Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Neal Clayton Takes Us To Carlisle Chrysler Nationals

I try to attend as many Dukes of Hazzard events as I can, but I can't make them all.  One event that I've never had the pleasure of attending, but I've always heard great things about, is the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, PA.  The event always has a strong Dukes presence and has a cast member almost every year.  This year was no exception.  My good pal and yours, Neal Clayton, is a regular to the event and was kind enough to write a blog post about his experience.  Take it away Neal.  

Larry asked me to write up a little blog entry about my experience at the all Chrysler Nationals this year in Carlisle.  Let me start by saying Carlisle is like Christmas morning for me.  Not only am I a huge Dukes of Hazzard fan, but I love all things Mopar especially 68-70 Dodge Chargers.

My dad bought a '69 Charger when he came home from Vietnam and still has the car with just over 50,000 original miles, numbers matching, and still has the paper tags that hung on the seats.  I grew up in the back seat going to little league games, school and everywhere else.  I have always thought the '69 Charger defines the phrase "muscle car."  To me, it is the ultimate. 

Carlisle was amazing once again.  I usually spend the whole first day digging through the swap meet looking for Charger parts to complete or improve my General Lee.  For those who don't know, I have a Lee 1 replica that I have tried to make as screen correct as possible with my own little touches.

I did end up finding the 8 track speaker covers that are in the dash of Lee 1, a very rare option that year and really hard to find.  I found out about these from my buddy Bubba who I met in Sperryville at Cooters

Bubba has the most amazingly detailed Lee 1 replica I've ever seen, he should be very proud.  He told me about the speakers and I had to have them to add to my car.  I actually ended up finding two sets so I was very excited due to their rarity. 

This year I had the pleasure of once again seeing Catherine Bach who is such a sweetheart and meeting for the first time, Rick Hurst better known as Cletus Hogg. 

Rick is such a great down to earth guy.  I told him it was an absolute pleasure meeting him and I appreciate all the things he has done to keep the Dukes alive.  

I needed Ricks autograph on my trunklid, so I took it off the car and wrapped it in a bed comforter to take to Carlisle.  It is safe back on my General thank goodness. 

My buddy Bill Cominsky had the honor of displaying his General Lee in Building T this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Charger.  Bill's Charger is amazing, he should be very proud.  In the middle of Bill's Charger build, he had all his parts stored in a shed while the body was at paint. The shed caught fire with all his parts which was a total loss.  That's how I met Bill.  I saw him in an 01 shirt at the swap meet carrying a vent window assembly so I asked if he was working on one. The rest is history.

Carlisle is always a blast seeing all the amazing cars built by Chrysler over the years.  I got to see some very interesting cars and modifications. 

Here is a power wheels painted like Daisy's Dixie, and Catherine sitting in a Dixie replica. What an amazing sight. 

There were about 10 General Lees this year in the show field including my buddy Jim's, a Lee 2 replica built with help of Bubba, and a '70 Charger which is always a pleasure to see. 

There were also a few patrol cars, one of which is owned by Bill Lambing, another awesome Dukes fan.  I spoke with another Lee owner, Jim Corrothers, who makes Dukes banners for inside the car that hang down to look like Bo, Luke and Daisy are sitting there. Very cool. 

Soon I'll be writing a blog about the Dukes cycle that I have. Larry mentioned this in a earlier post, the day he finally drove a General Lee, mine. What an honor for me. Thanks Larry!
Duke Boy for life, 
  Neal Clayton

Saturday, July 9, 2016

New Dukes Stuff - 7/9/2016 - Belt Buckles, Party Pack, Flash, and More

I've accumulated a slew of new Dukes items over the past few weeks and it's time to show them off.

This is a reproduction of the car lot at Warner Bros. during the production of the show.  I pick up Golden Era 1/64s whenever I see them for a decent price; the condition doesn't really matter to me.  I guess I've picked up a lot recently.  Most of the cars are rough, but still very recognizable.  There's even a Dixie Challenger in the mix.  I guess I feel these Dukes cars should never go unloved.  I love you little Dukes cars.

This is an oval-shaped pin that I picked up on etsy (I think.)  A fellow Dukes Collector tipped me off on the good price and I jumped on it.  I love when fellow collectors help me out.

This is a keychain that was released in conjunction with the movie in '05.  For some odd reason, it was only available in Australia.  I've had one since they came out, but I saw this one for a good price and had it shipped over a few oceans.  The signature Z marks the movie logo.

There is very tiny WB copyright info on the back.

My next item also comes from a land down under.  (Now the song is stuck in your head.)  It is a die-cut postcard advertising the Dukes of Hazzard airing on TV1 in Australia.  It uses the an image from the earliest photo shoots before the 01s were on the Gen'ral.

TV1 shows television's greatest hits, and the Dukes definitely belongs in that category.

The back of the card has a black and white image of Daisy on the roof.  It also has information about the network and an ad that says to send an e-card that will get there faster that the General Lee.  I like it.  Sadly the website no longer works so I'm not sure if the network is still around.  Hopefully it is, and it still shows the Dukes.  Can any Dukes fans from Australia fill me in? (I guess I could just Google it, but hearing from some Australian Dukes fans would be more fun.)  I like the stamp placement with the 01.

Next up is an item I never knew existed.  It's the Dukes of Hazzard Party Pack.  It consists of several party items including the small paper cups, plates, napkins, and tablecover.  I have all of these items individually, but never knew they were released in a pack together.

The pack was released by C. A. Reed who also released the individual pieces.  Before I knew this pack existed, I thought the rarest C. A. Reed party items were the Cake Topper edible decorations, and the party blowers.  Now I have the complete collection.  Awesome.

The back of the bag provides a nice view of the tablecloth.  I really like the classic artwork used on the party supplies.

The next item is pretty rare as well.  It is the smaller plush Flash stuffed animal.  It is in very good condition.

It is about four inches smaller than the more standard, but still quite rare, larger Flash.  It seems the coloring is a little lighter on the smaller one, but that just might my individual dogs.

The "Flash - The Dukes of Hazzard WB 1982" tags are in different locations on the two different stuffed Basset Hounds.  The little one has it on the side of the stomach and the bigger one has it near the tail.

I'm going to close this blog out with a few really awesome belt buckles.  First is a near match to Bo's most often used buckle.  His was round, but shared the same turquoise stone design.  I bought this one with the following buckle, and might not have gotten it if it wasn't with the other.  But I am happy I bought it as it has a distinctive look that is very Bo Duke.

This is the reason I bought the near Bo buckle.  This is a very near perfect Luke Duke bear claw belt buckle.  The one Luke wore had a hole in it where the belt passed through on the far left side, but when worn, it looked just like this.  I'm very happy to have finally found one that was similar enough to Luke's original to add to the collection.  You will remember that I discussed the signature bear claw buckle with Tom Wopat during my interview with him and John Schneider.  Don't remember?  Go on back and check out the video here.

The buckle was made by Native Craftsmen.  I was told the Wopat's own buckle was made by the same company.  I'm really happy to have this piece in my collection.  I'm going to wear it somewhere at least once.  

The last piece is another buckle that came from the production of the show.  This is the cast and crew belt buckle that I believe was given out during the first season.  It shares the same logo as the crew jacket I bought in December of 2015 that is from 1979.  I wrote a fun paragraph about the regal connotation of this design in the post about the white crew jacket.  Since I'm sending you to old posts, go check it out here.

The buckle is inscribed with the name Don.  There were several Dons on the show.  The first one that comes to mind is Don Pedro Colley who, of course, played Sheriff Big Ed Little.  He didn't join the the cast until season 3, in 1981 so I'm guessing this buckle didn't belong to him.  It could have belonged to Don Marando, a make-up artist, or Don Sanders or Don Rush, both of the sound department, or perhaps Don FauntleRoy of the camera crew, or maybe Donald Harris, a music editor.  It's a mystery I'd like to figure out one day.

The mystery could actually be solved because it is numbered on the back.  This is Cast and Crew Dukes Belt Buckle number 186 of 200.  Maybe there is some manifest somewhere in the WB archives that would tell me the origins of this buckle.  I would love to dive into the WB archives.  Oh, man I dream about rummaging WB's Dukes archives.  Maybe one day,

The belt buckle came to be a part of my collection by way of new friend of the blog Dan H.  He contacted me about the value of a few of these items and he mentioned the buckle and it ended up here.  He said he was a fan of the show since he was little.  His story is very similar to mine whereas his older brother loved the show during it's original run and got him into it, much like my sister Kate's love of the show got me hooked.  He is not sure how it found it's way to him.  Dan said he has pictures of him wearing it in the early to mid '80s, probably during the show's run.  He grew up in Colorado and had no connection to the production of the show.  He thinks perhaps his mother or one of his grandmothers, who were all big in garage and yard sales, picked it up for him from a sale.  Isn't it cool how those sort of things happen?  I'm happy to now consider Dan a friend and very happy that he bestowed upon me a special piece of his Dukes childhood.  I will take great care of it Dan.

Friday, June 17, 2016

New Dukes Stuff - 06/17/206 - Locally Unearthed Treasures

I recently did a little prospecting around my own corner of Hazzard County and found a few gems. Let's take a look at the treasures I found around the Pittsburgh area lately.

First off I scored another DK General Lee BMX Bicycle.  When I started this blog years ago, I had no idea about the storied history of the DK General Lee.  Now I have two in my collection.  I got my first one for my birthday in 2012.  That was the Walmart version that was a re-release for a more budget friendly crowd.  It worked out great for me because I was able to save money on a new one and keep it factory fresh.  I knew I wanted to try to find an original at some point.  The first versions came in General Lee orange, but as the bike became more popular, DK released different versions of it.  This is an original 16 inch black DK General Lee.

I've written quite a few posts about the DK General Lee in the past.  You can check out a few here, here, and here.  The best part about the DK company borrowing the name General Lee to associate their bike with jumping is they honored our favorite car.  They respected the General Lee text and also plastered the bike with 01s.  The addition of the orange really looks great on this black bike.

My new black DK General Lee has definitely been loved hard by its former owner, but I see the scuffs as battle scars worn with pride.  The bars have the DK 01 logo on it.

The seat has a lone 01 on each side.

The fork has an 01 on each side as well and are probably the most beat up stickers.  I'm really happy that the condition of this bike is nice enough to still display.  It was loved hard, but well taken care of.

The stem has a DK logo on it and it is really nice.  I am asked often to sell my DK General Lee stickers that my friend Jesse, from DK, sent me as a gift.  Many people are restoring a DK General Lee and want to use my stickers on their bike.  I, of course, haven't sold them.  I'm glad my locally found DK General Lee is in good enough condition not to need a restoration.

I had to bust out my other DK General Lee for a photo shoot.  The orange one is a 20 inch bicycle.

They belong together.  Once I put some air in the front tire, these two bicycles will look great together in the collection.

Next up is a poster of Bo and Luke.  It has been folded since the Golden Era, but is still in decent shape.

The same image was used on this framed picture from National Picture and Frame.  It's my guess that the framed picture was a store display to sell the individual posters.

The poster is marked with the Western Graphics Corporation logo.  It also has their number and address.

Along side the logo is the subject of the poster.  Luke and Bo are Cat. No. 26.  No. 01 would have been better.

Next we have a shelf that I bought from my new friend Mike.  Mike is a local toy seller and I went to his house to pick up the shelf.  His garage sure was cool.  Though he only had two Dukes items, he had loads of other great 80s and 90s toys to check out.  It was really fun.  In 2013 I described the Dukes of Hazzard shelf as a holy grail item and I stand my that statement.  These bad boys are nearly impossible to find.

This one is a little rough and the bottom panel is very damaged.  The best part about these shelves is they are built to have things put on them, so covering the damage with other Dukes of Hazzard items wont't be difficult for me.  The top two panels are in quite good shape.

Condition wise, it is on par with the other one I bought a few years ago which has a dented leg, and this new one has the damaged bottom.  I could take them both apart and construct a one nice one, but I don't think that's necessary.  They will serve nicely as collectibles and shelves in the collection.

I'm very happy to have two of these to show off and store on.

I didn't go crazy and buy a bunch of copies of the Dukes of Hazzard DVD Box Set that was released last year.

I did go crazy and buy a bunch of empty boxes that once housed the Dukes of Hazzad DVD Box Set that was released last year.  A seller on ebay was selling empty boxes for a reasonable price.  I contacted him and it turned out he had a bunch more and would sell them at a much more reasonable price if I bought a bunch.  Also turns out he was from the Pittsburgh area so I could save on shipping.  A bunch ended up being all that he had and I now have way more empty DVD boxes than what's pictured.  I have no idea what I am going to do with them.  Maybe use them as building blocks or something.  Regardless, they are awesome Dukes of Hazzard boxes and I'm happy to have them.

If you're wondering why the dude had so many, like I was, he happened to buy cases of the sets right when they were released last year.  You may remember that they were released at the same time the show was taken off the air and prices were through the roof so he sold the individual seasons on their own and made quite a profit.  He said he got stuck with a lot of Season 5 DVDs which is pretty funny.  (Coy and Vance starred in Season 5)

Finally, I bought an additional Dukes record player from our new pal Mike when I bought the shelf. In 2012, I blogged about the record player being my white whale, an item that eluded me for some time.  Since then I've found the archery set, pencil cup, tennis shoes, bath mitt, rain coat, and of course the mythical swimming pool.  The record player is on the rarer side, but not at all as rare as some items in my collection.

Mike had it with all his other awesome toys, so I couldn't leave without it.  It really has great graphics on it.  My other one still has the box, but this one is in great shape.  A very nice addition to the collection.

Mike included a copy of "Here Come The Dukes of Hazzard" read along book.  You can hear the complete story on this post.

Buying items from ebay is great and all, but it's a lot of fun meeting someone face to face to purchase Dukes of Hazzard stuff.  It's just as much fun talking about Dukes as it is buying Dukes.