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John 'Bo Duke' Schneider to reunite with an original General Lee in Volo

Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 2:00 p.m. CST
Caption
John Schneider

It’s a “Yee-Haa!” waiting to happen.

John Schnieder, best known as Bo Duke from the ’80s hit television series “The Dukes of Hazzard,” will reunite June 29 with an original General Lee at the Volo Auto Museum. 

In 2005, the museum purchased the bright orange 1969 Dodge Charger, with its welded doors, classic “01” on the door and Confederate flag on the roof.

One goal of Volo Auto Museum owner Brian Grams always has been to bring the cast to town.

“There is no TV show or sitcom that has a following like this,” Grams said of the “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which aired on CBS from 1979 to 1985 and featured the adventures of cousins Bo and Luke Duke. 

The two lived in fictional Hazzard County, Georgia, with their cousin Daisy and their wise old Uncle Jesse as they evaded county commissioner Boss Hogg in the General Lee. The car became a character in itself, known for its signature horn, its chases and stunts, including long, high jumps.

Few of the Dodge Chargers fashioned to become the General Lee still exist, as they were destroyed during filming or stripped for parts for future General Lees, Grams said. On average, more than one General Lee was used per show.

“Ours is completely original,” Grams said. “It hasn’t had any restoration done to it whatsoever.”

Grams himself was a fan of the show growing up, but said he often had to watch it with the volume turned down at his parents’ request as they got ready to go to the disco. 

He had met Schneider years ago when the museum owned a replica of the General Lee and loaned it out for a WGN promotion featuring Schneider. 

The museum now has a General Lee created during the television show’s first season. The first five episodes were filmed in Georgia, before the show moved to California. For those five episodes, eight “General Lee” cars were built.

“They used the first seven and pretty much destroyed them before they decided to move it out to California,” Grams said. 

That eighth car now sits at the museum. “It was built, but never got to screen use, so it didn’t get destroyed. If it would have gone to California, it would have been in parts.”

The car was purchased a couple of times through the years before ending up with a private owner, who, for the most part, kept the car safely in a garage, Grams said. 

“The car has only had 1,200 miles put on it since 1978,” he said. “It’s hasn’t seen the light of day too often. The car itself has been out of the limelight for the most part. A lot of people didn’t even know the car existed until we brought it to attention.” 

Schneider will reunite with the car from noon to 4 p.m. June 29 at the museum, 27582 Volo Village Road, Volo. He’ll be part of a meet-and-greet and offer autographs for $25. 

Schneider is flying in for the day and quickly returning to Louisiana, where he is filming “Smothered,” the horror movie he wrote and is directing, said Michael Gursey, president of John Schnieder’s Fairlight Films. 

The latest project is one of numerous self-written scripts Schneider intends to direct through his relatively new film company, Gursey said. 

After “Dukes,” Schneider went on to appear in numerous film and television roles. In the 1980s, he released nine country albums, a greatest hits package and 18 sing-

les, which landed at the top of the Billboard country single’s chart.

In another well-known role, he played Jonathan Kent from 2001 to 2011 in the television series “Smallville.”

Yet, to fans of the “Dukes of Hazzard,” he’ll always be a good ol’ boy.

“He obviously has a very solid attachment,” Gursey said of Schneider’s willingness to promote all things “Dukes of Hazzard.” “All the members of the Dukes’ cast really feel the same way.”

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