General Lee #8. This is documented as one of the original Dodge Chargers bought by Warner Bros. in 1978 for use during the Georgia filming of the first episodes of Dukes of Hazzard.
For the first episodes there were a total of 8 Dodge Chargers bought by Warner Bros. to be used as General Lee’s. The first three General’s were built in California and delivered to Georgia where transportation coordinator John Marendi labeled the cars as Lee 1, 2, and 3. After filming began in GA, the General Lee’s were wrecked quickly and it became apparent that more were needed. Employed by Warner Bros., Don Schisler, one of the original builders of the Georgia General Lee’s and transportation coordinator for Dukes of Hazzard, bought an additional 5 Chargers for a disaster-bound transformation into General Lee’s. After filming ended in Georgia, Don Schisler bought, from Warner Bros., this Dodge Charger which had been previously un-used, on film, for his personal ownership and use as a General Lee. Since Schisler bought this Charger from Warner Bros. it was not shipped to California, like the other surviving cars which were later used for the continued filming of Dukes of Hazzard. Because of this, it was able to survive it’s otherwise doomed fate of being jumped or crashed and becoming “one of the 249 General Lee’s wrecked during the filming” in the years to come.
This particular General Lee disappeared in 1980 when Don Schisler sold the car because of the amount of attention he got with it; people would see the car in his drive-way and actually stop at his home looking for “the Duke boys”!! The car was sold to private hands and just resurfaced in 2008 when we purchased it. Only about 1500 miles had been put on the car since Schisler sold it in 1980.
This Charger is all original as the day it was transformed into a General Lee back in 1979. It still has its original Flame Orange paint and is one of the few General Lee’s to be wearing its original “01”, “confederate flag” and “GENERAL LEE” accents that were hand painted by
Larry West. It has many rare parts on the car that were salvaged from the other screen used General Lee's after they met their demise. The roll bar was salvaged from Lee #1, it has an original narrow front bumper push bar and the grey 14" Vector wheels. The second season cars had wide pushbars and cheaper, but similar black 15" wheels. It is a true C6T tan interior car and has a real tan interior, not painted! This General may have never made its début on the screen but it’s for that reason that it still exists today in its pristine, un-abused condition as when it was originally transformed by “The Generals First Men”.
There is a 3 ring binder documenting this cars history, a complete timeline from prior to Warner Bros purchasing the car until present. Included are notarized bills of sales when Warner Bros purchased the car and when they sold it to Schilser. In addition to the pile of paperwork, we also have pictures of the car in its original condition, on set, sitting next to Lee 1 (in the pictures, it's the gold car in the background, the smashed up car is LEE 1). Because this General was sold to a Warner Bros. employee, it slipped through the cracks and was sold without any contracts forbidding commercial use. The car has also been signed by the majority of the cast members, signatures were documented with photos.
Over the years the Volo Auto Museum has been researching this car to provide more specific details on the cars history. New evidence and facts have surfaced about the car as well as photos and additional documentation to provide a timeline of the car during its transformation to fame. Our efforts are still ongoing and new information is still forthcoming.
- 11/24/78 Warner Bros. Purchased this Dodge Charger.
- 12/20/78 Episode V “High Octane” was filmed and was the last episode filmed in GA.
- xx/xx/xx The remaining usable vehicles were sent back to CA which included 3 General Lees
- xx/xx/xx Warner Bros. commissioned Don Schisler to build an additional 2 General Lees to be sent to CA.
- xx/xx/xx This General Lee and one more General Lee were built at H&H body shop. 1 was shipped to CA and the other sold to Don Schisler.
- 12/01/79 Don S. purchased this car from WB for $10 and “consideration”
- 11/06/80 Don’s son John sold this car for $4400 to Jon Blanchette
- 06/17/88 Car was sold to Richard Lyons
- 09/16/08 Car was purchased by Volo Auto Museum
The Below Images are of this car taken before it was transformed into a General Lee. It’s the Gold car in the Back Ground
The below pictures are of this car having its accents painted on. Note the roof in the background?
That is the roof from the Jump car used in the Last GA Episode, Episode V High Octane. It was there as reference for the painter.
This is the only known Georgia General Lee to have its original hand painted graphics
The below pictures are of this car at H&H body shop, where the GA Lees were built.
Shop Owner and builder Henry Holms behind the wheel.
Below pictures are recent photos taken of this car for comparison
Only 1500 miles since 1979 and its still the same paint job in the old and new photos
The below pictures are of Lee 1. Notice the section of Roll Bar missing?
It was cut out and installed into our Schisler Lee
Purchased by WB 11/25/78 Purchased from WB 12/1/79
Resold 11/6/80 By John Schisler
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