Posted by: mattcolvin | March 30, 2009

Highway Robbery

I’ve been waiting for over a year for AutoArt to release its promised 1:18 scale diecast model of the Koenigsegg CCX, my favorite sports car. They have advertised it as “coming soon” for months, and finally sold a limited run of 60 at the Koenigsegg booth at the Geneva Auto Show. Then they promptly took the model back off the market for further retooling — apparently a black dusting cloth they had included on top of the model was rubbing off and discoloring the roof of the model with black.

Now one of these is on eBay. At that price I’m about as likely to buy a real Koenigsegg. (It’s a $1 million car.)

Fortunately, there’s some hope that AutoArt will come through with more and sell them through their usual avenues, instead of through eBay scalpers.


The tilt-up doors and removable roof that stows in the boot are beautiful pieces of model-making.

I feel just a little hypocritical, having just introduced my Mars Hill seniors to Girard’s idea of triangular desire and Veblen’s notions of ostentatious display and conspicuous consumption. But I justify it on the basis that my fascination with cars I’ll never own is more like a fascination with old frigates or warplanes than anything I’d actually stand a chance of owning.

But Veblen and Girard are undeniably correct about the marketing of such objects of desire. Consider the advertising Lamborghini uses to sell their $200,000 Gallardo:


  1. I attempted with arched brows in philosophy mode to analyze the advert. 50 seconds of that rot and my ears were bleeding, so I turned it off.

    Plus, I don’t understand what the vision of that small ugly car moving ultra slowly over the pavement is supposed to invoke in me.

  2. Well, yes, the U2 soundtrack is annoying.

    It’s not so much the car itself, as it is the policemen, welders, businessmen, and ipodding teens who all stop what they’re doing to gawk at it. Message: this is a car that can distract even busy New Yorkers to stop and enviously gaze at you. Get one, and you too can evoke triangular desire in others.

  3. The chain link fence grabber was the obvious image for me. Otherwise, I was just kind of confused, but I didn’t watch the whole thing. Thanks for the explanation.

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