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How the General Lee Works

        Auto | Dodge

Welcome to Hazzard County
Photo courtesy Sam Emerson for Warner Bros. Pictures

Bo and Luke Duke lived in fictional Hazzard County, somewhere in the southern state of Georgia, with their cousin Daisy and their Uncle Jesse. The Duke family had a long tradition of running illegal moonshine, and as a result, the Dukes were on probation, unable to cross the Hazzard County line. Honest and good at heart, the Dukes often came into conflict with Hazzard County's corrupt law enforcement. The greed-driven Boss Hogg, the bumbling, sputtering Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, and the naïve deputy Enos Strate pinned every crime that happened in Hazzard on the Duke cousins, whether they were guilty or not. Every episode had at least one car chase, usually ending with Coltrane half-submerged in a muddy swimmin' hole. Each tale was narrated by "The Balladeer," voiced by country legend Waylon Jennings, who also wrote and performed the show's title song.

Bo and Luke tore around the dirt roads of the rural South in a 1969 Dodge Charger. In the show, the car was found in a state of disrepair in a nearby county, having been used as the getaway car in a bank robbery. With the help of their friend Cooter, the Dukes fixed and modified the Charger to resemble those driven in what was then the NASCAR Grand National circuit (known today as the Nextel Cup). That explains why the doors were welded shut, and why the car had an engine powerful enough to leave all the cops and assorted villains who visited Hazzard in a cloud of dust.

The show's producers wanted a fast, popular car for the show. The Pontiac Firebird and Ford Mustang were both considered, but the Dodge Charger won out in part because it had been very successful in NASCAR, which helped tie it into the story line as well as the show's target audience.

Next we'll learn all about the General Lee itself.