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The General Lee - from the DUKES OF HAZZARDGeneral Lee - Racing the backroads of Hazzard County is the General Lee, the mechanical star of the rural adventure THE DUKES OF HAZZARD/CBS/1979-85. The General Lee was a 1969 Dodge Charger (some 1970s used) with a 440 cubic inch Magnum V8 engine. Painted a bright racing hemi-orange (a.k.a. "Hugger Orange"), the General Lee displayed the racing numbers "01" on its side door, (ZERO because they started out with nothing; and ONE because they were going all the way!) and a replica of the Civil War rebel flag on its roof. Its specialized car horn tooted the 12 notes from the song "Dixie."

Originally, the General Lee, was a black, dented hulk sitting in Capitol City junkyard until Luke and Bo Duke (Tom Wopat/John Schneider) rescued it, installed a new engine (with the help of Cooter, the local mechanic), welded the doors shut for safety (like the NASCAR racers), and entered the Hazzard County Road Race Championship sponsored by the fat, little Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke). The General Lee won the race and a purse of $10,000. Uncle Jesse Duke (Denver Pyle), the family patriarch had christened the automobile the "General Lee" before the race. The license plate number is CNH320.

According to one report, the choice of which muscle car to use on the series was decided by the producers Picard and Wilson when they saw the transportation Captain pull up in a '69 Charger. Other sources report that specific model was used because it represents "NASCAR racing heritage" in the South.

The death-defying jumps so common to the series, required 500/1000 pounds of ballast to balance the car, otherwise it would have turned end-over-end in the air. The shock of one jump could ruin the structural integrity of the car. However, since there were 85,000 Chargers manufactured in 1969, the series prop department never worried about running out of cars to demolish. Fans of the show who requested photographs of General Lee were sent eight-by-ten glossies of the General autographed with tire-treads.

Luke and Bo Duke on the General Lee - Dukes of HazzardThe General Lee resurfaced on the TV movie The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion that aired on Friday April 25, 1997 on the CBS network. The reunion's storyline had Cooter (Ben Jones), now an ex-Congressman and Luke and Bo now NASCAR racers helping Uncle Jesse battle a local real estate developer who wanted to create a theme park at the expense of destroying local Hazzard Swamp. The episode also acknowledged the death of actor Sorrell Booke who played Boss Hogg on the original series. During the run of the first series, 150 cars were used and abused for 145 episodes. (only three used on the reunion special).

In preparation for the reunion movie, the back lots of Warner Brothers Studios were searched for the remnants of the General Lee vehicle used on THE DUKES OF HAZZARD TV series. The car (found abandoned with pigeon droppings all over its body) was towed "as is" to the shooting set and debuted in all its non-maintained glory sitting in an old barn until Bo and Luke got busy and restored it to its former sparkling beauty.

In the summer of 2005, the Hazzard County boys returned in the action adventure The Dukes of Hazzard: The Movie starring Seann William Scott as Bo Duke; Johnny Knoxville as Luke Duke; Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke; Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg; M.C. Gainey as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane; Lynda Carter as Pauline; Alice Greczyn as Lori and Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse.

TRIVIA NOTE: The backwoods chase scenes on the original series were shot 20 miles northwest of Los Angeles in the Lake Sherwood area on the Walt Disney Ranch. The first five episodes were filmed in and around Covington, Georgia.

The highest car jump appeared on episode No. 85 (nitrous oxide in the fuel boosted its flight); and the longest jump appeared in episode No. 129.

The rebel flag on the roof of the General Lee measures 54 inches across; the numbers 01 on the side door measures 20-inches high, 12-inches wide and four-inches thick. The four-inch high lettering "General Lee" that ran along the flat upper-part of the diprail was made of vinyl.

The unique "Dixie" horn sound used on the General Lee was first heard in the 1975 Burt Reynolds film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975).

On episode No. 5 "High Octane," Uncle Jesse revealed, he drove a car named "Sweet Tilly" during his moonshiner days (later called "Black Tilly" in episode No. 15 "Days of Shine and Roses").

On episode No. 19 "The Ghost of General Lee," The General Lee was driven into a lake with the Duke boys inside (actually two crooks who stole the car). The Duke boys used their alleged demise to their advantage and drove the General Lee about town (they hid in the car) and haunted Boss Hog.

On episode No. 95 a couple of payroll robbers heisted the General Lee and painted it black.

On episode No. 129 "Happy Birthday, General Lee" featured the origin story of the General Lee.

Cousin Daisy drove a yellow 1972 Road Runner (license FCH 630) last seen in episode No. 27 "The Runaway" (but later seen in episode No. 31 "Find Loretta Lynn"). Daisy's replacement car was a sassy white Jeep (her CB Handle is "Bo Beep" but she used "Country Cousin" on occasion).

Boss Hogg's car was called the Gray Ghost (first appeared on episode No. 15.).

In 1969, Dodge Chargers won 22 of the 54 major NASCAR races.

John Schneider who played Bo Duke on the series owns the very last General Lee used on the show. He keeps the car at his suburban home outside of Los Angeles. See also "Daisy Duke's Jeep"


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