Fun Facts about the General Lee
If you grew up in the early ‘80’s you are probably familiar with the television series “The Dukes of Hazzard,“ which ran from 1979 through 1985. If you are not, that’s ok because you’re probably familiar with the famous car that dominated much of the action: the 1969 Dodge Charger known worldwide as the “General Lee.” To this day, old-school fans of the show and newcomers alike admire the General Lee and spend vast amounts of money to acquire a replica or even a miniature of it. Here are some interesting fun facts about the General Lee that you may not have heard before.
BODY DOUBLE: We have heard of movie and TV stars having body doubles to take the place of the actor in risque scenes and stunt people during performing dangerous stunt scenes. Well, that goes for the General Lee, too. In total, the Lee had around 300 doubles during the series filming. The Dodge Charger was built for speed, not to sustain continuous major damage, so the cars were often destroyed in the process of filming. The only reason why the General Lee seemed impervious to constant punishment is because it was constantly repaired or replaced. On average, one Charger was totaled per episode, resulting in some dire and unforeseen consequences. Due to the number of Chargers bought and destroyed by the show’s production, the General Lee inadvertently caused a Dodge Charger shortage.
MODIFIED FOR MAJOR ACTION: In every episode, the Duke boys were able to pull off some amazing stunts in the General Lee while out-foxing Boss Hogg and his goofy deputies. Every Charger used for the show was modified with custom wheels and tires, heavy-duty suspensions, a powerful Magnum V8 engine, and custom brakes to make the car capable of making 180-degree turns. Interior steel roll bars and cages were fitted to give the driver and passengers added protection. For those amazing daredevil jumps over police cars and through flaming barn doors, the General Lee was loaded with extra mass by placing a concrete ballast, sandbags, or weight boxes in the trunk. This meant that its heaviest side was in the back, allowing the Charger to briefly fly with its nose up. Otherwise, all the weight was in the front, and the car would have taken a nosedive on every jump.
SETTING THE RECORD: The General Lee is synonymous with legendary because of its outrageous hair-raising jumps, with its highest being a 16-foot high leap across a distance of 82 feet. This jump over the squad car capped the show’s premiere episode and cemented the stunt that would become synonymous with the Duke boys. At that time, the jump broke records and ratings, flying into television history. The Charger that made this jump is also the only General Lee to appear in every episode of the show, thanks to archive footage being used in the opening credits.
Wow, what a treat to learn some fun facts about the iconic TV muscle car, the General Lee. All this talk about horsepower and bracing for G’’s while barreling down the highway in a muscle car will make anyone want their very own Charger. If you have that hankering to be behind the wheel of a pristine Dodge Charger or Challenger, go visit our website view our selection here! At Hebert’s Town and Country Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Shreveport, we can set you up for your very own hot rod adventures. Hope to hear from you soon!