27582 Volo Village Road | Volo, IL 60073
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1969 Dodge Charger
Documented as the 6th Dukes of Hazzard General Lee Ever Built.
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For the TV series “Dukes of Hazzard”, the first season was filmed in GA. Because of the shows great success Warner Bros. decided to move the filming for season 2 to CA to cut costs.
A total 6 General Lees were built for the GA production. Only 5 of them were screen used. Why was # 6 not used? After the filming of the first 5 episodes in late Dec. 1978, Warner Bros said they were taking a Holiday Break and would continue production after the Holidays, meanwhile the GA crew continued working prepping for the return of the production crew, which included building this GL. However the GA crew got the news in Mid-January that production would continue in CA, not GA. Don Schisler, who was the transportation coordinator, purchased this GL from Warner Bros and the rest of the usable cars were sent back.
6 Georgia General Lees were built, all accounted for: 3 were sent to CA and were used by WB, 2 were totaled and left behind and the last one (this car) was sold to Don Schisler. (Lee 1 (totaled) had since been restored and sold to golfer Bubba Watson)
This car and its history have been thoroughly documented with Warner Bros. original documentation and interviews with the original men who had built the car, including John Schisler, Ronnie Edwards, Henry Holman and Tony Kelly.
General Lee #6. 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 7 Dodge Chargers bought by Warner Bros. to be used as General Lees. The first three Generals 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 Lees 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 Lees and transportation coordinator for Dukes of Hazzard, bought an additional 3 Chargers for a disaster-bound transformation into General Lees. 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 its otherwise doomed fate of being jumped or crashed and becoming one of the 249 General Lees 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 Lees to be wearing its original 01 confederate flag and GENERAL LEE accents that were hand painted by Ronnie Edwards. 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 push bars 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 debut on the screen but its 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. The last photo images are of the car on set before and after it became a General Lee. It is the gold car in the photos and the last 3 are of it in progress " having its graphics painted on and at H&H Body Shop which was the body / mechanical shop for the GA Lees.
******* Update******* 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.
12/xx/78 H&H Auto Body began building Lee #6 for screen use (The Last GA LEE)
01/xx/79 Production moved to CA and the remaining usable vehicles were sent back to CA which included 3 General Lees
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
****** Update*******Got off the phone with Wayne Wooten of the Charger Registry who says the car was ordered to be prepped for use by Warner Bros. He says he has video of Don Schilser and John Schisler talking specifically about this car and will send it to me soon. He mentioned that John Schneider and John Schisler were good friends and would take this car out ""on the town"". Looking forward to hearing all the stories about this car from John.
****** Update****** Out of luck, Ronnie Edwards, the person who painted the graphics on this car found us on Facebook and saw the old picture we have posted of him originally painting the graphics. Today we learned who this person was! Ronnie painted 2 General Lee's for Don Schilser after the first season ended. This car and one with a 440 engine. He says this car was licensed to Warner Bros. at the time he painted the graphics. He called this the Holy Grail of General Lees and should be used as a template to anyone restoring or building a General Lee because it is the most perfect General Lee ever built. Its a great experience being able to talk to someone who actually had a hand in building this car with first hand knowledge.
*****Update****** Was finally able to talk to John Schisler, after many years of trying to contact him about this car. He put to rest the rumor that this car was a replica built after the show. He confirmed that it was prepped for WB and was supposed to have been shipped to CA for film use but was inadvertently sold in GA and not shipped to CA. With all this information I'd like to say the research and history on this car has come full circle. And while it was never actually screen used, it is the finest example of a General Lee ever built and remains today, the most untouched, pristine example of a General Lee in existence.
****Update***** Talked to Henry Holman who was the body man that built the General Lee's during the GA filming. Henry had also confirmed that this car was built into a General Lee with all intentions of being used. He said a total of 6 General Lee's were built during GA production, ours being Lee #6. According to Henry, the first 5 General Lee's were built during production and the 6th car after production. After season 1 was filmed (in Dec 78) WB said they were taking a Holiday break. Our car was being built with intentions of being used once production continued after the break, however production didn't continue in GA, it moved to CA and the car was purchased by Don Schisler and resold. He said 6 General Lee's were built for GA production, 1 was wrecked and scrapped, 1 was Lee #1 which has since been restored, 3 of them were shipped to CA and our car is the 6th. He said the 1st replica ever built was built for John Schneider, not John Schisler and the stories about the John Schisler car were actually stories about John Schneider's car, John Schneider sold his replica because it was getting too much attention in his mothers driveway.
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