General Lee, on a hot pursuit from the law, makes its infamous jump, launching a good 30 feet from its starting point, then freeze frame: Waylon Jennings voice drops in, wondering aloud how the Dukes will ever find their way out of the pickle they have gotten themselves into.
Whether you are old enough to remember seeing the General Lee in action during the original airing of the Dukes of Hazzard, or if you only remember seeing it in reruns on TNT, the General Lee holds a special place in American pop culture history. This January(2012) the original General Lee will hit the auction block at the annual Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auction at Westworld in Scottsdale.
General Lee was the the modified Dodge Charger driven by the Duke cousins Bo and Luke in the television series. Known for the chases and stunts, especially high jumps (in almost every episode), and for having the doors welded shut, leaving the Dukes to climb in and out through the windows. The car’s name was a reference to the Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and indeed the vehicle embodies the Southern United States, bearing as it does a Confederate naval jack on its roof and a horn which plays the melody from the first line of the song “Dixie”.
The idea for the General Lee was developed from the famous bootlegger Jerry Rushing’s car, which was named for Lee’s favorite horse, Traveller. Traveller was also the name of the car in Moonrunners, the 1975 movie precursor to The Dukes of Hazzard. Jerry Rushing eventually hung it up as an outlaw and became a professional NASCAR driver, and subsequently appeared in the 1970s B-Movie Moonrunners, which was based upon his life, and which was also the basis for the television series Dukes of Hazzard. All of the pieces connect.
This vehicle, the first one used in the shooting of the television series, was rescued from a Georgia junk yard a few years ago before being fully rehabbed and restored to its former glory. Vehicles such as this tend to sell for anywhere from $500k to well into the millions, so it behooves you to know your limits before you raise your bidding paddle.
Classic car collectors and automotive enthusiasts from around the globe make a yearly pilgrimage to Scottsdale Arizona to attend one of the premier automotive events in the Phoenix Valley area as well as all of North America, the Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auction. The Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auction, featuring the General Lee, takes place January 17th to the 22nd at Westworld in Scottsdale Arizona. It only comes once a year, so Phoenix Valley automotive enthusiasts should be sure to take advantage of this opportune even while it is here.