1. What year and type car is the General Lee? The General Lee is portrayed by a 1969 Dodge Charger, often without references to "Dodge" onscreen - as the name badges were generally removed from on-screen vehicles. On the show, both 1968 and 1969 Chargers were used - with no record of a 1970 Charger used during the filming of the television series. Since the 68s were converted to look like 69s by changing the grill and taillights, it is difficult to tell the differences on-screen. Do you really want to know how to tell? Easy - the 68 Dodge Charger dashpad came to a point in the middle of the dash, while 69s are straight across. The dashpads were not changed on the show - its too much labor! Watch as Bo and Luke climb out of the car - the dash pads are clearly visible in front angled shots.
2. How many cars were used on the Dukes show? The most agreed upon number seems to hover around 309 vehicles, with 17 leaving Warner Brothers in 1991 complete with Certificates of Authenticity thanks to Wayne Wooten, founder of the Dodge Charger Registry. Up until 2005 two original close-up cars were in storage at Warner Brothers in California, along with the jump car from the "Hazzard in Hollywood" reunion film. The Valuzets of Melody Ranch built 229 of the original cars - and maintain a small museum in California with some remaining parts of screen used GLs. Watch for a close-up car as Cooter works on the General - many of them had distinctive chromed hood spring.
LEE ONE, as it is known, is the original General Lee built by Warner Brothers. It is seen on many of the Dukes Toys packages - as it is the only car that ever wore the chrome rocker panel moldings along it's side. It also sported cross flags behind the backglass (one a rebel flag and one a checkered race flag) - a feature that would disappear from the GL in the future.
3. What color is the General Lee? Often a hot topic among true Dukes fans. Most would agree it was not a factory Hemi Orange paint color - which would seem most natural considering it is a Mopar. Of all things a GM color seems to be the most popular considered screen accurate color called 1975 Corvette Flame Red (Code 70). Others include Hugger Orange and Big Bad Orange.
4. What CB is in the General Lee? The tv show's General Lee featured a Cobra 78x CB Radio and a Radio Shack Teardrop Base Antenna - both long out of production. Later in the series an Avanti antenna can be seen and is easily recognizable by its square base.
5. What is the license plate on the General Lee? Hazzard County CNH 320
6. What wheels were used on the General Lee? The General Lee had several size variations of a wheel made by American Racing until the early 80s known as the Vector Wheel. Featuring 10 distinct spokes - the wheel was typically used in a 14x7 size for close-ups and 15x7 for stunt cars. Early season episodes featured unique centercaps. The TV General Lee featured specific tires called "Winston Winners" - which, we understand, are still commercially available.
TRUE OR FALSE
The General Lee did not have door handles. FALSE
All General Lees sported factory door handles - but were simply not used as the doors were welded shut according to the script. Often it was a key to a scene, as baddies would grab the handle and try to open the door without success - usually resulting in Bo or Luke kicking the pistol out of their hands while they are distracted with the non-working door handle.
The General Lee had black interior. FALSE
The General Lee started life with a dark factory saddle tan - and later had a very light buckskin interior. Compare "One Armed Bandits" with a 6th Season episode and the difference is very clear - also note the differences in the pushbar - it started out very narrow, and got considerably wider in the later episodes.
The General Lee had a Hemi in the TV show. FALSE
The original GLs had 318s, 383s and 440 Magnums. Most wore identical Holley carbs and most were 3-speed 727 Automatic transmissions. Cars set up to perform the two-wheeled "skiing-stunt" sported the popular and reliable 318 engine - because it was lighter than the others!
My cousin's brother-in-laws college roommates drinking buddy found a real General Lee in a junkyard in Southern Arkansas. FALSE - well, more than likely.
General Lees after the first season were tightly controlled. Three were originally built by Warner Brothers and shipped to Georgia to use during the first five episodes. After production moved to California, most jumped General Lees were scrapped by removing the signature doors featuring the "01s" and cutting off the roof with the flag and "General Lee" text - with the rest of the body being crushed beyond recognition. VIN numbers were kept by Warner Brothers and maintenance records were loosely kept by staff. Around 13 GLs were ready to go at any time on the set. The stunt cars were no where near show quality up close, typically they did not even have interior beyond the front seats. Jump cars featured a very elaborate cage for safety - much more elaborate than the exhaust tubing roll bars made for the "hero" cars. Many early fan made replicas have shown up in junkyards through the years - creating numerous "I know a guy that knows a guys that knows a guy that...." well you get the story.
We are not saying a real find is impossible - but highly, we mean highly, unlikely - especially outside of California. In recent years two real General Lees used on the show turned up in a movie car junkyard in California in unbelievable disrepair. One has been restored back to its original orange glory - but its actual screen-used WB number (example WB GL #132) is still unknown to this day.
All General Lees had the "Dixie Horn". FALSE
As cool as it is there was simply no reason to put Dixie horns on all the General Lees. For the most part it was simply an edited in sound effect - like many of the engine sounds you hear. We hate to break the bad news, but the lightsabers in Star Wars don't really make that "humming sound" either.