Category: `first-look` On Screen Cars

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First Look: Dukes of Hazzard - General Lee - LEE1


The first five episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard TV show were shot in Georgia during November 1978. A total of six Dodge Chargers were used for filming. These first General Lees were built by Warner Brothers and are identified by extra markings on their VIN tag (LEE1, LEE2 and LEE3). Above is a video of the first jump performed using the famous General Lee, labeled "LEE1". In this post we'll be talking about the LEE1. Here's your First Look at The General Lee! LEE1 Before Dukes of Hazzard As with most of the 321 General Lees used, LEE1 had a semi-short life on the show. Before Dukes of Hazzard, LEE1 was a Light Bronze Metallic (Mopar Paint Code T3) 1969 Dodge Charger with a black vinyl top. Under the hood packed 383 V8 backed up by a TorqueFlite automatic. LEE1 was equipped with air conditioning (A/C) and drum brakes on all corners. Experts say that LEE1 may have belonged to a college student somewhere in California, as there was a student parking decal found on the windshield. Becoming a General Lee Warner Brothers production crew made a lot of modifications to turn the Copper Charger into a General Lee. Most noticeable of course is the Hemi Orange paint job with the Confederate Flag on the top. Gone is the black vinyl top. Other details include the 01 number on the driver and passenger doors. A Radio Shack CB antenna and under the CB dash unit, kept the boys in constant contact with Uncle Jessie and the gang. The wheels are American Racing Vectors, 10 spoke. Can't forget about the black push bar on the front and the full roll cage in the cabin. Several pounds of concrete were added to the trunk to help keep the nose level on landing during jumps. Chrome strip on the rocker panels? Yep, chrome strips were only featured on the LEE1. They're very noticeable in the clip above. After General Lee LEE1 was reused later in the show in episode 4, "Repo Men". It was painted a dark blue/green color with a big "71" on the top and had Nascar sponsor decals on the side. The American Racing Vectors were replaced with gold painted steel rims. The sides of the car were banged in further to give the appearance of a battered race car. The car was portrayed as Richard Petty's "Tire Test Car." Then it was retired to a Georgia junkyard, where it would remain for over two decades before it would be resurrected. If it hadn't been for Dukes of Hazzard fans Travis Bell and Gary Schneider, it may still be there. Back from the Dead The two found the LEE1 in July of 2000. The car was a wreck, of course. But after it changed hands a few times, the car was completely restored. Precise measurements were made of all the artwork on the flag and side 01 logos. Then the car was media blasted and repainted it's original color Light Bronze Metallic and sprayed over with a cheap orange paint. All the artwork was redone by hand, every star pointing in the right direction. These guys wanted to stay true to the car's state before the first jump. Check out our Gift Shop for some exciting Dukes of Hazzard stuff! Final Thoughts There are many General Lees, however there is only one LEE1. It's pretty interesting how people can come together and pool their resources to bring back a part of history. Some people would say it's just a another hunk of metal. But to the fans it's much more. Thanks for joining us for this First Look at the General Lee. Stay tuned for the next On Screen Cars! Reference: IMDB, Wikipedia, MyGeneralLee.com, MyMopar.com, Edmund's Inside Line

First Look: Ghostbusters ECTO 1


1959 Cadillac Ambulance must be the ideal ghost busting machine! At least that's what Ghostbuster Ray Stantz thought. In this "First Look" post, we'll review the first image of Ecto 1 ever. Above is a snapshot of the Ecto 1 while still in black gray primer. The scene begins with Ray driving Ecto 1 with the lights and sirens on. He parks it at the door in front of the firehouse. Peter Venkman is standing out in the street supervising the guys who are putting the sign on the building. Ray jumps out of the car and proclaims that no one needs to worry, he's found the car. Then he starts a rant of all the attention the car needs. Dr Ray Stantz: [gets out] Everybody can relax, I found the car. Needs some suspension work and shocks. Brakes, brake pads, lining, steering box, transmission, rear-end. Dr. Peter Venkman: How much? Dr Ray Stantz: Only $4800. [Venkman looks shocked] Dr Ray Stantz: Also new rings, mufflers, a little wiring. A Little Work? A little work? I would classify that as a bit more than a "little work." Note that Ray didn't mention any body work, a paint job, a new light bar and all the ghostbusting equipment. Brake Pads? I didn't realize he said that till recently. But most of these cars had drum brakes all around. It may require brake shoes, but not brake pads. Only $4800 bucks? $4800 bucks today is like $9900 today. At the time of the film, the car would have been around 25 years old. How many of you, would pay almost ten grand for a 25 year old car? I guess it would depend on the vehicle. The primer version of the car used in this scene is a work of art. According to the Ghostbuster Wiki, the black car is the base for the Ecto 1A used in Ghostbusters II. I love how the front and rear tires don't match, there are some missing hub caps, and the big radio antenna whip isn't on the car. As a kid, I thought the tied back antenna was a factory detail for the Miller Meteor Caddy Ambulance. From the research I've done, that is not the case. The warning lights are basic compared to modern emergency vehicles. I haven't seen another ambulance with both red and green lights. Final Thoughts I like the primer version of Ecto 1 almost as much as the finished version. I think a 59' Caddy Ambulance would make a very interesting rat rod, although I haven't seen any as of yet. But, I'm sure, some where out there someone has ratted one out. What are your thoughts about the black primer Ecto 1? Tell us about your first impressions of Ecto 1. Feel free to comment about those things, while we work on the next On Screen Cars post! Just In: Rumor has it, that the Hot-Wheels Ecto-1 is due out this month! I'll be keeping my eye out for it. Not just a rumor anymore! It's available through our store! Reference: IMDB, Ghostbuster Wiki, ProtonCharging.com