Field of Schemes

Green Dodge Charger

There’s not a Dukes fan on the planet who hasn’t dreamed of owning a General Lee. Anyone shopping for a General Lee replica in the past few years has undoubtedly felt some sticker shock as ’69 Dodge Charger prices jumped into the stratosphere.

Years of successful DukesFest events, numerous car shows, and syndicated airing of The Dukes of Hazzard on CMT gave the General Lee plenty of spotlight. The 2005 big-screen Dukes of Hazzard movie further fueled collector interest in General Lee replicas, and prices reacted accordingly. It wasn’t unheard of to see GL replicas going for $50,000 and up. As prices went north, many of us longtime fans figured we could never afford this ultimate rebel dream machine.

We’re not even counting the price hysteria surrounding the “real” General Lees, as the finer points of snobbery regarding pedigree are lost on those of us who just want to rip around town and hit the Dixie horn.

But times have changed. The Dukes of Hazzard is no longer on the air, and doesn’t seem likely to return in the near future. Warner Bros, having squeezed the teat of the cash cow repeatedly on Dukes of Hazzard DVD sales, the 2005 movie, and the later made-for-TV “Dukes of Hazzard – Beginnings” movie, is giving the Dukes a rest. The toys have been marketed, the posters sold. The recent golden era for all things Duke has started to look like a sunset.

The economy itself has changed, too. Sputtering house prices have effectively dried up home equity loans. The job market is dicey in many areas of the country. Add high gasoline prices to the mix, and you have a recipe for a cooling collector car market. General Lee replicas, popular as they are, have not been immune from this trend. A recent bargain hunt online found a show-condition GL replica selling for $25,000 flat.

It seems like a great time to buy that General Lee dream car, while prices are somewhat calm. We thought so too, and so our search took us to online postings around the country. One seller in Illinois had several classic Charges for sale, but further research showed them to have a bad reputation. They allegedly pump out General Lee clones as fast as they can find rust buckets and spray paint them orange. We’re not claiming to be the Better Business Bureau, and in fairness we don’t have the company’s side of the story. Here’s who they are: http://www.hlpag.com

And here’s where we saw negative feedback, regarding an ebay purchase from these sellers: http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,3692.0.html

While there’s a few bargains out there, this is all a long-winded way of saying that no matter the market, no matter how bad you want something…always do the homework.

Wish us luck as we continue our quest for a General Lee we can afford. Yeeehaaa!

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