Add Tiger Woods' black 2009 Cadillac Escalade to the list of modern history's most famous vehicles -- right up there with President John F. Kennedy's limousine and the Rosa Parks bus. So what will become of of General Motors-owned Escalade that Woods careened through his Florida neighborhood?
GM made a deal with Woods after his promotional role with Buick ended late last year to keep taking a bevy of GM vehicles for his personal use, including the Escalade and a Buick Enclave. So there are lots of Woods-occupied vehicles out there, just none in terrible shape like this one.
As to its fate, Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell says don't expect to find the beaten-up Escalade in a museum or on eBay anytime soon. Here's what's he tells Drive On is going to happen to it:
The vehicle will be repaired, firstly. This is a promotional/marketing vehicle -- the kinds of cars used for advertising, public displays, photography, etc. That makes this a little different than a garden-variety car repair - given its special usage. So I don't know what will happen until that repair is completed and analyzed. It could return to service as a promotional vehicle, meaning it would go back into the pool of cars that we use for various marketing activities. Or, on the other hand, we produce a lot of new vehicles. It's sometimes easier to take a new car and put it into this kind of role. In that case, the older vehicle could be re-purposed in many ways - we could retain ownership of it, using it for other internal duties, or we could indeed sell it off. Generally selling a company-owned vehicle means that it would go into an auction. So there are a few options.
Ironically, we expect the car -- with its bashed-in front end and windows broken where Woods' wife took a golf club to it, is worth more in damaged condition than repaired. A lot more.
Eventually, GM's Caldwell says the Escalade will be sold. He says he's not aware of a deluge of offers to buy it at present. But when the time comes, he says he doesn't think it will be an in-house, private placement arrangement. "I would caution folks from expecting that we'd arrange a special sale of it to any certain buyer in an ad-hoc manner," Caldwell says. Rather, he says "if and when they are sold, these kinds of vehicles almost always go thru a formal auction process, for a variety of reasons."
We know what became of JFK's limousine and the Rosa Parks bus. But who knows what happened to the other most famous vehicle of recent times, the Ford Bronco of slow-speed chase fame that carried O.J. Simpson to his arrest?
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Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY