As ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ skids on to the big screen, Sarah Barrell fufills a dream – to clamber into the original Dodge Charger and burn rubber in the backstreets of Louisiana
Ever since the General Lee lit up the grey evenings of 1970s British television with a burst of Georgia Peach orange and blast of Dixie horns, I have harboured driving desires. For the generationally challenged among you, the General Lee was the Dodge ’69 Charger that belonged to Bo and Luke Duke, the fast-drivin’, rubber-burnin’ boys of Hazzard County.
Along with their honey-limbed cousin Daisy and the moonshine-making Uncle Jessie, The Dukes of Hazzard was a kind of The Waltons for petrol heads: Americana at its most irresistible. The show ran into the mid-Eighties, a time when my brother and I fought like bobcats in a bear trap for control of our own General Lee (a go-kart dad built from an old pram). Even now, 20 or so years later, I’m still reduced to a near feral state of mouth-frothing at the sight of any Dodge car circa 1970. The latest movie remake of The Dukes of Hazzard TV series finally spurred me into action. After several months of searching, aided by the Louisiana Film Commission, various Deep South tourist boards and a shady dude called Big Al, a date was set.