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Wretched Excess, RideLust Style

Posted in auto industry, Car Accessories, General, Motorcycle by Kurt Ernst | September 8th, 2010 | 8 Responses |

I think it was Robin Williams who first said, “cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you make too much money”. When it comes to cars, bikes and other gear head objects of desire, there’s usually a fine line between “expensive” and “what are you, on crack?”. I have no problem with Sterling Moss paying $1.7 million for a Porsche RS63 Spyder, since Porsche won’t be making any more of them and the car had a significant racing history. Likewise, if you’ve got the $1 million or so it takes to get into a Bugatti Veyron, I salute you; there probably won’t be another car like it in the history of the world, so now is a good time to pony up if you’ve got the coin.

Still, there are times when I run across something for sale that makes me scratch my head and ponder who, exactly, would be dumb enough to spend that kind of money on something. Recently, I’ve come across three examples of just such wretched excess bordering on insanity. If you’ve got the money and you’re seriously thinking of buying any one of these items, do yourself a favor and check into rehab first. Or better yet, send me the money for, um, safekeeping while you get that monkey off your back. I’m here for you, faithful readers.

Atop the list of “you’ve got to be kidding me with the price” comes a $37,000 car wax, courtesy of Brough & Howarth. The wax is formulated in Athens, Greece, from refined fruit oils, local beeswax and imported Brazilian carnauba wax. Only one marble enclosed vat of the magic paste exists worldwide, and $37k doesn’t buy it – per Motor Authority, that’s just the price for Brough & Howarth to wax your car with the stuff.

No, seriously; the wax is HOW MUCH?

I don’t care what you car is worth, there isn’t a wax in the world worth the price of a 2011 Mustang GT Premium. I promise not to laugh if you spend a grand or two on car care for your Veyron, but thirty seven large? If you have that kind of coin and it sounds like a reasonable invenstment, I’d be willing to wax your car for just $35,000. In fact, I’ll have a naked supermodel use her body as the applicator for that price, and I’ll even dig the wax out of you logos with a toothbrush. Just remember to tip me generously.

Next on the list of I’ve-got-more-money-than-common-sense motoring accessories comes a $1,390 spare tire cover. Is it made of ceramic armor and Kevlar? Is it guaranteed to prevent tire theft and stop a bullet from a high powered rifle? No, but it is spin-painted by British artist Damien Hirst, and Autoblog tells us that Other Criteria is selling them as we speak.

Spin art stopped being cool when I was 10 or so...

Do I even need to tell you why this is a bad idea? Do I need to remind you that painted tire covers last about a year before they fade, crack and look like hell? Do I really need to remind you that your $1,500 tire cover would last all of five minutes on the streets of any major U.S. city before it was stolen and listed on Craigslist or eBay? If you still want one, I’ll save you a few dollars over the Damien Hirst tire cover. I’ll spin paint one for you, in any colors you want, for just $750 plus shipping and handling. Hell, I’ll even throw it in free of charge with my $35,000 naked-supermodel-wax job. If that’s not solid value, I don’t know what is.

Finally, Autoevolution tells us of a one-of-a-kind custom Harley, soon to be for sale at Bartels Harley-Davidson. Bartels, who call themselves the “Harley dealership to the stars” has commissioned artist Jack Armstrong to create a one off, “Cosmic Starship” themed hog. The asking price is a cool $1 million, and a sign to accompany the bike will read “If you are not Lady GaGa, Scarlett Johansson or Sylvester Stallone DO NOT TOUCH THIS HARLEY”. There aren’t any pictures of the bike, since the public reveal is set for October 21. That gives you plenty of time to hit the lottery and change your name to Sylvester Stallone.

Even this won't set you back a million dollars.

When the pinnacle of your cultural experience includes only Lady GaGa, Scarlett Johansson and Sly Stalone, maybe you need to get out more often. I had no idea who Jack Armstrong was, and after viewing his website I still don’t have a clue. He likes to compare himself to Andy Warhol, but aside from the fact that both artists worked with paint, I failed to see any similarity. Even though I’ve met Julian Schnable’s daughter, Lola, I’m no art critic. Don’t take my word that Armstrong will have the historical staying power of say, Thomas Kinkade. I could be wrong, and his stuff could be worth millions after he’s dead. I wouldn’t want to ponder what a Warhol painted Harley would sell for these days, but I think a million bucks would sound like a bargain.

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8 Responses

  1. motzus says:

    This is what the marketing people call “anchoring.” Some company will provide a ridiculous expensive item to “top off” their line of products. The intention it not really to sell that product (though they would happily do so if you want it and have the bucks). The intention is that you would compare every other item that they sell to the expensive item. Thus thinking that their normally expensive items are quite reasonably priced compared to the ridicously expensive item. Think it does not happen to you? You’re probably wrong. There are MANY studies that show that anchoring works. Most people have no idea what an items true worth is. Most people are only able to determine “value” by comparing items to other similar items. Most people are also lazy. So if a manufacturer provides a very simple way to compare price by providing the expensive item for you then then can increase their sales of lower priced but expensive items. This is especially prevalent in luxury goods.

  2. Kurt says:

    motzus, what you’re really saying is that I overpaid for my $30 Snap-On 12V test light…

  3. Shahroz says:

    see, coming from a city known for its money, i’ve learned how the ultra rich think…. the more expensive, the better.

    let’s say I come to kurt for his supermodel car waxing services and pay $35,000,and get a great service and everything, car’s looking like a mirror, etc.
    But then motzus comes along and gets the $37K wax….
    now me being ultra-rich, i have lost all sense of money and take a vow that my 2nd veyron should be waxed at a price higher, if not equal, than what motzus paid….just so that i can be better
    it’s how they think :)

  4. Kurt says:

    Shahroz, you’re in Dubai, right? Maybe I should move there and start a car detailing busines…

  5. Shahroz says:

    haha yes sir!
    well i’m currently in toronto for university
    but dubai’s home for me :)

  6. Kurt says:

    Dubai is definitely on my “places to see” list, and I love Toronto. Toronto’s got some serious money, but the city isn’t flashy. If the weather were better, the population would be huge.

  7. […] while back we told you about a one-off Harley Davidson that was being painted by Jack Armstrong for Bartel’s Harley-Davidson (the Harley Dealer to the […]