1969 "General Lee" Dodge Charger
|Kit:||MPC ERTL General Lee|
|Pros:||One of my favorite cars, clean build, decent modifications|
|Cons:||Crummy hood design, plain engine|
|Verdict:||Suitable for display|
Ah, the Dukes of Hazzard. So few shows or movies had such an impact on my love for cars. I had the ERTL 1/64 die cast cars and went through several of them with all my 'Duke Boys' adventures. The General Lee is an '80s icon.
I had actually made an attempt at a General Lee sometime in high school by trying to convert a Plymouth GTX kit into a Charger. If I find pictures of it (doubtful) I'll put 'em up. It was pretty cool because it had working pen spring suspension and aside from not looking exactly like a Charger, it was pretty neat. A few dozen jumps later it was pretty much scrap. I got the correct wheels from a crappy corvette model that was sitting on the shelves for a few years that the store owner let me "inspect" in the store and then he returned the kit because *gasp* it was missing the wheels. ~cough~ $2 well spent.
Well anyway eventually in the late '90s Dukes of Hazzard was on re-runs on TNN (which became SPIKE TV in 2004) and ERTL re-released this kit that had a Charger 500 body, that is the rear deck was rounded off and had a different window. The Charger 500's are really rare so I can see why they would have made a kit at one time. I couldn't let that stand as-is so I got out the styrene and modified the rear deck area to be just like it's supposed to be. It took a lot of work mostly from having to figure out the angles of the plastic parts and so forth. Much to my dismay and delight, Monogram released a beautiful '69 Charger RT kit a year or two later with the regular body style. Figures.
Aside from a slight squeak, it rolls smoothly and looks great. The hood doesn't really fit all that well, but there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it. The engine is all there but pretty basic compared to the Monogram kit. Not that we saw the engine a whole lot during the series anyway, but I wish I'd have found it first.
I think the interior came out pretty nicely. Watching the series reveals the car had several different interior colors and schemes, so I chose a nice tan color with black roll cage. Considering how wrong the body style is the interior had nice details like seat belts (did they ever wear them?) and good dashboard detail.
Overall I'm very satisfied with my work on this car. It doesn't have a clear coat over the decals and they've held up for something like 6 years now, and the gloss Racing Orange looks bright and clean.