, you say? Well, now you know how the people that build Porsches, Ferraris, Bentleys and the like probably feel when the news does a piece on how some drunken American celebutard managed to wad up something they put their hearts and souls into building.
Sure they’re inanimate objects, but they each have a part of the souls of the people who build them. In fact, it’s pretty common knowledge that, for Italians, working for Ferrari is one of, if not the most, desirable and revered jobs in the country.
And yet, it seems, most buyers of these cars view them as mere fashion accessories, rather than as rolling sculpture or the distillation of a company’s motorsports pedigree.
Seems shallow of me, yes, but do you honestly think America’s favorite airhead-heiress, Paris Hilton, bought her $450,000 Mercedes-Benz SLR-McLaren because she wanted something really fast to take to an autocross or track day, or that she immediately went out and bought an autographed painting of legendary Mercedes race driver John Fitch piloting an original 300 SLR to hang on her bedroom wall?
Of course she didn’t; she just wanted to one-up her girlfriends in their SL55 AMG roadsters and CL600 coupes, late-model Benzes that cost “only” $140,000 or so.
A $500 ’85 Dodge Aries would be just as effective at getting Ms. H. to and from the various nightclubs, malls, restaurants and whatever other places she visits. Plus, it might even be easier to give the paparazzi the slip in a vehicle that doesn’t scream to the rest of the world, “Look at me! I’m rich and famous!”
Oh, that’s right, flaunting one’s wealth, power and sex appeal is standard operating procedure here in Tinseltown. Anything less would be doing a disservice to all of your fellow hypocritical, egomaniacal and overpaid prima donnas.
The point I’m trying to make, folks, is that just because someone can afford one of these cars doesn’t mean that he or she should buy one. If you can’t appreciate the mystique and history behind the badge, then what can you appreciate?
Tom Anderson, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.