1969 Dodge Charger: Former General Lee

generallee

This ’69 Dodge Charger here on eBay is said to be an authentic TV car used in the “Dukes of Hazzard” television series, replete with holes used for mounting camera equipment and the vestiges of the Rebel flag still on the roof. This one strikes a personal chord with me, as my brother and I watched this television show as kids and it was the most wholesome, fun and gearhead-friendly piece of entertainment on the planet. As I’m sure many of you know, the uproar over the Confederate flag lead to the show being pulled from TV Land and the cessation of model cars of the General Lee being produced. This struck me as a massive overreach and I hope the next owner of this icon isn’t as shortsighted as the powers that be. God willing, this Charger will be restored back to its loud, proud, fire-breathing form, draped in the Americana that made the icon what it is today.

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Comments

  1. Garry

    It looks like a 68 b/c the rear quarter markers are circles, not rectangles.

    Like 3
    • Bill Gillooly

      Just because the holes are round does not me the reflectors are.

      • Garry

        The body was cut to accept the markers. Round = 68. Rectangle = 69 and 70.

        Like 1
  2. blindmarc

    Just some good ol’ boys, never meanin’ no harm……

    Like 1
  3. tyler s

    better know of a good body shop to do the rust and sheet metal repair or be dam good with a welder and a cut off wheel.

    Like 1
  4. charger70

    I grew up in SoCal and a neighbor of mine dated John Schneider (the blonde one) when the show was in production in the early 80s. He took her to Warner’s lot where they had literally HUNDREDS of ruined Chargers from 68s to 70s, every one of them a complete and utter total. They would buy any they could find back then and modify them with front / rear ends to suit the shot. Most of the cars were literally bent in half from all those stunt jumps. She said it was one of the saddest car scenes she had ever witnessed, and hated to even tell me. As a lifelong Charger fan, I’ve always had a problem with the show for this reason alone, though I did appreciate the promotion it gave the Charger 68-70 body style.

    Like 2
    • Jason

      I remember reading that the production design people would approach strangers to try and buy more Chargers for the show.

    • Don Andreina

      I’ve seen a period shot shot from up on high of about 20 or 30 Chargers parked on the studio backlot waiting to be destroyed in front of camera. Wish I could find that pic now.

      Like 1
  5. Cassidy

    Jeff, well said regarding the overreach!

    Like 2
  6. Jasper

    I always loved these Chargers. And as much fame as they garnered thru the Dukes, equal amounts of their sinister elegance was disregarded in the form of the General Lee.

    Like 1
  7. Thomas

    I just read the eBay posting, which, with all the spelling and grammatical errors, was painful, at best. While this MAY be an actual “General Lee” from the first season, without a VIN# and a title, its value, regardless of implied former usage, is greatly diminished. At best, it’s a conversation piece, but not a $10,000 conversation piece.

  8. Mark E

    Charger70 is likely right. I saw some pictures when Knight Rider was on. They showed a lot full of trashed black Firebirds. One had less than 2,000 miles on it and was in about the same shape as this Charger.

  9. roger

    I bought a 1970 Charger about 6 months before dukes of hazzard came out.
    Same body just no center piece in grill like 69.
    Mine was painted the factory gold color,but seems like every kid that saw it said it was general lee.
    After about 2 years I sold it because of that.
    Was a great car.It had 383 and automatic.

    Like 1
  10. David

    Is this seller serious? No docs, no photos, no title, and about 1/3 of a car? A Confederate flag painted on the roof is meaningless. Run away, run away!

    Like 1
  11. bruce

    I am more interested in the 70 MACH1 with the BOSS 9 hood scope to the right of the Charger.

  12. Howard A Member

    Sorry guys, you are missing the best part of that show, and it wasn’t the “General Lee”. For me, it was Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach). http://getnetworth.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/catherine-bach-net-worth3.jpg
    According to Wiki, how many Chargers were used varies. Some say 320 Chargers were destroyed during the duration of the show, others claim, it was 255. At least 1 per show was destroyed. Approximately 17 actual cars, in various stages of disrepair, are known to still exist. I think there are more clones around than actual “General Lee’s”, and I don’t think there was actual documentation on the cars they did use. Since the “jumps” were usually fatal to the car, producers started using jump scenes from previous shows. I didn’t know TVLand dropped the show because of the flag. C’mon, that’s ridiculous, but I suppose. That’s where we are nowadays.

    Like 2
    • Garry

      You can tell from watching the show that every jump wrecked a car. They land so hard even in slow motion it’s a mess

    • John phillips

      The 17 surviving GL’s do all have lots of paperwork and credentials,and some look like show cars 20 feet away,and can be driven 60mph down the highway”with 2 hands” just thought I’d put in my 2cents so people do know the facts,I know because I own 1 of the 17

  13. Jason

    Here’s another crazy period shot of General Lees in volume:

    http://www.careofcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/general-lee-cars-on-trailer.jpg

  14. Frank Thompson

    I talked to ,,Tom Sarimento (Stunt Driver) for ‘Dukes” last Sat 7/25/2015,,,Amazing how many “Experts’,have posted,,their Knowledge and history of the show

    Like 1
  15. Blindmarc

    Frank, throwing names around doesn’t mean crap. If you have information to share, than share it. Where I grew up, Any one could apply for a stunt driver when a production company came to town.

    Like 1
  16. Frank Thompson

    I believe Tom Sarimento,,was the Stunt Driver,,for the majority of the seasons,,,,he Travels around the U.S.A,,,,He has Videos and One of the Real Cars,,,but I guess blindmarc,,,Knows MORE

    Like 1
    • Jason

      Frank,

      You’ve got horrible Internet manners. I’m not sure what exactly you are trying to add to this discussion. Simply making sarcastic remarks about other people isn’t useful.

      Like 1
  17. blindmarc

    Frank, where in my post does it say I know more?! I was just stating the truth. The stunt drivers are listed in the ending credits most of the time.

  18. Jim

    Back in the 80’s, I bought an IMSA-prepared wide-body Corvette chassis and body from Baird and Trivette. We drove from Dallas to pick it and a trailer up and take it back to our shop. When we pulled onto their lot, there was a hauler as described below. They toured us around their shop area, showed us the entire progression of General Lee make-overs, from a bent one, to one on the surface plate, to another in the body shop, and one that was freshly painted and detailed.

    A simply unforgettable experience.

    Baird & Trivette Racing

    By Stacy Scharch

    Gary Baird and E.J. Trivette were NASCAR oriented chassis builders. In 1982, they formed, Baird & Trivette Racing, a company whose race shop was located in Atlanta, GA.

    E.J. Trivette (born in 1936 – Deep Gap, North Carolina, USA) is a retired NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver. In his thirteen-year career, Trivette has raced 177 races and accomplished twenty-nine finishes in the top ten. He has also managed to race 31,181 laps – the equivalent to 23,731.6 miles. Trivette’s average finish for his career was in 19th place while his average start for his career is 23rd place. His son Barry Trivette would eventually become the vice president and chassis designer for Baird & Trivette Racing. Gary Baird was Trivette’s sponsor for most of his career. Chevrolet and Ford would be the primary manufacturers that would provide vehicles for this driver during his career.

    On another note, Baird & Trivette also built the General Lee cars for the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard. There were about a dozen General Lee’s, all identically prepared by Baird & Trivette. It is said; the stunt drivers punished the TV cars more in one episode than a NASCAR team would in an entire season. The race shop had a surface plate (for squaring up chassis) reserved and set to General Lee specifications, for the 1968 and 1969 model-year Chargers that were sourced and converted. Three or four Chargers would arrive on a hauler. They would get stripped down, straighten, repainted and put back on the trailer, knowing full well the cars would soon return to repeat the process.

    Trivette now resides in the Ft. Myers, Florida area where his race car chassis manufacturing plant is located. The business produces mainly for Late Model drivers and for GT (grand touring) drivers.

    Like 1
  19. Frankie

    I found an article on the net about some guys finding the original charger in a junk yard. This particular charger was the one that opened every episode that made a jump over something that I don’t remember right now and of course it totaled ou the car. But that jump opens each episode. I will find the story and post the link on here. I saved it on my desktop years ago. It should still be there….I hope. By the way….they completely restored that car with pics in the article. Maybe some one on here knows the story.

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