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How To Build The General Lee Car From The Dukes Of Hazzard TV Show & Movie
A General Lee replica at a Boston Car Show!
Here are the exact specifications to build "The General Lee," the famous Mustang car from the TV Show, "The Dukes of Hazzard." I admit, in advance, that this list may not be perfect. It is merely the best I could do to verify them. Please feel free to respond with any additions you have to add. Check out the "Star Cars" section of http://GearheadDIVA.com to see articles on how to build all your favorite movie vehicles.
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The General Lee Car
Body Style of The General Lee
The body of the General Lee is a 1969 Dodge Charger, BUT...68 Chargers were also used and converted into the body style of the 69 Model. The was done by taking the front bumper of a 68 and replacing it with a 69 bumper. In addition, the taillights had to be changed and body filler was put in the side marker lights. From 1978-1982 only the sail panel and taillight panel emblems were removed. After 1982, all emblems from the vehicle were removed.
Correct Paint Color for The General Lee
The "orange" paint used on the General Lee is the least consistent feature on the car. Corvette Flame Red, Hemi Orange and Big Bad Orange are all correct colors, the latter is reported to be the color used on the 2005 movie cars. A third color you will find on replicas is "Vitamin C Orange," which appears very light, making it look the least authentic. Finally, paint the taillight area black, rather than leaving it orange.
Push Bar on The General Lee
A narrow style push bar was used on the series, until they adopted a wider style in 1982. The narrow style bar was welded to the bumper, and would cause damage to the grill whenever it was bumped. Most replicas use the wider style, as it attaches to the frame.
Wide Push Bar
Narrow Push Bar
Tires Used On The General Lee
The General Lee features American Racing "Vector" rims that had 10 spokes and were all aluminum. The vectors are no longer in production by American Racing, but you can still purchase used one and replicas online. Buick has a rim from 1985 that looks like the vectors, but the bolt pattern is different than what is needed for a Dodge Charger, so you'd have to re-drill the holes or use an adapter. Be wary of rims advertised as "General Lee rims" online, but they have 20 spokes, as the correct number is only 10.
The standard for a first unit General Lee was 14inch vectors (14x7) and occassionaly 15x7 on the back and 14x7 on the front. Many replica cars use 15x8.5 vectors, which give the wheels a wider look.
Decals & Markings on The General Lee
The markings found on the General Lee include the "01" on the side doors, the Confederate Flag on the roof top and the "General Lee" lettering above the doors. The majority of the cars had their flag and numbers painted on, but there are now vinyl decal kits available for purchase online.
Keith Winfree, owner of one of the 19 remaining General Lees from the TV series, provided these measurements for the markings located on his authentic General Lee.
All measurements are overall and include the white outline unless otherwise noted.
"01" Door Numbers
The white outlines around the numbers are 1/2" wide.
The height of the numbers is 19".
The width of the "0" is 13-1/2".
The center of the "0" is 11" high by 5-1/2" wide.
The width of the "1" at the base is 11-1/2".
The bottom edge of the numbers is 2" above the bottom edge of the door.
(driver's door) The front edge of the "0" is 13-15/16" from the front edge of the door.
(driver's door) The rear edge of the "1" (center of the number, not the base) is 12-5/8" from the rear edge of the door
Length of the flag is 53-1/2".
Width of the flag is 39-3/16".
The flag is centered on the roof from left to right.
From the center of the front edge of the flag to the windshield chrome is 4-1/2".
From the center of the rear edge of the flag to the rear window chrome is 4-1/4".
There is one more set of markings that was found on the General Lee in the pilot episode "One Armed Bandits" and the 4th episode, "High Octane". Behind the rear window, in front of the deck lid, was a small Confederate Flag crossed with a checkered flag. Not many replicas feature these markings, so it would be a unique touch to add to your car.
Interior Design Of The General Lee
While the interior on the first few episodes of the show is black, the "official" interior color is the Dodge factory color Saddle Tan. In later episodes, the interior was switched to a much lighter tan. Many of the TV shows' cars did not have a complete interior makeover to get the right color. Sometimes, the interiors were simply spray painted tan to save time and money, depending on how close up the shot was going to be.
The other recognizable detail of the interior is the roll bar behind the front seats. The roll bar was strictly cosmetic, to help give the General the "stock car" image. It provided no security, as it was only made out of exhaust tubing with foam padding.
Car Accessories Of The General Lee
The Dixie horn is a 5-trumpet electrical music horn that plays the first 12 notes of the song 'Dixie'. JC Whitney is the most popular retailer that sells the Dixie Horn, which is manufactured by Wolo Manufacturing Corp. The exact Wolo model number is #430.
The CB radio most recognized in the General Lee is the Cobra 78x.
2005 Dukes of Hazzard Movie
The movie features a Cobra 29 WX NW ST radio, and the Cobra website has lots of info on the radio's specifics, such as weather channels and Sound Tracker features.
Dukes Of Hazzard TV Series
The first antenna featured on the General Lee (until 1982) was the teardrop style antenna base from Radio Shack. The 21-908a trunk mount antenna is no longer in production.
The second style antenna is the Avanti Racer 27, which was featured later in the series, and on the Reunion General Lee.
2005 Dukes of Hazzard Movie
The movie uses the Cobra HG-A1500 CB antenna, which is 37" long, and mounts magnetically to the trunk lid. Cobra's website has more info on it.
The doors for the General Lee in the "story" of the Dukes of Hazzard were welded shut, but this was NOT actually done to the cars in the TV show.
The General Lee featured Georgia license plate CNH-320.
Misc. Movie Extras
The General Lee used in the 2005 movie has features that weren't found in the TV series. Here are a few of the differences.
The original series featured the factory steering wheel, but the movie General Lee's are sporting a Grant F/X wheel.
Part # 737; Note: The correct installation kit from Grant for a 69 Charger is Install Kit 4313
Rather than the simple, factory radio player, the General Lee has been updated with a Verge VMP508 CD Player with MP3 support.
Shifter + Shift Light/Tachometer
A B&M StarShifter and a Autometer 3904 shift light/tachometer were also added.
GENERAL LEE Dodge Charge Specifications (2 expert opinions)
Holley 4 Barrel 750 cm Carburetor
440 Cubic Inch Wedge OHV 16 valve V8 (7194 cc / 7.2 Litres)
375 Horsepower @ 5000 RPM
490 lbs of torque @ 2400 RPM
Transmission: 727a Torque 3 Speed Automatic Console Mounted
Interior: Tan with Console and Rallye Gauges and 3 point roll cage
0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds (estimated)
1/4 mile: 13.6 seconds @ 104 mph (estimated)
Top Speed: 135 MPH (Drag Limited)
1969 Dodge Charger R/T (Road and Track)
Exterior: 2 Door Fastback Coupe
Aftermarket Components: Front Bumper Guard, CB Antenna, Hurricane Road Wheels
Manufactured: Newark, Delaware
Special Items: "01" Painted on Doors, "General Lee" and a confederate flag on the roof of the fastback
Note: R/T Blackout Tail light cluster retained
MAKE/MODEL: Dodge Charger [Road & Track (R/T)]
The engine of the General Lee was a 426 Hemi, with an Eldebrock torquer intake. Hemi is short for "Hemispherical", an engine design that provides more horsepower than any other V8, including the 440 Magnum. Some Generals had 440 Magnums, but the 426 Hemi was shown in many episodes. The General Lee also had headers with 3" exhausts. It had a street-stock stall converter.
FACTORY: Detroit, Michigan.
TIRES: Racing, black sidewalls.
CARBURETOR: A four-barrel Holly 780 Double-Pumper.
A Chrysler "Torqueflite" A-727, the most durable automatic transmission ever built. In some episodes, however, a manual transmission was shown.
LICENSE PLATE: Georgia CNH 320.
To customize the car for the show, it was stripped down to the bare metal on the outside, the rough spots were sanded thoroughly, and then several coats of specially-mixed paint were applied. All of this work was done right at the studio, where the producers had set up a repair shop just for that purpose. The stock horn was replaced with a special horn that played the first twelve notes of "Dixie". New manifolds were put in the motor and a special exhaust system was installed; all spark plugs were replaced. A grill guard is also added, though it probably didn't protect much, knowing the way the General was driven. The roof of the General Lee was supported by three-point roll bars that helped retain the strength of the metal in the event the car was flipped over during a scene. The doors were welded shut for structural rigidity and storyline continuity. Of course, some General Lees (there were over 300) had un-welded doors.