Action Comedy based on the hit television series that ran from 1979-85. Set in present day, The Dukes of Hazzard follows the adventures of "good old boy" cousins Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke (Johnny Knoxville) Duke, who with the help of their eye-catching cousin Daisy (Jessica Simpson) and moonshine-running Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson), try and save the family farm from being destroyed by Hazzard County’s corrupt commissioner Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds). Their efforts constantly find the "Duke Boys" eluding authorities in "The General Lee," their famed 1969 orange Dodge Charger that keeps them one step ahead of the dimwitted antics of the small southern town’s Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (M.C. Gainey).
The General is an orange 1969 Dodge Charger 440 with the 440-cubic-inch Magnum V8 engine. Over 300 Dodge Chargers were used on the show (at least 3 per episode) because once a car was jumped it was not used again The shock of the impact completely destroyed the structural integrity of the ca, so at the end of the filming only 17 original General Lees were remaining.
The General Lee was painted bright orange and had a confederate flag on the roof and the number ’01’ on the door. On all the General Lees used for the show, the locking mechanism was disconnected from the foot-operated parking brake for the "Bootleggers’ Turn", the 180-degree turns the Dukes made in practically every show to lose sheriff Rosco, and/or deputies Enos and Cletus.
For scenes filmed with Bo and Luke actually in the car, a "first unit" General was used. This version featured a 375-horsepower, 440-cubic-inch, Magnum V8 engine, according to the studio. It had been souped up with a racing carburetor, heavy duty suspension parts, and custom wheels and tires. A glasspack muffler helped give the General its signature throaty roar. A padded roll bar was installed in the driver’s compartment, and a custom push bar was mounted to the General’s front end.
The stunt crew used an entirely different General Lee, this one modified even further both for performance and safety. A full steel roll cage protected the driver and passenger and a special weight box was placed in the trunk. The crew could vary the amount of weight by several hundred pounds to help balance the car for different jump distances. This was important to keep the car from flipping over in the air. Each jump was planned very carefully, including the length and height of the jump, speed of the car, angle of the ramp, and weight in the trunk. Some of the longest jumps (almost 150 feet) needed 600 pounds of weight in the trunk-mounted weight box.
Engines in General Lees were all sorts: 318, 383, and 440 were all used. The special purpose built "Ski Car" (the car that drives on the two-side wheels) had a 318, as it was lighter weight. Most of the workhorse stunt cars had 383’s. The stunt drivers tended to prefer 440’s for jumps, which were often saved for the higher and longer jumps (440 engines were often transplanted into other cars for this purpose, too). And, though sound effects lead many people to believe otherwise, only a very small handful of Chargers on the show were actually manual transmission cars.