The battle-scarred General

The General Lee is a 1969 Dodge Charger from the television series, and more recently the film of The Dukes of Hazzard. The car appeared in all but one episode of the television show.

The car's name is a reference to American Civil War general Robert E. Lee. The Charger was finished in bright orange with a Confederate battle flag painted on the roof, the words ‘GENERAL LEE’ over each door, and of course the number ‘01’ on each door. Since it was built as a race car, the doors were welded shut, leaving the Dukes to climb in and out through the windows. Through the history of the TV show, an estimated 309 Chargers were used and largely destroyed.

The idea for the General Lee was developed from the bootlegger Jerry Rushing's car, which was named after Lee's favourite horse, Traveller. Traveller was also the name of the car in Moonrunners, the 1975 movie precursor to The Dukes of Hazzard.

The car featured here is an actual General Lee stunt car preserved in on-screen condition following the completion of the 2005 ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ full-length movie featuring Jessica Simpson, Willie Nelson, Burt Reynolds, Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott. Unlike some of the less-fortunate in-flight examples, stunt car No. 20 performed several screen-used rear-end slides, fish tailing, the drifting scene around Lee Circle and the climactic final racing scene when the General Lee was being chased by a black Shelby.

One of very few 4-speed cars used in the production, stunt adaptations include a unique separate hand brake for the rear wheels and a full roll cage. Under the hood is a 383 CI V8 Magnum engine backed by a 4-speed manual transmission, and an aluminium radiator was installed. Inside is a tan interior, Hurst T-handle floor shifter and brake handle, large-face tach with shift light, and a CB radio. It also rides on American Racing Vector 10-spoke turbine wheels with BF Goodrich Radial T/A raised white-letter tyres.

Mecum Auctions will be offering this very 1969 Dodge Charger ‘General Lee’ at their upcoming Indy auction between the 14-19th May. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos: © Courtesy of Mecum Auctions.

Dodge, FilmKit Boothby