Dodge’s 1968–70 Charger, with its Coke-bottle styling and sweeping lines, is one of the most beautiful muscle car designs ever. Unfortunately, everyone agrees, so it remains one of the pricier models of the era, especially in desirable Hemi or 440 guise.
Some collectors attribute those high prices, at least in part, to The Dukes of Hazzard, which starred an orange General Lee 1969 Charger that was used and abused throughout the show, powersliding (it wasn’t called drifting back then) and performing nearly impossible jumps that no normal Charger would be able to drive away from.
Truth be told, plenty of General Lee Chargers didn’t drive away from those jumps; more than 300 ’69—and eventually modified ’68—Chargers were thrashed during the TV show’s 147 episodes, making them at least a little bit more rare. The show’s popularity, and the General Lee’s star power, led many fans to build their own versions, and it also led to a 2005 Dukes of Hazzard feature film.
One of the on-screen stunt cars from the movie will cross the block at Mecum’s Indianapolis auction May 14–19. The Charger is powered by a Chrysler 383 big-block with a four-speed transmission and is equipped with a roll cage that also encircles the engine bay. The auction description notes that the car was used in the movie’s climactic race scene, which included some pretty fun drifting action.
Mecum estimates the big-screen General Lee will bring between $50,000–$70,000, which is a bit steep for a base 1969 Charger 383, especially one that’s as rough around the edges as this one. The movie, while fun, didn’t have the same appeal as the TV show, so it definitely won’t bring the kind of money that a TV-vintage version would. On the other hand, the owner of this General Lee will have no excuse not to take every dirt road and slide every corner, which is what driving a General Lee is all about. That and moonshine.