Monday, March 23, 2009

Hazzard County royalty hits Toronto

Hazzard County royalty hits Toronto

John Schneider, aka Bo Duke, and the General Lee
headline the Motion Custom Car Show
TV show Dukes of Hazzard made John Schneider and the Dodge Charger famous.

Just good old boys, never meanin' no harm – and 30 years later, The Dukes of Hazzard is still immensely popular. Next weekend, Bo Duke – or rather, actor John Schneider – will be featured at Motion Custom Car Show, in the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place.
The show will also include appearances by Stacey David, host of Speed TV's GearZ, as well as some 185 hot rods, muscle cars, trucks and tuner cars. Using the name of a Toronto show from the 1970s, Motion takes over from Speedorama, which marked its final edition in January 2008.
It's a rare appearance for Schneider, who kept busy post-Dukes with roles on Smallville and Nip/Tuck, numerous other shows and films, and a recording career.

He'll be alongside a "General Lee" from the Canadian Dukes of Hazzard Museum, based near Windsor.

"I honestly didn't think the Dukes would live this long," Schneider says. "(Now) I don't think they'll ever go away."
The show ran from 1979 to 1985, and was loosely based on actual moonshine runners. They used a 1958 Chrysler dubbed Traveler, after Confederate general Robert E. Lee's horse. For Bo and Luke Duke, it became a 1969 Dodge Charger named for Lee himself.
The initial script specified "Confederate grey" paint, but show-car builder George Barris warned against it. "He said that makes historical sense, but imagine a grey car running through the hills of Georgia in November," Schneider says. "You'd never see it. It had to be a colour that any shade-tree mechanic would have in abundance, and that was engine-paint orange. People argue about the actual colour of the General Lee, but it was whatever Warner Brothers had. Hugger Orange, Hemi Orange, engine block orange – they mixed it all up in a trash can.
"None of the paint jobs were any good. With some of the flags, the white around them was done in medical tape when they didn't have anything else."
With only four cars for the earliest shows, they were beaten up during the day and quickly repaired at night for the next day's filming.
Schneider says 329 Chargers were used over six years. Cars would be fixed several times, and then used for "jumps" that would finish them off, much to the dismay of collectors today. "But if we hadn't wrecked all of those cars, nothing would have happened," he says. "Nobody today would ever have heard of a 1969 Charger."
If Schneider's role was smashing them, Stacey David's is putting them together. Previously the host of the show Trucks!, he now builds cars on GearZ. Unlike many celebrity builders, he loves the unusual and the low-dollar, including a 1932 Ford and "Banshee" that he plans to bring to the show – a tribute to the AC Cobra, but built on a Mazda Miata.
"We're not reinventing the wheel here," he says. "We're going into one of the most iconic builders ever, Carroll Shelby. He took a British sissy car – nobody drove an AC Ace – because that was all he could get, and he created the Cobra. Now we fast-forward 40 years to this Japanese car. I got this one off eBay for $2,500. I used the best stuff, and the cost of the car still rolls in only around $20,000. The engine's about 400 horsepower. You don't have to spend a lot of money.
"I don't care what Barrett-Jackson says about the value of a car. They were built to drive."
David loves to talk to fans about their vehicles. "My show is not me showing you what I can do so you can be amazed, it's about me showing you what you can do," he says. "We're all just car guys. Pull out your pictures, and let's see what you've got."
Show manager Gary Wallace promises a Hemi-powered 1941 Willys, a 2009 Dodge Challenger that competed in Targa Newfoundland, a selection of 1930s cars from Canadian craftsman John St. Germain, replicas of the Knight Rider car and a Corvette display.
The show runs March 27-29; for information, visit


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so excited about this! :)

Is admission to the car show the only cost involved?

Thanks in advance for your response.

9:25 AM  

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