The Dukes of Hazzard
- "Boy, we wrecked a bunch of them during the years of the show." - Tom Wopat ("Luke" Duke).
- "I think that we went through more than one per episode. There were a lot of them driving around California, and there were a bunch backed up in reserve when we needed them." - Tom Wopat ("Luke" Duke).
- "Both John and I knew how to slide the cars around. We did a lot of those dust-raising stops and screaching exits. I did smack into a semi truck one time, and John ran into a couple of buildings too." - Tom Wopat ("Luke" Duke).
- "One time I lost control of the car, ran over a fence and into a ravine. It wasn't planned, but they got it on film and used it." - Sonny Shroyer (Enos Straitt).
|Make / Model:
||1969. Dodge Charger [Road & Track (R/T)].
||Georgia CNH 320.
To customize the car for the show, it was stripped down to the bare metal on the outside, the rough spots were sanded thoroughly, and then several coats of specially-mixed paint were applied. All of this work was done right at the studio, where the producers had set up a repair shop just for that purpose.
"First Unit" Cars
Prepared for close-up shots with the actors and are included in most of the still photography.
||426 Hemi (Hemispherical), with an Eldebrock torquer intake.
440 Magnum or 440 Six-Pack.
||New four-barrel Holley 780 (maybe a 750) Double-Pumper carbuerator.
New spark plugs & wires (if not a total engine rebuild to begin with).
Special 3" exhaust system.
||Chrysler "Torqueflite" A-727 or B-727.
3.23-to-1 rear end gearing with limited slip
||Heavy duty shocks (coil-over style in the rear).
B.F. Goodrich T/A radial tires.
Cast aluminum turbo wheels.
||Welded shut (for structural rigidity and storyline continuity).
||Replaced with a special horn that played the first twelve notes of "Dixie".
||Grill guard added.
"Second Unit" Cars
The workhorses were used for a variety of different activities from 180-degree "bootlegger" turns and two-wheel driving, to jumps. Specification as above (minus chrome work), and tuned for their appointed duties.
||273 & 318 engines used on shorter jumps.
383 & 440 engines used when more speed was necessary.
||Supported by three-point roll bars that helped retain the strength of the metal in the event the car was flipped over during a scene.
||"Bootleg turn" cars - had the ratcheting mechanism on the emergency brake pedal removed to allow the rear brakes to be applied and released without need to pull the locking handle. This allowed the stunt man to jam on the brakes, turn the car 180 degrees and then release the pedal accelerating the car back in the opposite position.
||"Jumping Generals" - outfitted with full six-point NASCAR-style five-gallon fuel cells.
||To keep the cars flying straight once in the air, a weight box was cabled into the trunk, holding it tightly to the rear frame section. The weight boxes carried from 100 to 600 pounds to counterbalance the engine. Without the weight, the Chargers would fall nose first into the ground every time.
Damage to the jumped cars was generally so severe that the cars were never used again in the show for any action; just for parts to build another Second Unit General Lee.