Dukes of Hazzard General Lee

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DB537

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I know there has been some discussion in recent years that much of the car is no longer original since the restoration.

I saw this car in 2003 in its original condition and I can tell you that most of it has to be new parts.
 

JoeLuna33

New Member
To go from the pic on the trailer to the pics in the ad is quite the transformation. I loved that show as a kid and always wanted to slide across "The General's" hood.
 

Polsnulspace

Sr Member
I'd kill for a General Lee! Infact for the last few years I've been wanting two.

1: Exact replica of the General

and

2: A Chip Foose designed General.

Am I being greedy? Yeah probably but I don't care! :p

Going on what DB537 said about the level of restoration carried out does take away a bit too much of the originality of the car leaving it far less desirable as a screen used piece.....Pity!:unsure

Oh and just for some General Leeness......the jump at 0:15 is the all time, coolest looking jump ever.....in my opinion of course! ;)

The Dukes Of Hazzard TV Intro - YouTube
 

Monster Dave

Sr Member
The Barrette-Jackson show is amazing for anyone who's never been to it. The Scottsdale show is one that gets a HUGE amount of cars it because the weather here in AZ is so nice (New Years day it was 80 degrees!!).

I love going to the show, but at $50 to get it, the price is a bit steep. I'd love to go though and get a picture with Lee 1. That would be awesome - and get hung in my office for sure!!
 

Michaelsean

New Member
theres one every year at hot august nights in reno im not sure if its a replica or screen used but its bad ass there was a batmobile this year from the 89 movie but it was red lol
 

TomJoad

Member
Some forums says that the only remaining part left from the original car are the dashboard and the windshield.
 

DB537

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Some forums says that the only remaining part left from the original car are the dashboard and the windshield.
I believe they would be correct. None of the exterior body panels are original. I know for a fact that this car had no interior either, except one front seat, the steering wheel and the dashboard back when I saw it in 2003. The driver's side door, the entire front grille, the tail light panel, and the original 'Vector' wheels have been missing from the car since 1978.

The car as it is today is a very nice representation of what it once was, but most of it isn't original anymore.
 

Monster Dave

Sr Member
Which begs then to ask if it's just better to 'believe' that it's the same car that we saw on TV and endorse it as such, or to just admit that that car died many years ago and yes, this is a very nice 'representation' of what it once was.

humm....I'd rather believe the former but pay the going price of the latter.

Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too??? LOL.
 

Xenophon1

Member
I believe they would be correct. None of the exterior body panels are original. I know for a fact that this car had no interior either, except one front seat, the steering wheel and the dashboard back when I saw it in 2003. The driver's side door, the entire front grille, the tail light panel, and the original 'Vector' wheels have been missing from the car since 1978.

The car as it is today is a very nice representation of what it once was, but most of it isn't original anymore.
I don't understand car collectors and restorers. They seem to operate under the exact opposite ethic of movie prop collectors; that is, they replace body panels and use reproduction parts at the drop of a hat to make things look as new and shiny as possible, rather than preserving as much of the original as possible and living with some of the unavoidable ravages of time and "patina of age."

Case in point is this General Lee. As a prop collector I'd much, much rather have the original body panels even if they're busted to hell. They are the objects that were actually there during filming, that actually were the General Lee--not some abstract concept of "the car" as a unified object. From a prop restoration standpoint the thing to do would be to disassemble, sandblast, beat out, and bondo the hell out of the original body panels, and use replacements only where the originals are missing or beyond restoration. Yes, that would cost more and take more time. What they've done here is basically install a screen-used dashboard and windshield in a non-screen-used car, in the process destroying the screen-used car as such. A pity.

It reminds me of a Tucker (remember those? a good film with Jeff Bridges was made about them) that went to auction a while back--basically the only original part was the frame and dashboard. All of the body panels and dash inserts, interior, and bits and bobs were either newly fabricated reproductions or found period items that had never been near a Tucker or the Tucker factory before. To car collectors that's apparently good enough to make the car a Tucker and worth almost as much as one that's all-original, though collectors of most other items would cry foul. Imagine a Stradivarius violin--completely restored just like new from the factory, everything replaced but the neck! Clearly, it's better to replace that roughed-up old wood with all its scratches and dings with a new body rather than keep the old one, right? :lol

Personally, as a prop collector I'd love one of the damaged original bumpers or body panels from the General Lee; the restorers, as "car people" not "prop people," probably junked them...
 

Darth Mawr

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
But as the car was in 2003, it wasn't in drivable condition but now it is and I see this as important. It might have just as well been a cube of crushed metal as it was in 2003 in my opinion.

Vintage aircraft are restored to flying condition after crash recovery when nothing is left usable but the data plate and no one blinks an eye at these multimillion dollar restorations. But do this to a car and it's now considered just a reproduction. Go figure!
 

cayman shen

Master Member
How does such an iconic car get so neglected? There wasn't one single person involved with that show who had a free space in their garage?!

And as far as the "restoration" argument goes, I'd have to say this was so far gone it should be advertised as a replica which incorporates some original parts. Like you buy a rusty Graflex then replace everything but the clamp with Parks Graflex parts. Ya ain't got a real Graflex anymore, hoss.
 
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TJack

Master Member
Community Staff
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I don't understand car collectors and restorers. They seem to operate under the exact opposite ethic of movie prop collectors; that is, they replace body panels and use reproduction parts at the drop of a hat to make things look as new and shiny as possible, rather than preserving as much of the original as possible and living with some of the unavoidable ravages of time and "patina of age."
Not entirely true, in the VW club I belong to, there are many a car owner that has spent countless hours and $$ trying to restore their beetle back to as original as possible. I actually prefer the patina look myself - as my 68 so proudly displays :)
 

Darth Madden

New Member
I don't understand car collectors and restorers. They seem to operate under the exact opposite ethic of movie prop collectors; that is, they replace body panels and use reproduction parts at the drop of a hat to make things look as new and shiny as possible, rather than preserving as much of the original as possible and living with some of the unavoidable ravages of time and "patina of age."
Yeah, I guess I don't get car collectors either. If you restore a 1940's car with original 1940's parts then its fine to call it an original but if you retool engine parts and make new doors and all that stuff I would think that ruins it more than helps it.
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
The big problem with trying to restore something using as many of the original panels as possible is the cost begins to climb to a level where it is just not practical anymore. On something like a car, if one wants to preserve at least its drivability as a car, trying to work with panels that are so bent and rusted to hell just is not really in the cards as lets face it, cars of the 1960s are designed with planned obsolescence in mind. They are DESIGNED to wear out so customers will buy new ones. Stunt cars face harder lives than most other vehicles.

You kind of see similar issues in regards to restoration of vintage WW2 warbird aircraft for the airshow circuit. There are some real basket case aircraft being pulled off the bottoms of lakes and oceans now, not to mention being recovered from the most hostile places on Earth and you just see a few bits of metal. Yet, the state of warbird restoration has gotten to the point that a "restored" warbird might be something where you only had three original parts from the recovered aircraft as everything else had to be re-manufactured from the ground up. Building a new plane might be easier, but it wouldn't have the provinence or the pedigree of the "restored" one.

So, by that line of thinking, then yes I would say this car IS the General Lee number 1. In my case, I just like the fact that another Charger is back to looking like it did. Dukes trashed SO MANY of those old cars that it is a small miracle that the first of many to get trashed (such as the one they literally killed in the Evel Kneivel style 30 car jump a season or two later) actually has a decent engine under the hood and four wheels on it again. Heck, John Schneider himself poked fun at the number of chargers they trashed a few years ago when he "personalized" 10 Ertl 1/18 diecast Dodge Chargers by banging them up on camera in a similar fashion to how the full size ones got trashed, autographing them and selling them on eBay with the proceeds going to charity.
 

Monster Dave

Sr Member
I've got a picture somewhere in digital format from the TV series where a bunch (but not all) of the 300 destroyed during the show were all lined up and being cannibalized for parts. It's a really cool pic, but I can't find it at the moment.
 
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