What Goes Up: General Lee Replica Crashes After Leaping Into the Air
Police Sirens, the tune of “Dixie” playing on a horn, and a streak of orange in the sky should all seem familiar to anyone who watched television in the early 1980s. These are all hallmarks of The Dukes of Hazzard. If there is one thing that the classic television show is known for above all else, it would be the incredible stunts that the Dukes’ car, the “General Lee,” performed during every episode.
For the Autorama show in Detroit, Dukes of Hazzard enthusiast Raymond Kohn decided to replicate the stunts from the show is his own replica of the General Lee. However, unlike them Duke boys, Kohn probably wouldn’t have outrun Sheriff Rosco or Boss Hogg. After all, the 1969 Dodge Charger he was driving crashed immediately after it landed.
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Autorama is an annual hot rod show that takes place in the heart of the Motor City. As Autorama frequently showcases replicas of some of the most famous vehicles ever to hit the streets or the screen, the 1969 Dodge Charger General Lee has always been a staple of the event. This year, Dukes of Hazzard alums Tom Wopat, who played Luke, and Catherine Bach, who played Daisy, were even in attendance.
Therefore, Autorama wanted to celebrate The Dukes of Hazzard with a stunt demonstration starring the General Lee, or at least a replica of the vehicle. For this, the event turned to Kohn.
Kohn, a resident of Northeast Ohio, is the owner of the R/T Auto Repair store. When he’s not repairing and remodeling other people’s vehicles, he is customizing Dodge Chargers for the sole purpose of recreating stunts from The Dukes of Hazzard.
Over the years, Kohn has attempted 20 jumps in the customized General Lee vehicles that he drives. Of course, these Chargers aren’t just made to look like the Lee. They also have to take the same abuse that the classic car went through every time it made a spectacular leap into the air.
The Chargers that Kohn uses are designed to absorb the shock of the landing after each jump to ensure that Kohn suffers no back injuries. Furthermore, Kohn wears a flame-retardant suit and a customized safety harness during each jump that he attempts.
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During the Autorama event on Friday, February 24, a crowd of attendees gathered outside of the Cobo Center to watch Kohn attempt the jump in his very own General Lee. Things seemed to start out fine, with the 1969 Dodge Charger reaching 55 mph before traveling up a 5 foot ramp.
However, after traveling a total airborne distance of 134 feet, the General Lee landed grille first into the asphalt of the road. Fortunately, Kohn suffered no injuries from the stunt, although he did comment that he would probably feel sore for the next few days.
“It’s a cool feeling being in the air like that,” Kohn commented after the stunt. “It’s like a roller coaster ride. But in the end, it’s like the roller coaster derails.”
You can watch a video of the stunt below:
It’s safe to say that this particular General Lee will probably not be making any more jumps anytime soon.
News Source: Detroit Free Press