March 1, 2023 | 4:28
A few of the Duke boys ran out of luck – and the road – when they wrecked their muscle car “General Lee” in Missouri on Sunday.
The couple pulled off Highway 165 in Hollister, outside of Branson, on Sunday afternoon, severely damaging the vehicle.
Photos released by the Western Taney County Fire Protection District show the iconic orange Dodge Charger on a grassy roadside embankment.
Its front end crumpled after hitting a tree.
Authorities said the occupants, whose names have not been released, were assessed at the scene and taken to hospital, but suffered only minor injuries.
But while early reports identified the car as one of dozens used in the making of the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ TV show or the 2005 movie based on it, a spokeswoman for the Protection District Western Taney County Fires told Fox News Digital it was just a custom replica.
Part of the confusion stemmed from the fact that it had been autographed by cast members, but the owner of the car, who was not present during the accident, contacted the agency to confirm that he it was not a vehicle used on screen. A giveaway was that its doors weren’t welded on like the show cars.
It did, however, have all the signature features of the classic, including a front push bar, the number 01 on the doors, and the controversial Confederate battle flag still painted on the roof.
Many other examples and several of the remaining genuine cars have had their flags covered or removed in recent years.
Professional golfer Bubba Watson bought the “General Lee” which was used to jump over a police car in the opening credits of the Barrett-Jackson auction show Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2012 for $121,000 and in 2015 said on Twitter that he was going to cover the flag.
“All men ARE created equal so I believe I will paint the American flag on the roof of General Lee #USA,” Watson wrote.
“Obviously I’m not defending the Confederate flag,” he also had at the time. “The Confederate flag wasn’t used (on the show) for what people see it today, so it’s sad. But NASCAR was built on moonlight, so the show was built on the moonlight. I thought it was fun. I didn’t buy the car to advertise; I bought it because I like it.”
However, the car hasn’t been seen in public since, and Bo Duke actor John Schneider told Fox and Friends in 2019 that he doesn’t believe Watson ever kept his promise.
“I heard he took the flag down, but honestly, I have no reason to believe that’s true,” said Schneider, who was promoting his movie ‘Christmas Cars’ which featured a replica of General Lee with the flag.
“No, I don’t think he would do that, I certainly haven’t and I’m from New York.”
The following year, Watson told Golfweek he was looking for a museum to donate the car to.
Regarding the Dukes of Hollister, Police Chief Preston Schmidt told the Springfield News-Leadeer on Monday that “it was determined that the driver of the vehicle was traveling too fast for the road conditions and lost control of the vehicle he was driving”, and that no charges had been filed.