It resonates with many as a symbol of independence, indomitable will, and the spirit of the South: a 1969 Dodge Charger, painted orange, completing (or not completing) massive jumps in the middle of car chases from the classic television series The Dukes of Hazzard. The car itself is called The General Lees, or “The General” for short, and usually one was destroyed each episode. For the series, about 300 were used.
The Dukes of Hazzard remains a classic television series and appeals to many for numerous reasons. It is entertaining, following the Duke brothers in the fictional Hazzard county and is known for its many car chases and general theatrics. The show appeals directly to those that the television industry generally doesn’t feature: home-grown southern boys, their families, and the culture.
The Dukes of Hazzard ran for seven seasons from 1979-1985 and even decades later there was still an appeal. For instance, DukesFest, a The Dukes of Hazzard convention, was held annually from 2001 to 2007 and in 2004 attracted around 50,000 people. This has given the rise to The Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia. This often includes:
- The Dukes of Hazzard shirts
- The Dukes of Hazzard toys
- The Dukes of Hazzard collectibles
- Even a The Dukes of Hazzard belt buckle
One of the attractions of The Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia is a symbol that can sometimes appeal to certain generations and culture groups. The confederate flag was painted on roof of The General Lees and the toy cars and other The Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia feature it. It is especially found on The Dukes of Hazzard model car.
The television series has garnered enough popularity that there are places in different states where it is possible to view the artifacts in the actual production of The Dukes of Hazzard. One of these, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, contains a General Lee that was used in production.
Some bits of trivia, too, are interesting:
- The horn that plays the initial notes to “Dixie” was actually found while shooting the pilot. Allegedly, the two directors were filming when a car drove by featuring that horn. The directors caught up to the drive and paid him $300 for the car on the spot.
- Only the first five episodes of the television series were filmed in Georgia. The remainder of the series was filmed in California.
- Tom Wopat, who stared as Luke Duke, had some success in the music industry. At the time the show was canceled, Wopat had the number one hit on Billboard’s Top 100.
- Gatlinburg, Tennessee (artifacts)
- Nashville, Tennessee (artifacts)
- Sperryville, Virginia (artifacts)
- Covington and Conyers, Georgia (original filming locations)
- Branson, Missouri (Dixie Outfitters has the General Lee)
If you’re interested in checking out some major locations devoted to The Dukes of Hazzard, you can visit: