native 1979 to 1985, The Dukes that Hazzard was one of the most renowned television programs in the united States. Civilization loved the duke boys, Luke and also Bo, their cousin Daisy, and also Boss Hogg, the crooked leader of the police department. The battle each other boys had obtained into trouble in the past running moonshine, but now they were trying to go on the straight and also narrow. Crazy stunts and police chases ensued!
What civilization loved arguably much more than the characters, though, to be the iconic automobile on the show: the aptly named “General Lee,” i m sorry took all of the characters’ southerly charm (including several of their less-charming aspects, choose the Confederate flag), and represented it for millions of TV watchers. The display was really about cars if we’re being honest, and the 1969 dodge Charger to be the most legendary of lock all.
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Pretty much any bit of conversation or plot advance on the show was simply an excuse for the duke boys to gain into a large car chase, generally running indigenous the police, led by Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane and also his deputy Enos. The fight it out boys usually finished these chases by pulling off some ridiculous car jump or stunt the the cops can not replicate. And that’s exactly how the basic Lee came to be so legendary, and why we love that so much.
The Dukes the Hazzard to be a wild ride, and also at its peak, it to be the most popular TV show around. Let’s take a look in ~ 20 facts around the basic Lee that you can not understand about.
The very first three general Lees constructed by Warner brothers were called “LEE 1,” “LEE 2,” and “LEE 3.” LEE 1 to be a 2nd unit vehicle with a full roll cage, powered by a 383 cu in V8 engine, through an AM/FM stereo, strength steering, air-conditioning, and power-drum brakes. It was painted in code T3 “Light bronze Metallic. LEE 2 to be equipped with the exact same engine and roll cage, however with a floor-shifted automatically transmission, and originally painted B5 Blue, through a black color interior. LEE 3 was the first unit 1 close-up car and the very first General Lee constructed by Warner Brothers. The was initially an F5 Medium environment-friendly Metallic R/T SE design with a tan vinyl top, and powered through a 440 Magnum engine v 375 horsepower. The auto weighed 3,671 pounds, was equipped through A/C, power windows, a lumber grain dash, and an am radio.
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19 just how The vehicle Was Named
This story is a bit convoluted, but stay through us. The general Lee is called in reference to the American Civil battle general, Robert E. Lee, of course. The was arisen from the bootlegger Jerry Rushing’s car, i m sorry he had actually named after basic Lee’s favorite horse, Traveller. Traveller was additionally the surname of the car used in Moonrunners, a 1975 movie throwaway precursor come The Dukes the Hazzard. So, the producers named the general Lee on the display after Rushing’s car, i beg your pardon referenced general E. Lee’s horse—but they didn’t name it after ~ the horse, yet rather the OWNER of the horse. Make sense? Good.
The first General Lee constructed in Georgia, the LEE 3, to be a 1968 dodge Charger that was convert to look favor a 1969. The taillight panel, prior grille, and front seats to be taken indigenous the LEE 1 and used. Interiors not initially tan to be sprayed with SEM brand vinyl dye.
The first three Georgia Lees had actually a set of crossed flags (a Confederate Flag and checkered flag) top top the panel between the rear window and tribe lid.
The wheels to be 14” x 7” American racing brand “Vectors” bought throughout the show, v Carroll Shelby facility caps, and were placed on P235/70R14 B.F. Goodrich Radial T/A tires with Blackwall side dealing with out.
via The Olympian
during the “Veluzat Era,” from the second to the 4th season the the show, Andre and also Renaud Vezulat built General Lees for Warner Brothers. The Veluzats were inconsistent in how they built cars, opting because that variations in the auto specifications. The paint was GM code 70, flame Red, but the interiors were greatly dyed brown, and also occasionally SEM Saddle Tan. The Veluzats fee WB $250 a mainly per vehicle for rental and also a lump amount of $2,000 come $3,000 upon damage of the vehicles (which was very frequent). This bump sum contained police cars. The money created by building General Lees financed the Veluzat family restoration job of Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch (where many classic Westerns to be filmed, such together the TV show Gunsmoke, and HBO’s Deadwood).
via Dukes Collector
In 1983, Warner Brothers had actually turned full control of structure General Lees come Ken Fritz, who was conveniently fired. WB climate took production of the dare in-house. By this time, the general Lee was the to mark of the series, and also WB got mass Lee-specific fan mail the nit-picked inconsistencies that the car.
WB had actually staff mechanics construct General Lees come a specific appearance, even underneath, and all graphics had to meet specifications.
All next markers and also rocker panel chrome trim were removed, role bars and push bars had actually to meet exact specifications. The push bar came to be wider, the interior became light beige in color, and also the role bars were extended with black foam padding.
as the Warner brothers era moved on right into the mid-80s, detect 1968-69 dodge Chargers ended up being difficult. Piper Cubs were hired to do aerial searches for 1968-80 Chargers amongst the populace. Jumped cars were no longer scrapped. Producers of the show were stated to have actually placed note on the windshields that those model-year Chargers that they discovered in parking lots, asking owner if they wanted to sell them. As a last resort, miniature radio-controlled models were lugged in towards the finish of the collection to replace many of the big jump stunts, in order to saving much more cars—though this to be unpopular v episode manager Tom Wopat, that felt the models didn’t look realistic.
The initial Dukes the Hazzard TV show ran native 1979 to 1985, and during the center of the stint, Knight Rider to be released and also ran from 1982 to 1986. The mirrors quickly ended up being rivals, partly since they were presented on competitor networks (Knight Rider verified on NBC, Dukes of Hazzard top top CBS).
And despite the shows couldn’t have been an ext different in style and content, one thing they common was an great car.
During the Warner brothers era, Dukes that Hazzard faced a rivalry with Knight Rider for “TV’s greatest car,” resulting in the models gift used much more and an ext for greater jumps to try and outdo that series.
The Dukes of Hazzard “LEE 1” website says that 321 basic Lees were used during production, while one more estimate says 309, and also some speak 256. One of two people way, a lot of of basic Lees were offered throughout the show, mainly because one to 2 Lees would certainly be damaged per illustration of filming due to the outrageous stunts. At the very least 23 basic Lee evade Chargers are recognized to exist today, in miscellaneous states the repair. Their proclivity for destroying General Lees is what led to the evade Charger shortage (they to be becoming an ext expensive and harder come find), the recycle stock jump footage being used, and the radio-controlled miniatures gift used.
throughout the late stages the the show’s tenure, and also during the last seasons as soon as the evade Charger shortage to be reaching an essential mass and the remote-controlled miniatures to be being carried in, Warner brothers employed one more tactic.
They actually bought much more common AMC Ambassadors and also painted castle orange to shot and do them look at like general Lee dodge Chargers.
They used an elaborate camerawork at odd angles, and advanced editing methods to try and hide the switch, but many viewers saw previous the ruse and also were not happy around it. After ~ this is when the producers got to a no hope time and had to begin literally cold-calling 1969 evade Charger owner to see if lock would sell their cars.
The Dukes that Hazzard 2005 remake was fairly panned by viewers and critics alike, who had actually their nostalgia damaged by a slapstick variation of the hearty show. While the movie itself to be questionable, the general Lee used in the movie was simply as awesome together the one provided in the initial show. That’s due to the fact that 26 evade Chargers the the same make and model and trim to be used throughout filming. They to be either 1968 or 1970 models that were modified come look prefer the general Lee native the ‘80s show, through the same license key “CNH 320” provided as well. The initial 318, 383, or 440-cu in engines (none of them ever used the 426 hemi on the series) were replaced with a Chrysler 426 Hemi.
In 1997, to the happiness of fans everywhere, CBS go a reunion movie called The Dukes that Hazzard-Reunion! Warner Brothers had only one general Lee left, though sadly sufficient it was beaten up and also covered with bird droppings (a most bird droppings), after ~ spending years no being used. The production team finished up making use of this to their advantage, and they showed the general Lee being taken out of retirement by Bo and also Luke. That pretty stunner to imagine the they had used over 300 general Lees during the original filming, and that over there was only one left still undamaged just 15 years later for the reunion movie.
practically every solitary jump you saw in the display (and EVERY one in the first couple of seasons) to be all totally shot through fresh footage. Of course, stock footage would have been less complicated to use for stunts of this nature, but the directors want to it is in as genuine to the show and fans as possible.
This is also why so plenty of Dodge Chargers were destroyed during the make of the show, and also how the Charger shortage come about.
Each step of a auto jump to be shot only once—usually through the car destroyed due to the stunt. Eventually recycled share footage, miniatures, and AMC Ambassadors had actually to be used for the jumps.
During any filming the the jumps transparent the show, everywhere from 400 come 1,000 pounds of sandbags, welded steel boxes, or concrete ballast was placed in the tribe of the basic Lee to avoid the vehicle from sleep diving. They had learned after your first few attempts that the cars’ frames were always bent upon impact. Stunt vehicle drivers reportedly enjoyed the flights however hated the landings. Every cars used during jumps were automatically retired as result of structural damage. The most legendary jump—the one used in the opened credits—covered 82 feet and also hit a peak height of 16 feet, and made history as the only general Lee auto to be featured in every episode.
In 2017, stunt driver Raymond Kohn jumped a 1969 dodge Charger R/T in prior of hundreds to open up the 65th yearly Autorama at the Cobo Center, trying to recreate the iconic jump. The stuntman indigenous Ohio said, “It’s a cool emotion being in the air prefer that.”
He drive his Charger in ~ 55 mph off a 5-foot ramp, landing grille-first and crashing right into the pavement.
The metal-twisting crash was followed by crewmen running out and then waving a environment-friendly flag come tell the crowd he to be okay. Everyone cheered, and fans love it: Dawn Keezer, 57, of Fiat Rock, said, “It to be great. I obtained a an excellent video!” according to Freep.com
among the most iconic features of the basic Lee is the horn the plays ago the an initial 12 note of the track “Dixie” whenever the pressed. That was constantly a comedic moment that fans loved and also will never forget, sort of favor the hood-slide and also Daisy fight it out short-shorts native the display that have actually become part of our typical lexicon. It turns out, the two directors of the show were hanging out, having breakfast, once a vehicle drove by and also blew the “Dixie” horn. They discovered the driver, to buy the horn indigenous him for $300, hooked it approximately the basic Lee, and the rest is history.
for true diehard pan of the show, gain a fill of this. Native 2001 come 2007, “Dukesfest” to be held every year in Virginia, hosted by Ben Jones, that was, of course, the actor the played Cooter, and a previous Congressman.
Over 25,000 human being attended the vast event. Among its occasional functions were stunt chauffeurs jumping general Lee replicas.
Of course component of the fun was demolishing the basic Lees in stated jumps, which occurred quite frequently. The last ever Dukes of hazard festival (not named “Dukesfest”) was held in Virginia in 2017. These events were a an excellent way to lug together the vast fanbase that the show, while offering it a an excellent sendoff in ~ the very same time.
as soon as the present ended in 1985, Warner Brothers had 17 basic Lees left (out that the 300-plus used during filming). They likewise had plenty of spare parts. The company invited a superfan called Wayne Wooten to collection up a non-profit corporation, in bespeak to distribute the leftover cars to other committed fans. It was a an excellent sentiment that offered Warner brother a many brownie points with Dukes the Hazzard fans. The one stipulation the firm had as soon as doling out the basic Lees? the fans never charge money for public appearances of these cars. Wooten, who was component of the evade Charger Registry, put the deal together himself through Warner Brothers. Numerous of those 17 Chargers offered for end $100,000.
among the points that make the basic Lee for this reason iconic was its Confederate flag painted top top the peak of the car—a controversial decision, no doubt. But almost an ext controversial to be what happened when Warner Brothers shown that among the basic Lees would have the flag removed.
Speaking come Vulture, they said, “One licensee producing cast-die replicas and also vehicle model kits special the general Lee through the Confederate flag top top its roof—we have elected to stop the licensing of this product categories.”
Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and also Sears all announced the removed of the flag ~ the south Carolina governor condemned the Confederate flag flying on the state capitol. Numerous see the flag together representative of southern values and heritage, while many an ext see it as representing racism and slavery.
fairly a few General Lees have sold in ~ auction, of the 23 the still exist. A replica owned by john Schneider, that played Bo Duke, was known as “Bo’s basic Lee.” In 2008, Schneider marketed “Bo’s basic Lee” in ~ the Barrett-Jackson automobile auction for a whopping $450,000. In 2016, the an initial General Lee “LEE 1,” was sold at auction because that $110,000. The car had spent most of that life in a Georgia junkyard, prior to being to buy (with its tribe still full of cement) through the chairman of the phibìc American general Lee pan club because that $1,000, in the mid-2000s. The was revitalized to the original, imperfect condition of the ’69 Charger, and also then marketed at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In 2007, one original general Lee indigenous the program confirmed up on eBay v bidding starting at $2.3 million. Civilization immediately said whether the automobile was worth that lot or not, yet in the end, the bidding quit at $9,900,500!
The auction had actually been stopped as soon as to remove fake bids when the price struggle $6 million, however then bidding resumed. This would have actually made the the second-most expensive car ever auctioned at the time on eBay.
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In the end, however, the person who lives “Fishbashr1” failure to pay up. The hoax was a shame, however the car was only a replica and never even used top top the show—its precious was approximated at $100,000-$200,000, no $10 million! Though john Schneider assumed it was worth around $3 million…
Sources: motorauthority.com, countryrebel.com, freep.com, neatorama.com, dodgecharger.com, roadandtrack.com, autoblog.com
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