The Dukes of Hazzard may have gone off the air over 30 years ago, but its iconic orange 1969 Dodge Charger, the General Lee, remains a beloved symbol of the show’s automotive stunts. However, the consequences of recreating those stunts in real life can be severe, as demonstrated by a recent single-vehicle crash involving a General Lee on Historic Highway 165 in Missouri.
Initial reports from the Western Taney County Fire Protection District suggested that the car involved in the accident was one of the few surviving General Lees from the original show. However, the car’s owner later clarified that it was not one of the actual TV cars but had been driven and signed by cast members. Regardless of its provenance, the car sustained significant damage in the crash, with the driver’s side taking the brunt of the impact.
According to Hollister Police Chief Preston Schmidt, the driver of the vehicle was traveling too fast for the road conditions and lost control of the car. Both occupants were evaluated at the scene and transported to area hospitals with moderate injuries, including a broken collarbone for the driver and leg and rib pain for the passenger. The driver was not authorized to operate the vehicle, according to the car’s owner.
The General Lee is a cultural icon that has transcended the show that made it famous, but it’s important to remember that attempting to recreate the stunts seen on TV can be dangerous and potentially deadly. While the General Lee may have been able to jump over police cars and fly through the air on the show, in real life, it’s just a car subject to the same physical laws as any other vehicle. Even if a General Lee replica looks and sounds like the real thing, it’s still a modern car that requires safe and responsible driving.
The Dukes of Hazzard may have relied on the General Lee for many of its signature moments, but it’s important to remember that the car was just a prop, and attempting to recreate its feats in real life can have serious consequences. As with any vehicle, it’s crucial to drive safely and responsibly, even if you’re behind the wheel of a beloved cultural icon.
Source: Springfield News-Leader / Western Taney County Fire Protection District
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