The General Lee Charger is one of those iconic Hollywood cars that has a stronger fan base than the show or movie that created them in the first place. You can pick the car out from a mile away: take one ’69 Charger, add a push bar, orange paint, Confederate flag on the roof with “GENERAL LEE” on either side, tan interior with roll bar, Vector wheels, CB antenna and “CNH 320” license plate. Voilà, a certified Dodge that you can jump over damn near any and everything you want. And if you believe that, I’ve got some waterfront property in Arizona you might be interested in. Over 300 Chargers met their death for the show, and several others for the movies and the annual DukesFest.
But 1969 Dodge Chargers are rare, and the ones that exist command some money. So what do you do if you want a General Lee of your own? Build yourself one using another car! Now, for the sake of argument, I have seen a couple of well-done non-Charger General Lees, including a Jeep CJ and a Dodge Ramcharger, that stayed true to the form. But these aren’t even close.
11. Mastercraft Speed Boat
Ok, if you’ve got a speed boat you’re already doing ok, but money doesn’t buy taste and this poor boat shows it. Not that it isn’t well done, but the General never did swim well. Adding insult to injury, this isn’t the “General Lee”, but since this is a family show, you can read the back of the boat for yourself.
So many hipster jokes, so little time. Though, it’s not difficult to see guys named “Coy” and “Vance” riding these, is it? The only thing that the Dukes might escape on a Vespa is the sound of Roscoe and Boss Hogg’s laughter at the sight.
9. Suzuki X-90
The only nice thing I can say is that this General Lee would be great if there were sand dunes in Hazzard County. The Suzuki X-90 was loathed when it came out, so why would they own one? Even Daisy’s “Dixie” Jeep could perform off-road if it needed to. At least the roof can be removed for easier access when jumping in.
8. Ferrari 575 Maranello
I guarantee that the ghost of Enzo himself is haunting this dude. While it’s certainly fast enough to dust Enos’s Coronet and would wax the General Lee on the roads, there ain’t no way you’d see this Ferrari ripping it up around Hazzard’s dirt roads. Even Boss Hogg himself couldn’t afford the Ferrari’s maintenance bills.
7. Hyundai Accent
Considering that Uncle Jessie’s moonshine could power just about any vehicle on the road, it’s highly unlikely that Bo and Jesse would use an Accent for anything other than target practice for those exploding arrows.
6. Fiat Cinquecento
For a show that was pretty much ran by country music (it was narrated by Waylon Jennings, for Pete’s sake!) the likelihood of P.T. Barnum circus music playing during a high-speed chase down the dirt roads is pretty much shot.
5. Geo Metro
This one is so bad it’s almost a win. What does that mean? This particular General is packing a 355ci Chevy small block with one of the loudest timing gear sets I’ve ever heard under the hood. This one might be able to play a bit part somewhere, when Cooter plays a prank on the Dukes and swaps out the General Lee for the General Wee.
4. Cadillac Limo
This one really reaches for the “redneck” side of the show. The Charger was nimble enough to rally through the woods, something that you wouldn’t be able to say for a stretched Cadillac limo. That being said, who doesn’t want to see this big beast jump a barn?
3. Volkswagen Vanagon
When you have to paint the General on the side of your VW bus, well, you might as well crack a jar of Jessie’s moonshine and start drinking.
2. Holden HT Kingswood
Australia had Chargers that were bad-ass enough to match up for the General Lee, so why did we instead get a Holden HT instead? Granted, you could get a 307, 308 or 350 V8 in one, but still…something lost in translation, mate.
1. Ford Tempo
The Dukes of Suburbia. I’m harder pressed to find a worse car than a Ford Tempo to give the General Lee treatment. A benign four-door sedan best suited to city commuting? At best, a 3.0L V6 that drove the front wheels? No, no, no…Roscoe, take them away!