The General Lee: The Most Famous Dodge
In the world of television and movies, there are just a few cars that are known by more than their brand and model name. Some cars actually have real names. The television show Knight Rider had K.I.T.T., Herbie the Love Bug dominated movies screens for several years, and Lightning McQueen has stolen the hearts of children around the world. But, in the world of television and movie cars, the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard has the most recognizable name and reputation.
The General Lee is a 1969 Dodge Charger. The Hemi Orange two-door with the infamous “01” decals on the doors was named after General Robert E. Lee from the Confederate Army in the Civil War. It bore a Confederate Flag on the top and the horn played “Dixie.” It is hard to imagine this car in a modern-day television show, since all of the images of the Old South would certainly be offensive to many potential viewers.
The show was full of attractive actors and actresses, including the main characters, Bo and Luke Duke, played by John Schneider and Tom Wopat. Pop culture icon, Daisy Duke with her eponymous short-shorts, was played by Catherine Bach. Even though the car never uttered a word, it stole the show each time it appeared on the screen and the sexy Duke family jumped into the perpetually open windows as an homage to NASCAR racers.
Throughout the show, there were several different General Lee cars used, but the exact number of individual Dodge Charger models is still unknown today, but experts claim the number was between 200 and 400. Each Dodge Charger was either from the 1968 or 1969 model years. Some cars were outfitted with roll cages, some were designed for close ups, and some were loaded with ballast like sand bags to help control the landings when the car flew through the air in its infamous jumps.