Bubba Watson bought the original “General Lee,” a 1969 Dodge Charger used in "The Dukes of Hazzard" television show, at a car auction last weekend in Scottsdale, Ariz. Watson announced his purchase on Twitter. According to AutoBlog.com, Watson’s new car is the Dodge Charger used in the first episode of the series, which ran on CBS from 1979-1985.
What's "the most famous television car in the world"? We suppose that depends on who you ask, but to many, nothing but the General Lee could possibly hold the title. Of course, there wasn't just one General Lee. In fact, scores of orange Dodge Chargers were filmed for "The Dukes of Hazzard," and most of them never survived their first televised escapade.
Not so Lee 1, so named because it was the car that famously jumped over a Hazzard County police cruiser in the very first episode of the hit series. If you've ever seen the opening credits, you know the car we're talking about… it flew 16 feet in the air over a distance of 82 feet. And, as you may have guessed, it didn't exactly stick the landing.
Fox News called the $110,000 bid “disappointing” for the seller, and noted that a General Lee with less history sold for much more in 2008.
“Lee 1” spent most of its life in a junkyard after being wrecked filming its famous flight through the Georgia sky. It still had a trunk full of cement ballast when it was purchased by the president of the North American General Lee fan club for less than $1,000 about a decade ago. Since then it has been fully restored to the original, imperfect condition the 1969 Dodge Charger was in when it was brought to Oxford College on Veteran’s Day in 1978 to film the iconic scene. Over 300 more General Lees would follow it during the seven-year run of the program.
Cars are offered at Barrett-Jackson with no reserve and no official pre-sale estimate, but a replica of the General Lee that was built for John Schneider, who played Bo Duke on the show, sold at the auction in 2008 for $450,000, setting a high bar for the original.
It sounds like Watson might have gotten a bargain. He was enjoying his new purchase on Sunday night. For more pro golfers and their serious cars, visit our photo gallery here. —
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