DETROIT — CBS made viewers fast and furious every Friday night with The Dukes of Hazzard, as the General Lee jump-starts the 65th anniversary of AutoRama late Friday morning.
The General Lee is the hero car that helped cousins Bo (John Schneider) and Luke Duke (Tom Wopat) avoid the ‘speed traps’ of Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best), who was forever in ‘hot pursuit’ of chasing those good ‘ol boys who never mean no harm in fighting Hazzard’s corrupt system as a two modern-day Robin Hood: one-armed bandits against greedy county commissioner Jefferson Davis ‘J.D.’ Hogg (Sorrell Booke).
Boss Hogg may have been wearing the white suit, but it was Bo and Luke, sexy cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach), and their wise Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle) that were the true-blue white hats: Americans who fought for justice for the good people of Hazzard County. Nevertheless, that never stopped scheming Boss Hogg from keeping trying to claim their land and/or trying to frame them for the crimes he committed, such as running a gambling casino.
But in the end, the song of the Duke family remains the same: the good guys always won – just like the Lone Ranger, the Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers, etc.
Based on the 1975 film Moonrunners, Dukes aired on CBS from 1979 to 1985, where it became a Friday favorite throughout its seven-season run. The Southern action-comedy premiered as a mid-season replacement two years after the success of director Hal Needham’s Smokey and the Bandit with Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, and Jerry Reed.
“I love it, it’s been a really good experience for me,” said attendee Tyler Russler of Findlay, Ohio. “The General Lee is one of my favorite cars. I used to watch ‘Dukes of Hazzard‘ all the time. I’ve always wanted to have one of them.”
A Top 20 smash in its first four seasons, the legacy of Dukes has grown thanks to syndication, DVDs, memorabilia, and fans attending AutoRama to meet Wopat and Bach, who made their way in signing the fans’ autographs the only way they know how: at their booth.
For tickets and more information about the Detroit Autorama, visit https://autorama.com/attend/detroit/