General Lee and Herbie
The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard and Herbie the Love Bug from Herbie: Fully Loaded will join four other automotive icons from the big and little screens at the world's largest automotive extravaganza.
Although its seven-season run on network television ended 20 years ago, the General Lee, designed by legendary automotive customizer George Barris, has enjoyed non-stop popularity in syndication, a Saturday morning cartoon, two reunion specials and a series of video games.
Bo, Luke, Daisy, Uncle Jesse, Boss Hogg and the other citizens of Hazzard County were Friday night TV friends to millions of Americans, but the real star of the show was Barris' orange 1969 Dodge Charger.
Wearing a not-too-politically correct Rebel flag on its roof and the number 01 on its doors, the General Lee could slip through police roadblocks, jump overturned big rigs and clear the occasional pond with ease.
The hour-long action/slapstick comedy format was especially attractive to children-a following that kept the show rated among the top-10 during its early years. Its formula of car stunts, low-brow humor and damsel-in-distress story lines remained unchanged through 147 episodes, from its debut in January of 1979 until the General Lee jumped its last roadblock.
With television series such as The Brady Bunch, Starsky & Hutch, Bewitched and The Avengers being brought back as feature films, its was only a matter of time before the General Lee jumped onto the big screen.
The Dukes of Hazzard movie debuted in August with Johnny Knoxville replacing Tom Wopat as Luke, Sean William Scott filling John Schneider's boots as Bo, and Jessica Simpson taking a shot at Catherine Bach's Daisy. The only character unchanged from the original television series was the General Lee.
Weighing one ton less than the General Lee and with a flat-four engine that falls 300 horsepower shy of the Dodge's Hemi V-8, Herbie the Love Bug is the Pearl White 1963 Volkswagen Beetle that married Disney cuteness to road racing excitement in 1969's The Love Bug.
Also designed and built by Barris, Herbie earned his nickname acting as matchmaker for Dean Jones, who played a down-on-his-luck race car driver, and Michele Lee in the original film. The moniker "Herbie" came from a joke in co-star Buddy Hackett's Las Vegas stand-up comedy act, and producer Bill Walsh assigned the Volkswagen number 53 after L.A. Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale.
Besides winning races, Herbie won big at the box office as The Love Bug became the second-most profitable Disney movie after Mary Poppins. Success brought sequels. Herbie Rides Again (1974, starring Ken Berry), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977, Dean Jones), Herbie Goes Bananas (1980, Charles Martin Smith), Herbie, the Love Bug (1982, TV series, Dean Jones) and Herbie, the Love Bug (1997, TV movie, Bruce Campbell) kept the boisterous Beetle in the public's eye for more than 30 years.
In this summer's Herbie: Fully Loaded, the lovable Bug took Lindsay Lohan and Michael Keaton to victory lane in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series, despite the best efforts of archrival Matt Dillon.
Other Barris-designed cars scheduled for display at Food Lion AutoFair are the radically modified Mitsubishi Eclipse from The Fast & The Furious movie and the coffin-based "Dragula" dragster Fred Gwynne drove as Hot Rod Herman in The Munsters television series.
The 1969 Camaro convertible Drew Barrymore drove in Charlie's Angels and the 1967 Shelby GT 500 named Eleanor from the most recent edition of Gone in 60 Seconds are also scheduled to be on hand.
Other attractions scheduled for Food Lion AutoFair are a 50th anniversary gathering of cars powered by Chevrolet's small-block engine, a display of military vehicles celebrating the 230th birthday of the U.S. Army, numerous examples of vintage farm machinery courtesy of the Stumptown Tractor Club and an automotive art gallery.
Food Lion AutoFair hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5.
For information, contact the speedway events department at 704-455-3205 or click here.