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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The General Lee rides again

Sunday, August 7, 2005

(Photo)
Gaven Ray, left, and Dylan Schere climb in and out of their uncle's 1969 "General Lee Charger."
BENTON -- After sitting nearly 16 years in storage, the dust came off, and Don Scherer's 1969 Charger transformed, once again, into the General Lee.

Scherer purchased the "The Dukes of Hazzard" look-alike car back in 1987 when he was 23.

"I liked the show. I liked that model of car, and the person selling it just wanted to get rid of it," recalled Scherer, now 41.

After two years of driving the well-known car, Scherer decided to park his 1969 Charger in his sister's shed, where it's sat, accumulating dust -- until a few days ago.

"My nephews have been after me to clean it up and get it out," said Scherer of Benton.

Scherer said his nephews' interest with the car came way before the remake of the hit 1980s TV show hit theaters Friday.

"They weren't even born when the show was on TV, but they had been watching the reruns on TV."

A farmer, Scherer said he didn't have much free time to work on the car so he's left a lot of it up to his nephews and father, Charlie Scherer, who's in the auto business.

Scherer's 16-year-old nephew Hunter Glastetter helped his father pull the car out and it's now sitting at his parents' home.

Glastetter said on the first day the car was pulled out, he spent about four or five hours cleaning up the inside and outside of the car.

"I would like to be able to drive it around," said the hopeful 16-year-old, adding he'd like to fix it up for the upcoming Benton Neighbor Day parade.

The engine still has to be cleaned up and the horn, which sounds like the one on TV, needs to be fixed, Glastetter said.

Glastetter also admitted he wanted to get the car out because he likes the show.

"I like it for the music and the car chases," Glastetter said.

Rose Ann Scherer said she enjoys seeing another generation -- her 23 grandchildren -- admiring her son's car.

"They've all been out there cleaning it up," Mrs. Scherer said.

While Scherer is quick to point out his car is not the original driven in the TV show, it's almost identical to the real thing.

Scherer still has the rims and wheels to the car, which are identical to the real General Lee's, he said. And in case anyone's wondering, the car is not for sale, he said.

Andy Mack of Benton also remembers Scherer's Charger. Mack's dad is the one who sold it to Scherer.

"It wasn't that big of a deal back then. Now it would really be something," said Mack, 26.

The only difference between Scherer's car and the real General Lee is Scherer's car has black interior, Mack recalled.

Mack said his dad used to show the car a lot.

"I don't know why he bought it, but when he brought it home, I don't think my mom was really proud of him," Mack recalled.

Mack remembers his father never took the car out in the rain either.

"It was a hot subject in the '80s and caught everybody's eye if we drove out with it," Mack said. "My mom would never drive it -- and maybe that's why he bought it."

While Mack liked the fast cars and chases, he thinks most people can relate to the show about the "good ol' boys" Bo and Luke Duke, their short shorts-

wearing cousin, Daisy, moonshine-making uncle Jesse and archrivals, Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane and politician J.D. "Boss" Hog.

"Everybody you talk to knows the show and likes it and watched it as a kid," Mack said.

And according to Mack, the family show revolved around one thing: "It was always about the General Lee."