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Chevrolet is sensitive about seeming to cash in on tragedy. The company is quick to point out that this special edition was pitched to Dale, who owned his own Chevrolet dealership, long before he died.

"When we started discussing this project with him," says Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet's general manager, "he took it as an honor to have his legendary status commemorated with such a special vehicle."

Chevy offered up a statement from Dale's widow, Teresa Earnhardt: "Dale was proud to have such a longstanding association with Chevrolet and the Richard Childress Racing Organization. I know that Dale would be pleased to know that his dream has been fulfilled."

Actually, this dream was fulfilled several times. Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet, his dealership in Newton, N.C., issued a few Earnhardt special editions, including a Lumina -- that was the car he raced before the Monte Carlo made a comeback -- and a Z28 Chevrolet Camaro.

I guess the magic number really is 3... as in times the price of stupid stickers. I'm with the lady quoted at the gas station; this is morbid. Moreover, it's exploitaitive on GM's part. And I'd not be surprised to learn the Earnhardt family isn't the victim so much as they're the instigators.

As a kid I saw more roadside memorials when I first moved to the East that I could count. I've become desensitized to it. If people will place themselves in harms way to leave a floral display tied to the tree where their loved one -died- in a car wreck, let 'em. I'll be shaking my head in wonder as I see the Intimidator badged Monte roll by with a real "investor" behind the wheel.

- Sco

Quick, toss me the keys to my Senna Prelude.


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