Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved cars. As a kid I’d watch all the legendary shows like Knight Rider, A-Team, Herbie the Lovebug, Starsky and Hutch, Smokey & The Bandit to just name a few. But one car that took my imagination to new levels was the General Lee.
To see two guys ripping a bright orange car on dirt roads and doing amazing jumps made me go crazy. Growing up in the 80s in my eyes was split two ways. The excess and hustle and bustle of big cities and trendy music, and the simple country life where crazy things happen and life was awesome. So being from NY, seeing this country life that I’d only see on vacation trips made me love it even more. It made me believe things could possibly be like in Hazzard County. Somewhere. So as I got older, anything 80s and country, or even a movie with a country scene would make me miss my childhood and imagination. Goonies rural town anyone? So many things would take me back.
When I got my license, (finally) I always wanted to have a sports car to call my own. I first had a Honda Civic coupe. This was just before the first “Fast and the Furious” movie. I modified it to he point of being paid by Universal to promote “2 Fast 2 Furious” and car shows and be on a CBS show called “Urban Latino” where my car was showcased in a 15 minute segment.
Times soon changed. I wanted more. But what did I want? I wasn’t sure myself. I dumped the Honda for the highly anticipated 2005 Mustang GT. I modified it a bit and raced a lot, but still I wasn’t satisfied.
Finally one day I see the Dodge Challenger. My first thought was that the retro body looks so much like what the old Chargers/Challengers looked like. They weren’t so distant as far as looks go. Naturally, the General Lee popped into my head along with a tidal wave of childhood memories and visions of the country. After a few years, I decided to take the plunge and buy one. I remember telling the dealer “I want it orange, an R/T because I need the badges, black wheels, manual and I want leather. I’m going to make a General Lee.” So I got the car, drove it a few months until I went to a show with a friend and decided that instant to finally stop procrastinating and do my project.
So I got to work. Now before you say the same repetitive lame comment of “It’s not a Charger”, well again, the retro body seems perfect and a lot better than using a four door Charger that looks nothing like its ancestor.
The car needed a name, so I decided to call it the “Resurrected Lee”. A new General Lee for a new generation. Why sit back looking at old cars on old shows when a new updated version can be made as a tribute? In no way am I trying to replace the original, but if it were to retire I’d like to think the Resurrected Lee would definitely take over the reigns. I had to make sure I would keep things as close to the original as possible, where possible.
I first did the exhaust with Flowmaster, full piping. Took out cats and bought a dummy sensor for the computer. Then in for painting. The roof and doors were measured numerous times for accuracy. Of course minor adjustments had to occur with the different body shape, but I tried my best to remain faithful to the original. While online I stumbled upon the Cobra CB radio. The same model used for the show. I immediately purchased it. This was something I didn’t have to “update” and keep true to the original. How perfect! The radio was installed and fully functional including the antenna on trunk.
The push bar was very outdated and Photoshop showed me just how bad it would look on my version of the Lee. So I had to update this aspect and purchase one from Go Industries. This update to the original had to be done.
The Dixie horn was purchased from WOLO and placed behind the front bumper. An easy application and obvious “must have” from the original.
Lastly to date were the wheels. Vector wheels don’t come in a size bigger than 15″. This was impossible to place on my car. So I decided to update the wheels and add some new style. With today’s innovations in wheels I doubt the General would keep small vector wheels. While browsing for wheels I found a set from BBS. I thought they were perfect. Elegant but at the same time very aggressive. Staggered was the way to go with 20x 9.5 on front and 20×10.5 on rear with size 275 tires.
An upcoming addition already in progress is a custom built updated 1969 style grill to replace my existing. This will change the entire face of the car and I am very excited to see the final result.
The engine is still stock, I’m hopeful a sponsor would be willing to help. With the massive exposure the car has already gotten, and most of you know one major event that happened, I keep wondering if a brand wants to take advantage of the notoriety the car has been getting and help my build.
With being featured on numerous Instagram car pages, video releases such as Hazard Sports on YouTube, and an upcoming television interview and podcast interview I’m hoping someone sees how hard I’m trying to gain exposure and push my idea out into the car world. I’ve been fortunate enough to gain a sponsorship through R1 Concepts, who deal in rotors and performance brakes. I’m hopeful other brands will gauge interest in the future.
In the end, I just want people to enjoy the car. The General Lee is the most recognized car in the world. I’m just updating it for the world and want to capture and share the excitement every time I jump in the driver seat. I do this build for everyone. I want you to smile when you see me drive by or at a show, photo shoot or whatever it is you see the car at. I want people to smile and say “I love the Resurrected Lee”.
To learn more about this General Lee, follow nyduke01 on Instagram.