For $4,500, Duke It Out In This MiataS

The MX-5 is generally considered to be the conclusion people jump to when the question of sports car offers the best bang for your buck is raised. However, if the question at hand is what's a Miata that can jump, then perhaps today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe General Lee-homage would be the answer. That is, unless its price is too many bucks for the bang.

Tom Wopat is six foot, one inch tall, and John Schneider is an even more nose bleed inducing six foot, three. Together as the Dukes of Hazzard they brought fast drivin,' corrupt law enforcement vexing and, most importantly of all, Daisy Duke, to TV audiences week after week. That is of course until salary disputes forced the pair to walk-off the series after the fifth season. It was never that same after that.

I mention the height of each former TV staple because while their statures wasn't an an issue for them slipping through the open windows of their 1969 Dodge Charger, affectionately known as the General Lee for its confederate flag over orange paint scheme, it may prove a deal killer for today's similarly dressed 1996 Mazda Miata.

For $4,500, Duke It Out In This MiataS

Unless you've spent the past couple of decades practicing being extreme Amish, or suffering from a Guinness Book-worthy food coma, then you know the Miata, you love the Miata, you want a Miata. The '96 here represents the first generation of the beloved sports car - the only one with pop-up headlights which makes it in my book the best of the breed.

Along with those lights is a 1,839-cc edition of Mazda's DOHC BP, in this usage making a healthy 133-bhp at 6500 rpm. There's also one of the sweetest five-speed gearboxes known to man, 4-wheel disc brakes, and an IRS set up in back. Plus that's all topped by a convertible two-seat body that doesn't flex like a roid-rager at Muscle Beach.

For $4,500, Duke It Out In This MiataS

The most interesting aspect of the MX-5 however is its universal appeal and inability to be pigeon-holed by any stereotype other than being awesome. Women love the Miata. Gymkhana kings love them. Gay men, mid-life crises sufferers, and tweedy college professors, they all can slip confidently behind the wheel of one, safe in the knowledge that they are not defined by the car they drive.

This Miata, not so much.

The original General Lee was an expression of a certain type of Americana - a middle finger in the face of all things not Southernly Comfortable if you will. Painting a Japanese sports car - an origin and model type so antitypical American - that this car could be seen as either a desperate any-port-in-the-storm homage, or a similar eff-you only this time to Dixie.

For $4,500, Duke It Out In This MiataS

Whatever the motive, the General Lee paint is said to be brand spankin‘ new and the car itself is claimed to only have 78,257 miles on it. Also on it is the optional hard top, which helps make the Illusion that this is driven by one of the Duke boys complete. Wheels are stock Miata 7-spokes, although sporting black paint instead of the factory silver. Overall the car is described as being in excellent condition.

It may seem weird to have dressed a Miata in the General Lee's clothes, but then that orange hue and confederate flag, along with the aspirational 01 on the doors has become part of the public consciousness, transcending the original TV and execrable movie inevitably based thereupon. These days, it wouldn't seem untoward to paint your man cave toilet in the same color scheme so you can drop a deuce in ol' #1.

But before you run off to buy masking tape and rattle cans, you need to weigh in on what the seller of this General Lee-ata is asking for its title. Do you think that its $4,500 price tag is worthwhile Hazzard pay? Or, does that amount make this Duke a puke?

You decide!

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