The Harkonnens must be nervous.
PATIENT: Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this...
DOCTOR: Well stop doing that then.
Ah, the old ones...
I don't remember reading any stipulation about the nature of where the cars are placed.
I guess my point is that with ideal conditions, i.e. an infinitely wide and straight track (plus no mechanical failures, infinite tyres, come on we all understand the meaning of the words "ideal conditions"), then collectively 1000 cars cover the same distance as one car going 1000 times the speed.
Similarly with ideal conditions, i.e. perfect data parallelism, then collectively 1000 processors can process the same amount of data as one processor which is 1000 times as fast.
So I don't think it's a completely meaningless statistic provided you understand that there are other limits imposed upon what you can and can't do than sheer processing grunt.
Here's a (somewhat dumb) analogy. Let's say a Formula 1 race car can do a nominal 250 MPH. (The real number doesn't matter.) If you had 1000 F1 cars lined up, side by side, then how fast can you go? You're not going 250,000 MPH, that's for sure.
No... but collectively you cover the same distance, right?
The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.