‘The Dukes of Hazzard’: How the Show Struggled to Find Replacements for the General Lee

by Matthew Wilson

Well, the Duke boys certainly had their fair share of good times and trouble with the law. So much so, “The Dukes of Hazzard” struggled to find enough replacements for the General Lee.

We can’t promise that no cars were harmed during the making of this classic sitcom. In fact, the show went through cars about as often as people change clothes. Production for the show ended up destroying hundreds of the Duke boys’ iconic car. How many you may ask? Well, the total tallied up to around 300 destroyed cars, almost one per episode, according to Cheatsheet.

“The Dukes of Hazzard” was known for his high-flying stunts. Often, the cars seemed to defy physics, flying off ramps into the air. Well, what made the show so popular was the fact that they performed real stunts. Driving a car off a ramp into the air doesn’t do wonders for your insurance premium. So, it makes sense that most of the cars ended up being in bad shape when they landed. It was TV magic that the Duke boys managed to keep driving away, instead of needing a tow-truck to the nearest mechanic.

“The Dukes of Hazzard” crew would also weigh the trunk with concrete and sandbags to make the car lean backward when airborne.

‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ Crew Gets Desperate

But after a while, “The Dukes of Hazzard” began to run out of General Lees for the show. Production stayed on an ever vigilante search for more Dodge Charges, they could convert. But it soon became obvious, they were replacing the cars at a slower rate than they were destroying them.

Things got so desperate that “The Dukes of Hazzard” production crew performed a flyover of residential areas. They searched driveways and parking lots for potential Dodge Charges. They would leave flyers at the properties in a bid to get the owners to sell them their cars.

Production also tried to fix and repurpose as many General Lees as they could. The show had a team of mechanics that would remove parts from multiple cars to get one working car. They would also paint over any damages as well. But, the lack of viable cars caused a change in the later seasons of the show.

Increasingly, “The Dukes of Hazzard” relied on models and stock footage, losing part of the appeal that made the show so special, to begin with.