The Dukes of Hazzard put this Dodge Charger on the map



In the early eighties the most intense rivalry on television wasn't among vain leading men or voluptuous screen sirens but two American muscle cars. Audiences of millions both sides of the Atlantic tuned in every Saturday afternoon to watch two iconic cars vie for the most thrilling chase and the most daredevil stunt of the week. Each show had its handsome leads, sultry sidekicks and preposterous plots but the car was always very much the star.

Knight Rider was high-concept and high-tech with KITT, a jet black Pontiac Trans-Am with more gadgets than a top of the line Lexus, literally playing a speaking role. The car was suave, svelte and so cool that it acted the Hoff off screen. In comparison, the garish orange Dodge Charger of The Dukes of Hazzard was, like its drivers Bo and Luke, hearty, hunky and humorous. It lacked the optional extras of KITT and, in fact, its most memorable feature was that the doors were welded shut and the drivers simply jumped through the window. But what it lacked in gadgets and gizmos, it more than made up for in grunt and gas-guzzling power. There was nothing clever or pretentious about the show. It was a simple all-American outlaws versus officers caper. If Knight Rider was the modern and sophisticated North then Dukes was the laid-back spirit of the old South. General Lee had a confederate flag painted on the roof and when the horn sounded, it played the first 12 notes of Dixie, the anthem of the South. If KITT had brains, General Lee had the brawn; where Michael Knight would think fast, Bo and Luke would simply drive fast.

But though each episode was played for laughs and light relief for the television executives and car manufacturers, this was serious business. By the time The Dukes of Hazzard ran in 1979, the second-generation Charger was already a decade old, but it nonetheless served as one of the greatest promotions any car has enjoyed. For when the commercial breaks ended, the action-packed adverts for the car began. The series became synonymous with gravity-defying stunts as cousins Bo and Luke got airborne to outrun the sheriff's men and turn the head of Daisy Duke. Those working on the show say more than 300 Chargers were used during the series, at least one per episode, as the increasingly dangerous stunts saw chassis after chassis buckle, bend and break. Such was the casualty rate that it became difficult to replace the cars and, in the last series, with the budget itself at breaking point, they were forced to use archive footage and scale models.

Though the Charger became best known for drifting round the hairpins of Hazzard county, Chrysler's design brief was to make a serious challenger to Ford in the world of Nascar racing. Dominance on the track would bring dominance in the market, or so the theory went. With the Mustang very much the benchmark, Dodge gave the charger a butch, fastback body with hidden headlights that flipped into view with a switch of a button, a distinctive electric shaver grille and electroluminescent dials. The bonnet was endless and the wheel arches bulged with rubber-burning intent. Power was provided by a 426 cubic inch incarnation of the legendary, Nascar-winning Chrysler Hemi. Its looks talked but it was also blessed with a very dashing pair of trousers.

Its initial Nascar appearances were blighted by a tendency to lift off the ground at speeds exceeding 240kph, a feature that was used to full advantage in The Dukes of Hazzard but was more of a hindrance on the track. To solve this problem a spoiler was fitted and the Charger became the first production car fitted with a spoiler as standard. This modification worked wonders and, with traction assured, the Charger won the coveted Nascar challenge in 1967, giving Chrysler both a pole and promotional position that other marques coveted.

With dominance on the track the prime driver for development, the design was tweaked year-on-year to adopt the latest aerodynamic style cues. The '69 model - the one used in The Dukes of Hazzard - was butcher and braver, trading sleek lines for a more muscular look. Just under 90,000 of these cars were made, with no customer purchasing more than Warner Brothers. But despite success on the screen, the '69 model did not repeat these successes on the track and it quickly evolved into the 500 and then the Daytona. In the seventies the design changed more dramatically, making it look much more like a Trans Am. But sales dwindled as the allure of the earlier models was lost and the model finally ceased production in 1978.

David Haye record

Total fights: 32
Wins: 28
Wins by KO: 26
Losses: 4

MATCH INFO

Manchester United 2 (Heaton (og) 42', Lindelof 64')

Aston Villa 2 (Grealish 11', Mings 66')

FA Cup semi-final draw

Coventry City v Manchester United 

Manchester City v Chelsea

- Games to be played at Wembley Stadium on weekend of April 20/21. 

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Sri Lanka-India Test series schedule

1st Test July 26-30 in Galle

2nd Test August 3-7 in Colombo

3rd Test August 12-16 in Pallekele

How to play the stock market recovery in 2021?

If you are looking to build your long-term wealth in 2021 and beyond, the stock market is still the best place to do it as equities powered on despite the pandemic.

Investing in individual stocks is not for everyone and most private investors should stick to mutual funds and ETFs, but there are some thrilling opportunities for those who understand the risks.

Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank, says the 20 best-performing US and European stocks have delivered an average return year-to-date of 148 per cent, measured in local currency terms.

Online marketplace Etsy was the best performer with a return of 330.6 per cent, followed by communications software company Sinch (315.4 per cent), online supermarket HelloFresh (232.8 per cent) and fuel cells specialist NEL (191.7 per cent).

Mr Garnry says digital companies benefited from the lockdown, while green energy firms flew as efforts to combat climate change were ramped up, helped in part by the European Union’s green deal. 

Electric car company Tesla would be on the list if it had been part of the S&P 500 Index, but it only joined on December 21. “Tesla has become one of the most valuable companies in the world this year as demand for electric vehicles has grown dramatically,” Mr Garnry says.

By contrast, the 20 worst-performing European stocks fell 54 per cent on average, with European banks hit by the economic fallout from the pandemic, while cruise liners and airline stocks suffered due to travel restrictions.

As demand for energy fell, the oil and gas industry had a tough year, too.

Mr Garnry says the biggest story this year was the “absolute crunch” in so-called value stocks, companies that trade at low valuations compared to their earnings and growth potential.

He says they are “heavily tilted towards financials, miners, energy, utilities and industrials, which have all been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic”. “The last year saw these cheap stocks become cheaper and expensive stocks have become more expensive.” 

This has triggered excited talk about the “great value rotation” but Mr Garnry remains sceptical. “We need to see a breakout of interest rates combined with higher inflation before we join the crowd.”

Always remember that past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Last year’s winners often turn out to be this year’s losers, and vice-versa.

JOKE'S ON YOU

Google wasn't new to busting out April Fool's jokes: before the Gmail "prank", it tricked users with mind-reading MentalPlex responses and said well-fed pigeons were running its search engine operations .

In subsequent years, they announced home internet services through your toilet with its "patented GFlush system", made us believe the Moon's surface was made of cheese and unveiled a dating service in which they called founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page "Stanford PhD wannabes ".

But Gmail was all too real, purportedly inspired by one – a single – Google user complaining about the "poor quality of existing email services" and born "millions of M&Ms later".

Super Saturday race card

4pm: Mahab Al Shimaal Group 3 | US$350,000 | (Dirt) | 1,200m
4.35pm: Al Bastakiya Listed | $300,000 | (D) | 1,900m
5.10pm: Nad Al Sheba Turf Group 3 | $350,000 | (Turf) | 1,200m
5.45pm: Burj Nahaar Group 3 | $350,000 | (D) | 1,600m
6.20pm: Dubai City of Gold Group 2 | $300,000 | (T) | 2,410m
6.55pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Group 1 | $600,000 | (D) | 2,000m
7.30pm: Jebel Hatta Group 1 | $400,000 | (T) | 1,800m

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

The bio

Favourite food: Japanese

Favourite car: Lamborghini

Favourite hobby: Football

Favourite quote: If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough

Favourite country: UAE

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

RECORD BREAKER

Youngest debutant for Barcelona: 15 years and 290 days v Real Betis
Youngest La Liga starter in the 21st century: 16 years and 38 days v Cadiz
Youngest player to register an assist in La Liga in the 21st century: 16 years and 45 days v Villarreal
Youngest debutant for Spain: 16 years and 57 days v Georgia
Youngest goalscorer for Spain: 16 years and 57 days
Youngest player to score in a Euro qualifier: 16 years and 57 days

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

The bio

Studied up to grade 12 in Vatanappally, a village in India’s southern Thrissur district

Was a middle distance state athletics champion in school

Enjoys driving to Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah with family

His dream is to continue working as a social worker and help people

Has seven diaries in which he has jotted down notes about his work and money he earned

Keeps the diaries in his car to remember his journey in the Emirates


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