I must admit, when it comes to which onscreen car I have the most love for, there really is no contest for me – The General Lee is king. Herbie the Love Bug and KITT from Knight Rider fall a distant 2nd and 3rd place. I’m not sure if the General started my lifelong love for muscle cars or not, but it definitely did not hurt it.
The General is, as we all should know by now, a 1969 Dodge Charger. There were over 300 different Chargers used to portray The General on the TV series, and another 25 or so for the 2005 motion picture. Not all were actually ’69 Chargers though as many ’68’s and (in the movie) a few ’70’s were dressed up like a ’69.
Chargers were very prominent in NASCAR in the late ’60’s, hence the southern-fried-race-car tie-in of the Dukes of Hazzard. They came from the factory with 318 small block motors as well as all sorts of great big-block Chrysler engines, like 383’s, 440’s, and the legendary 426 Hemi. They also had a ‘Coke bottle’ shape to them (when viewed from the top) that made them one of the best looking muscle cars ever made – in my humble opinion, of course!
Here’s one of the chase scenes from the 2005 movie for your enjoyment. This movie really wasn’t the greatest (also in my humble opinion), but man….the General looked great! The crew that handled all of the stunt driving and filming work for the The Bourne Supremacy also did this film. Famed Formula Drift and stunt driver Rhys Millen was behind the wheel for most of it, and as the kids say, “Dude can drive.” Be sure to press the little ‘HQ’ button while you play this to get the full effect!