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A very happy birthday to the General Lee.

OK, so technically the General Lee’s birthday occurred sometime in 1969 since the General was a 1969 Dodge Charger. However, on this day in 1978, a stuntman on the set of The Dukes of Hazzard launched the show’s iconicĀ ’69 Charger off a makeshift dirt ramp, over a police car–and into history.

The legend of the General Lee was born.

Although more than 300 different General Lees appeared in the series, which ran on CBS from 1979 until 1985, this first one was the only one to play a part in every episode, appearingĀ each week at the end of the show’s opening credits. The General Lee would go on to become one of the most recognizable and popular American cars of all time, even landing at the top of our list of greatest TV cars. The 300-plus Generals–as many as 321 by some accounts–used either a 318, 383, or 440-cubic-inch engine and a 727 TorqueFlite transmission in most cases.

Even today, nearly 30 years after the end of the Dukes of Hazzard series, it’s common to see General Lee replicas at national and local car shows alike. You can even find General Lee-inspired imposters on this cool Pinterest site.

But there’s only one original.

Let’s head on over to the Boar’s Nest and toast the legendary General Lee, shall we.

 

SOURCE: History.com.

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Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.