WATCH: ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Iconic General Lee Gets Resurrected and Restored

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

The Dukes of Hazzard gave us seven seasons of great television in the 70s and a movie in 2005, Additionally, two great pieces of American pop culture came from the franchise. We got Daisy’s shot cut-off shorts and the General Lee. It’s hard to say which one was more popular. However, it is hard to beat watching the Duke boys flatten hills and straighten curves in their overhauled Dodge Charger. The highlight of those chases, though, was the massive jump. It seems like they always had to take the General over a death-defying jump to make their getaway.

This was just as true in the 2005 movie as it was on the 1970s television show. In fact, the movie contained a massive jump over the freeway. It was the longest General Lee jump in TV and film history. Chargers are tough cars, but not tough enough to withstand something like that. With that in mind, Hazzard Productions commissioned a custom car. The creator reinforced just about everything in the car so it could handle getting some serious air.

That General Lee still took a beating. So, it’s a good thing they had the foresight to make it even tougher. The wrecked custom ’69 Charger ended up in the hands of the guys from Graveyard Carz a few years ago. They had the car in their shop for three years while they brought it back to life.

Resurrecting the General Lee

If you watch the first few minutes of the video above, you’ll see that the General Lee was in bad shape. They obviously had to do more than just hammer out a few dents and touch up the paint. In fact, one of the first things they did was strip the General down to its frame. They replaced the entire front end and front clip. However, the Graveyard Carz guys wanted to keep it as original as possible. With that in mind, they used genuine MOPAR sheet metal to fabricate their replacement parts.

While mixing the paint to get the General Lee looking right, they shared some interesting facts about the cars from the original TV show. In the show, the car looks like it’s Hemi Orange. However, because the cameras at the time picked up light differently than modern cameras, they weren’t actually orange. In reality, the General was Corvette Flame Red but looked orange on TV. For the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard movie, they painted the cars Hemi Orange because the cameras were able to correctly pick up the color.

In the end, the General Lee rolled out of their shop looking like it was ready for a movie set or drag strip. It took three years of work but that time definitely paid off.