We found the 1st General Lee in a scrap yard & restored it

We found the 1st General Lee in a scrap yard & restored it

Here’s, where I say something clever, and now you roll the music. I don’t know how my orbit or I orbit around Hazzard County, but somehow Travis Belton for years was the mecca of the Dukes of Hazzard. During this obsession of the television show and cars flying and things going on, I realized that the first five episodes of The Dukes Hazzard were filmed in Georgia and you can still visit the sites it pretty.

Much is all still there, but in the early late 90s and early 2000s it really still looked the same because granted the show had filmed out here in 78. So we would come down from Indianapolis and just bang around and drive General Lee’s around and go play the Dukes of Hazzard and of course you know down here and they’re, like you know, nothing to see here, but then We wanted to find the people that worked in the show and we would actually make these little beautiful Flyers with the wanted posters, as if you were here this day, when the car flew call this number or whatever else, and we put them in little diners and Where the cars flew there’s, obviously telephone poles and stuff.

We’d. Take this 20-foot ladder and put the sign up. It says if you were here on this day: bla bla bla, when the car flew and people would call they said. Yes, we they held a school bus up that day, just to jump the car down the street and mom and dad were so mad because I was late from school and they had all these great stories.

And then we started finding the people that painted the cars in in and around Conyers Georgia and Covington and Snellville Georgia and all these other places, and then we found the transportation directors and they were like.

Oh no now we got these gold dying people and we had this fellas name. His name is Don shish, ler and Don Shuster is won Academy Awards and he was a director and second-unit DP and he had no reason to be nice to me.

I was just some idiot that was obsessed with the Dukes of Hazzard and I pull into this lot where all these camera cars are, and there’s, these little bitty short buses, yellow school buses and a bunch of blue Ford Tauruses and some had The front end knocked off um one had all four wheels off them in and I was like what, on God’s green earth, eni ‘

S have come out of introduce him. I said all these. He said movie. Road trip Sean, William Scott, they whatever and I’m like yeah, and he said these are all the tourists from Road Trip there’s, the short buses we got ta go crush all these things and get paid for these things.

I’m like this guy’s awesome and I go tell me about the Dukes either. Tell me I’m all this stuff, but he said well December. 23Rd. 1978. I had 51 total vehicles after five episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard, and I go.

What did you do with them all? You know he said there’s, a transmission recycling shop in Dawsonville, Georgia and his name is Shaw. Recycling and I called cliff Shaw two days before Christmas 1978 and he came picked him all up.

I said all of them. He said all of them. I’m like well. When was last time, you talked to cliff Shaw, he said the 23rd is December 1978 and I go it’s time for a fairer year like let’s. Go so sure enough, as if this guy hasn’t been entertained enough to this idiot that’s obsessed with the Dukes of Hazzard.

After Don Schiller had driven around all these wagon, Queen family, truckster, z, — from then from National Lampoon’s, he had this terrible black, suburban with a gun turret on the roof of it, and it was from some terrible, terrible, Cindy Crawford, Baldwin brother, Bad guy movie – and this was the Russians of the bad guy car, but that was his car now, so we all get in the terrorists, suburban and head off toward Dawsonville Georgia, and he’s telling us this story that cliff Shaw and the Shaw Family live in this beautiful part of Dawsonville Georgia just down the street from Bill Elliott shop, but there’s, a nuclear localization in locomotive, but it is buried at the end of Lumpkin campground road in Dawsonville, Georgia, and there’s.

Not very many people that live there because of this thing, and I’m like thinking we’re on God’s, green earth, is he taking us to and he knew right where he lived. So we pull up this down this hill or down this country road.

I mean you can put an imagine in your mind and up to the left with this gravel road that went up up the hill toward this smaller home. But there was cars everywhere as far as the eye could see all the way up, the hill and every from make and model you can think of older, but just what mythical junkyards are made of just trees growing up through them and everything we’Re just looking for any remnants of the dukes of hazzard, we bang on the door up there.

The lady comes the door and says a cliff sha blahblah cliffs, not home from work yet and hey Donna sure and and dawn on the way there he said. Look. I’m gonna run traffic for you. If they say it’s here and you just start go walking in their yard to see.

If you can find this thing, we’re. Talking acres, I decided to chime in and say: hey we’re, looking for things from the Dukes of Hazzard, of all things. Remember mr. Schussler! Here he was at Ava. Oh, you know a little family reunion there and she goes you looking for the old Dodge Charger car and I’m.

Like is, she could have said a bad guy car. She could have said police cars. She could have said Boss, Hogg’s Cadillac. She could have said anything. But yes, we are looking for the old Dodge Charger car and she goes if you walk back down the driveway.

At the second Pinto mind, you’re, not the first one, hang a left and start walking in toward the road, and I turned on a video camera and there was a green 1969 Dodge Charger and in the first episode of the Dukes of Hazzard, They jumped Lee won over Roscoe’s, police car and, of course it didn’t land well, but the body shop would remove the doors off of it because that kept them from having to paint new old ones on another car and They remove everything that they can use, but then another episode of the Dukes of Hazzard called for a wrecked racecar, so they repainted the first generally green and put 71s on it and put John morinda on the roof, which was the transportation coordinator.

So I had just found the first generally from the Dukes of Hazzard, as I walk around, and the door was welded shut on one side and Dawn on the other side, and it’s orange, where the door jamb is and the roll cage is Still mostly in it there’s, a VIN number, which is X, P, 29 blah blah blah need any odd charger, and there’s a little bitty.

You know, label maker, it says L ee1, then I knew I had found the first generally from the Dukes of Hazzard, with a Los Angeles parking sticker still on it and all these other things. What do you do? You know you are the biggest Dukes of Hazzard [ __ ] from any zip code.

You can come up with so old cliff comes home, I heard him drive faster up the driveway and I’m down there, trying to keep my tongue in my mouth corn, and this thing is a disaster sitting. It’s, got more pine needles on it than any National Forest.

We found the 1st General Lee in a scrap yard & restored it

You can think of the motors in it the transmissions in it somehow and it’s. You know still orange where it’s supposed to be. He still has a 71, you open up the trunk and it still has all the concrete in the trunk from when they jump the car, because it was a big-block car and they jacked it up in the middle of the car.

And, of course, the nose would be heavy, so they put quikrete concrete in it until it leveled out and that’s, how they made ballast in the back of the car and that’s, how they flew the general lees and that’s.

Why they don’t, lay him nose first, so I go walk it up. The driveway and I just can’t believe of all things. I expected a bad guy car cooter truck anything but the General Lee I found the first General Lee so cliff was interesting.

He a very good old boy. Super nice gentleman, I said: hey cliff the old Dodge, turned the green one down the street. He goes. Oh, the General Lee, my cow man, you know I’m thought when he’s, thinking that’s, just some old wrecked racecar he knew was the General Lee.

I’m like dang, and he goes well. The two Roscoe police cars were over the hill. I’m, like oh, you got ta, be kidding me sure enough. Over the hill past the goats Roscoe, both police cars, police, one and two sitting there.

I come back up and it was getting a little dark out and gaunt Don and had his family reunion with him. He had ran the traffic like he said he was going to for me, and I said, hey generally, for sale like I’ll.

Just can I take all these out of here now the grandson cliffs grandsons into the Dukes of Hazzard, and I’m like going yeah, but this is a I mean it is a mess and said well write, no amount of money and it’s, our Travis, you have yourself a safe drive home now you know whatever.

So I knew his grandson’s name and I knew his address. So I went home and started a little plan on how, on God’s. Green earth to get this car so every two or three weeks, two or three months, I would send his grandson something in the mail little three pack of generally cars, Roscoe pewter, Erina’s, car, whatever else sent it in the mail autographed picture from John Schneider and in the mail id place a call, but every six months – and I say oh, we sure do appreciate your sentence.

Ak sir loves this and blasé that and no problem. So after you know, model kits, and I just put him in the mail. I called his wife one Friday and I said: hey did Zack, get a little Daisy, Jeep thing or whatever, and she said oh yeah, we sure do appreciate Easter.

He’s in there, putting it together now or XYZ. Finally, had enough after about 810 months a year of doing this, it’s time to ask if we can buy the car again, and so I said, hey, I sure, would like to come down and talk to cliff about that car.

Oh yeah, it’s. If you’re ever in the area, you should come on down stop on by, and that is my green light that someone has approved me to come down there and talk about that car. And so I immediately called friends in South Carolina and they had a flatbed roll-off truck and they didn’t live far away and I had another friend in Chicago.

I didn’t, have a trailer at the time, and I said I don’t care. What it takes just get down here – and this was a Friday and Friday – turned into driving all night all day and night Saturday we pulled down Lumpkin, campground Road or where the nuclear locomotive is, and here comes mr.

Shaw down the driveway in an astro van and This driveway, of course, is up the hill and it’s, gravel and nothing stops well on gravel, it comes to a stop and, I said: hey cliff, hey June, I’m here to talk to you about this car and cliff turned Into some guy didn’t know, and I’m yelled at me like I was his child and I don’t work on Sundays, who told you to come down here, and I said well Jun just told me on Friday to come Dalia and she’s like yeah, and it’s.

Very religious man, doesn’t work on Sunday. It’s. Not gonna have anything to do with some Yankee down there cruising around his property and I said well cliff, I drove all night and I really want to talk to you about this car and he rolled the windows up.

He said it’s. Buried back there, you can see what you can do and that was my green light. He didn’t know I had a tow truck around the corner, so we moved a whole bunch of cars and it was raining and it was on the hill and it was not good and we pulled Lee one up on a flatbed note with Big old railroad ties and got it up there and got it out and parked it there at the bottom of his driveway and it took hours, but he was at church.

I saw him coming back down the road and I don’t know if he’s. Gon na tell me to fly kite, get this thing out of here. What are you doing on my property and he drove right past us and up the driveway, and I’m like oh mr.

Shaw? Is it’s off, so everybody’s? Looking at me, like, we’re gonna, do you got ta, go talk to him Travis on my dude, I’m. This guy’s, God all right! So here it comes down overalls and he said Travis.

I apologize for being so ill towards you today. The NASCAR race is on why don’t. You come up here and sit down and watch this with me and we’ll talk about that car and he must have got some religion at church felt bad about it, and I was like going alright, so I’m.

Like I mean mr. Scholes and let’s, go watch the NASCAR race and we get up there and an outside TV, and then you know box, TV and and a little little picnic table now after watching a couple laps of this race.

I was like you know, cliff I got a heck of a drive home. I said I want to talk to you about what I’m gonna give you for this car. He said. Well, we offer me for being the shrewd negotiator that I am. I handed him a pin, and I said you write a number on your hand.

I’m gonna write a number on my hand and we’re gonna turn. Him over and whatever we’re apart then we know we’re going to start at, and so I had three eyes. Looking over my shoulder on what I was gonna write on my and mr.

Shah, he didn’t even think about, so I wrote $ 300 on my hand. He could have told me he could ‘ Ve told him what $ 30,000 for the car had no idea, he rolled his hand over, I rolled my hand over, he wrote $ 500 on his hand, so I bought the very first General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard for 400 bucks, and then he said You can have the other police cars for the same money too, so we’re talking $ 1,200 for all of the three original police cars from the Dukes of Hazzard, so we took it home.

We kept it in its green paint with the 71s and the, and it was known in the TV show as the Richard Richard, Petty wrecked race car, and we kept it like that for a long time. But people started picking paint off of it because they wanted a souvenir from the first General Lee.

We’re picking the rollbar Patton you couldn’t, take it anywhere because it’s painted with lead paint and Dukes of Hazzard fans, let their kids climb in this thing, and just they probably three of them, is probably Dead now from from being inside that thing, so it was a mess.

It was very, very bad and I had four Dukes collectors from Ohio, contacted me and said Travis. Would you sell the first general? Yes, you know everything’s for sale. What would you like, and they made me a good offer? I split the money, true to form and a man of my word with my friend from Chicago.

He drove a trailer down there and made half. It was no longer my car and I didn’t have to worry about any more and another gentleman called said Travis. I’m in the market for generally because for some reason the mecca of the Dukes of Hazzard was in Indianapolis and my name was all over every message board and I had found the first General Lee and arranging all this stuff.

But he wanted a real car and I said man there were 17. Real generally is left in the world. They’re all in various conditions. They’re very expensive. They’re very impossible to drive, because this is you know if you want something to drive and go to your car shows don’t buy, but he was adamant about the same time that guys from Ohio called back and said they’d, broken up or whatever, and they want to sell the car again.

So I called the gentleman in Florida that wanted a real General Lee and I said Lee one’s for sale and he said, give me the phone number and he called me back. He said I bought it. They’ll, have it for you.

I’ve, already wired their money. You just go to Ohio and pick it up and I go. I don’t want this car back. I mean what up so. He flew in from Florida. I wouldn’t pick the car up. We met at the Indianapolis International Airport.

He came and saw what he purchased, which wasn’t the greatest car in the world. It still looked exactly as it did as I found it in the in cliff Shaw’s yard, and I said well, what are you gonna do with this thing he said: well, you’re gonna restore it, and I said I have no desire to restore this thing.

He said Travis. If someone painted all over the Mona Lisa, someone would have to fix it, and that someone is you and I’m like that’s, pretty heavy. He took off he his plane ticket was for about three hours in Indianapolis to talk me into restoring the first General Lee.

This car had fallen out of the sky and landed on asphalt 8310 days before I found it, the transmission tunnel had caved over the top of itself. It was a disaster, but it still had its transmissions to have its motor still had a lot of stuff in him.

So I started writing checks and I we hired a body shop found a completely junk but good sheetmetal 69 Dodge Charger saved what we could save off the other one. We actually had the original motor rebuilt and then we restored li1, but we didn’t, restore it to showroom condition we restored it to, as it appeared Saturday November 11th 1978 when it flew, and the decals were crooked, because whoever put the decals on The door that day, but among crooked because they followed the wrong line of the car.

And so we went ahead and rebuilt the car and it ran and it drove and it still had a cracked windshield. And I had a cracked windshield in the show and the parking sticker was in it and we had generally number one again on the road the same but the most famous carpet.

It’s on every hurdle package of it in the air. It’s, the only one that had chrome rocker panels for the entire show, and it’s there. So we had the car and we had it for a while. He took it back to Florida for a minute and put it in the DuPont registry Museum down there and just really kind of fell out of love with it.

So it was time to sell it. He asked if we would represent the car again, which you know we have no problem of that and take it to barrett-jackson and for those of you that have had an experience, barrett-jackson food boy and it’s.

Gon na run up on Saturday on the big night and everything else, and whatever else so, my friend Jim went out there to represent the car and he is, if not, equally, more knowledgeable and not the dukes of hazzard than I am, and just to walk in Ex cyclopædia, I’ve, learned more from him that I learned from most people that appeared on the show he’s out there representing the car, and I had to DJ.

So now. What I’d, say I had to DJ. I worked at a club called Boogie Nights for nine years. I was a dish shot 426, so I have a full afro on horror, glasses, a Harlem Globetrotters uniform and it’s a Saturday night and I’m.

Looking at about a thousand people – and I got this little TV in the DJ booth and this car is about ready to sell – and he had called me Jim and called me and said there’s, this little guy well-dressed, nice guy, really interested in This car and I’m, like the one I’ll sell it to it.

You know I don’t care who he is it’s. All we needs to people to get a bidding war. On this thing, it rolls up on stage and it starts flying. You know, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 thousand, and this is a disc jockey at a luthier that had just restored a car and were up over a hundred thousand dollars.

We have no business restoring cars, we are just Dukes of Hazzard fans, the minute it hit a hundred and ten thousand dollars it hit a wall, it was done, there was an and they are begging for bids like, as you know, anybody somebody give me ten dollars.

Like it was ridiculous, but there was a bid from the sky box and that sky box was the eventual winner and the minute he put his card up. Everybody stopped and they all got out of his way and it was so weird to watch it happen.

But I bought the car for $ 400, so I I’m up to 110 thousand on my four hundred dollar investment coming to find out. It was Bubba Watson and he does live in Scottsdale and he’s local, but a super nice guy, PGA golf just a terrific, terrific guy and it couldn’t have gone to a better person.

A lot of people are like Travis aren’t, you upset. This thing only went for whatever and it was on a rails. I’m, a disc jockey and a disc jockey and a loosey air restored the first generally and we’re fans and we just made the cart is sold for a hundred and ten thousand dollars on my four hundred dollar investment.

I was dancing to the dance club like the Warner Brothers frog-like. I was happy as could be when the car left and went on. Bubba would email me back and forth just occasionally and I sent him some videos of when we restored it and shirts and whatever else, but then he would appear on a youtube channel or another program and he was able to recite the history of the car.

So he was a student of the car, so it couldn’t have gone through a better person and he has since restored some things were done, some things to make it his car, because it is now his car and he is allowed to do Anything he wants to with it.

So some things I didn’t expect was the backlash from the Dukes of Hazzard fans that couldn ‘ T believe that I would destroy the first General Lee that I was going to cut this car. All up and repotting it and it’s, a replica of the first General Lee and it’s.

No longer the first car and I was like going, but it’s, running driving on the drive train. It flew on and all the sheet metal on it’s, 1969 sheet metal, so I restored the car, but it’s. It’s, a replica, and so I didn’t and there was just threads and just people pissed off and I’m, like going oh, my gosh, so you remember back in the day the Statue of Liberty had all The scaffolding all over, they rebodied the whole Statue of Liberty, but they still call it the Statue of Liberty.

So even if you restore it, it’s still the same thing. We just destroyed Hollywood history, but it was my $ 400 investment and they could have bought it for the same amount of money if they would have found it.

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