The Dukes of Hazzard features one of the most iconic TV cars around, The General Lee. Whatever happened to the orange 1969 Dodge Charger?
According to Top Speed, Jerry Rushing, a bootlegger, owned a customized Chrysler 300D named “Traveler” in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s horse. This inspired the 1975 film Moonrunners, which was later adapted into The Dukes of Hazzard. The car, The General Lee, pays homage to both Robert E. Lee and Jerry Rushing, a bootlegger-turned-race car driver.
Nearly every episode of the show showcased the TV car performing daring cliffhanger stunts, often involving near-impossible jumps. Across its 7-season run, The Dukes of Hazzard aired a total of 147 episodes. It’s been reported that as many as 300 of the iconic 1969 Dodge Chargers were destroyed for stunts on the series.
That said, it’s tough to know just how many original General Lee cars from Dukes of Hazzard survive to this day. Of course, there are many replicas of the fan-favorite TV car. One of which was owned by series star John Schneider. Unfortunately, that one was totaled in a Hurricane back in 2021.
A Pro Golfer Owns a Screen Used ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ General Lee
Of course, the opening credits of the Dukes of Hazzard feature an iconic moment: the General Lee jumping over Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. This jump, performed by LEE 1, the original General Lee, measures 16 feet high and 82 feet long.
In 2012, pro golfer Bubba Watson purchased this historic car for $121,000 at an auction. However, in the mid-2010s, a public backlash emerged over the Confederate flag on the General Lee’s roof. As a result, Watson allegedly had an American flag put in its place.
Several Screen Used ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ General Lees Are Known to Still Exist
Another screen used Dukes of Hazzard General Lee also faced scrutiny with changing times. The Volo Auto Museum in Crystal Lake, Illinois has a General Lee on display. According to CNN, the museum was urged to take the car out of the exhibit due to it having a Confederate Flag on the roof.
However, the museum decided to keep the car on display. “We feel the car is part of history, and people love it,” the museum’s director said in 2020. “We’ve got people of all races and nationalities that remember the TV show and aren’t offended by it whatsoever. It’s a piece of history and it’s in a museum.”
Following the cancellation of The Dukes of Hazzard in 1985, several original General Lees were repainted and showcased in other TV shows and movies. The podcast The Kibbie and Friends Show recently embarked on a quest to locate these iconic General Lee cars, uncovering their appearances in The Scarecrow and Mrs. King as well as the Mel Gibson film Forever Young.
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