Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Restoration of a DK General Lee Bicycle

Our good pal and master model builder Chris Dunlap (aka Revshag) recently completed a restoration of a DK General Lee Bicycle.  He was kind enough to share his story and pictures with the DukesCollector blog. Take it away Chris. 

"DK was a father and son company started in 1979 making parts for BMX bikes.  They eventually began making frames and in 1997 introduced the General Lee frame.  It was built specifically for dirt jumping and trails.  If you’re going to build a bike for dirt jumping, what else are you going to call it but the General Lee? It was offered in two colors—orange and black.  The graphics had a vibe similar to our beloved flying orange clunker car.  It was a popular frame from the get-go.  It was strong and well made.

Original DK Frame
Later the DK General Lee was offered as a complete bike.  Another addition was that it was also offered as a cruiser (24” tires as opposed to the traditional 20”)  and was being sold at Walmart.  Over the years there have been some changes in the DK General Lee and differences in the graphics (for more information go to http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/dk/?model=8&pg=5 ).

I got into BMX Freestyle in 1987 and it was a big part of my life until around 2001.  It filled the void in my life after the Dukes went off the air!  In the past couple of years my children have learned how to ride bikes and training wheels have been left behind.  I was looking for a bike that I could ride with them and be comfortable on.  I found this 2003 DK General Lee cruiser on eBay and snatched it up just in time to take on a family vacation to the beach.  I spent some time getting caught up on all that had changed in the world of BMX during the 13 years I was away.  There is a whole part of that hobby that is dedicated to restoring old BMX bikes just like guys rebuild old muscle cars.

Chris's Bike originally
My cruiser was a little rough and needed some attention.  As a dedicated Dukes of Hazzard fan, I noticed the DK General Lee had never been given a proper GL uniform.  I decided to rebuild my bike and do it Dukes-style.  I stripped the original paint and decals off the frame.  I repainted it with Rustoleum Orange which is a very close match to 1975 Corvette Flame Red (the most widely accepted “authentic” General Lee orange).  Chad at CrzyC’s GL Graphics (http://crzycsglgraphics.bravehost.com) helped me out with the decals.  The lettering on the down tube is a scaled down version of Chad’s Valuzet-era roof letters.  The 01 on the head tube was designed by me.  It’s the basic door number with the DK logo in the corner as a nod to the bike company.  I wanted a nod to the Rebel Flag so I came up with the stripe: red, white, and blue with 13 stars.

The frame stripped down
I picked up some taller handle bars.  Other new parts include the seat post, pedals, and brakes.  The new bars, forks , and cranks got a fresh coat of Rustoleum black.  Lastly, I added brown grips and a brown seat as a nod to the General’s brown (or tan) interior.

When I got out of BMX in 2001 I started building model cars, particularly cars from the Dukes of Hazzard. Rebuilding this DK General Lee cruiser brought together my interest in BMX bikes, the skills I learned painting model cars, and my love for the Dukes."

Excellent job Chris.  I must say I am jealous of your bike and wished mine looked as much like a Gen'ral as yours.  Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Auto World's Hazzard County 1975 Dodge Monaco Police Car

It has been a long time coming, Auto World has finally released their take on Hazzard County's Finest's favorite vehicle.  This is the Hazzard County 1975 Dodge Monaco Police Car by Auto World.

This release follows the latest AW trend of the red stripe on the side of the box.  I like how it differentiates from other similarly styled Dukes items.  This car is a part of AW's Silver Screen Machines line.

The back of the box is similar to other Dukes diecast replicas.

The entire one side is red.  It looks cool with the Dukes logo.

The bottom of the box shows the detail on the bottom of the car.

It is marked 2013.  Still can't figure out how that works.

The car uses the same casting as the previous two Rosco car releases by Ertl and Johnny Lightning.  Those were 1974 Monacos and this is a 1975.  I'm not enough of a Monaco expert to know the difference.  It looks similar to the previous releases, but there are subtle differences.

The car has side molding that makes it stand out.  It has a light grey line that goes the length of the car.

The correct Hazzard County Sheriff decals are a little darker on this car.

The grill has bold detail and the rebel flag is included.  We all remember the issue with WB and the flag.

The correct license is included on the car.

The feature that really stands out on this car is the light bar.  This thing looks real.  There is so much detail in this light bar.

The back of it has the amber colored section and the lights inside.  It looks just like a full size AeroDynic brand light bar.  AW really knocked this feature out of the park.

I was told the interior would be a little more detailed than it turned out to be.  There is a rifle attached to the interior, which is a nice addition, but we all know Rosco and Enos couldn't handle that kind of fire power.

The gauges and radio have detail, but there is no carpet or seat belts.  The colors look great and really add to the car.

The seat could use some detail to make it look real.  It just looks like a blank piece.

The wheels are similar to the last releases.  They look like police special wheels.  The triangle design on the wheels is once again absent.

Compared to the past two releases, this is the police car to get.  Though it doesn't have a great deal more detail than the JL, the higher detail it does have makes a difference.

The decals are a little darker than both other releases, and the sheriff decal is not present on the front fender. The glass on the new AW is clear where as the JL had a green tint to it.

The front end is slightly different on the new model to show that it is a 1975 Monaco, where the last two were '74s.

This is the first Hazzard County  police car in 1/18 to feature a correct Hazzard County license plate. These little details really add that finishing touch.  The sheriff decals are in different places on all the different releases.

The trunks of the three cars all lack detail.

But there is much more detail under the hood of the AW as compared to the JL and the Ertl. The different components are individually painted and there are add wires.

AW really did a nice job on the engine bay. This is the level of detail you'd expect.

There is a tiny decal with a lot of tiny words that my camera couldn't pick up.  Again, great job AW.

There is no comparison in the light bars.  The Ertl got it totally wrong and the JL was mostly generic looking.  The bar on the AW is its crown jewel.

The bulbs on the inside of the bar really make the work that went into it stand out.  It makes the JL look all the more plain when they are next to each other.

The yellow sections and slightly deeper appearance of the grill add to the differences from the past two cars. The rebel flag is still on the side, not in the center where it should be.

Has the king of Dukes of Hazzard diecasts met its match with the new AW release?  The answer is unfortunatly no.  This car is about as far behind the AW General Lee as a real Hazzard County Police Car is behind a real General Lee.  But that's the way it is in Hazzard County, and that's the way we like it.  The General Lee will always rule the back roads around here.  The new police car does compliment the AW General, but it was created with a base model replica casting and the the General used a higher detailed casting.  So the differences are apparent.

The plate on the Rosco car looks more realistic than the General's.

The General has the seatbelts and added detail.  I wish the Rosco car did.

The engine detail is on par with the General.  These both look like they are about to start up and rumble.

The box is the size as the AW General Lee and slightly smaller than the previous Johnny Lightning car.  The new AW police car features a picture of the Gen'ral where the JL had a picture of the Rosco car.

The back has the same pictures and info as the General Lee, but Daisy is replaced with Rosco and Flash.

In a fun little coincidence, the box my models came in was made by E. Smith Box Inc. which happens to be based in Conyers, GA.  By now you should now why I bring this up, but in case you don't have extensive knowledge of all things Dukes of Hazzard like I expect you to, Conyers is the town where all of the cast first met.  The meeting took place around the swimming pool at the Holiday Inn.  I have stayed at the same Holiday Inn.  Yep, I'm that nuts.  They also filmed the first five episodes there in addition to Covington.  In the first five episodes you have a greater chance of seeing an earlier model Dodge Monaco used as Hazzard County Sheriff cars such as this one by Auto World.

Friday, April 18, 2014

New Dukes Stuff - 4/18/2014 - Megos, Blanket, License Plates

I got a whole bunch of new Dukes of Hazzard items over the past few weeks.  They came from ebay and the recent Steel City Con.

This is a white Dukes blanket that I picked up on the bay.  It is in great condition.

It has two graphics on it that repeat over the entire blanket.  They look like iron-transfers, but are much better quality.  I haven't seen one like this before.  It goes nice with the blue one I got in November.

I did pretty good at the recent Steel City Con.  That show perplexes me.  It seems like it used to be a show heading toward extinction, but the last few outings have been wildly successful.  Higher attendance means more vendors and more vendors means more Dukes stuff.  Bring it on.  I bought most of these items from a single seller at the show that said it was his first time in Pittsburgh.  So it seems to be working.  These are license plate replicas of the General Lee and Daisy's Jeep.  They were probably produced by a certain TB. They cost about 15 bucks from him, but I was lucky enough to get them both for 8 dollars.  Score!  I have a couple CNH-320s, but never picked up a FCH-630.  It's interesting to note that both Daisy's Plymouth and her Jeep wore the FCH-630 tag.

After I bought the plates, I noticed the seller had quite a few Dukes items.  We made a package deal.  I think I made out quite a bit better than he did.  I got three 8 inch Mego figures in nearly perfect condition. The boys have the short sleeve shirts and Daisy's hair is in mostly good shape.  These Daisy figures often have crazy hair.

I also picked up an 8 inch Daisy Mego still in the package.  It's in good condition except for a crack in the top of the bubble.  I'm not complaining.

I like the artwork used on the  back of the Mego cards.  This card is un-punched.

Also in the package deal I got two plastic General Lees.  A Mego with figures and a HG plastic 1/25.

The Mego is in pretty good shape.  These is a little discoloration on the wheels and bumper.  The stickers are all crisp and intact.

What made this a great deal is the inclusion of the two figures.  Bo is pretty common, but a lot of people need a Luke to complete the pair.  Both of these figures are tight and their rubber band construction is in good shape.  This was a great buy.

The other General Lee is from HG toys.  It originally came in one of a few playsets from 1980.  The larger playset came with the white plastic Boss Hogg hat or you could just buy this car and a toy CB radio.  The car is in decent condition but the stickers are a little rough.  With the popularity of the show on the rise once again thanks to CMT's HD airings, the Dukes gain new fans everyday.  I was hoping to find a Dukes toy for a cousin of mine that recently discovered the Dukes, and this is it.  He will love it.

This car looks a lot better than Mego's General.  Good job HG.

Another seller had a few Dukes watches and these Dynamite magazines.  I don't need any more watches, but I only had one of these books.  I was able to get all three for a good price.  It's funny.  I found these two sellers with Dukes items pretty early at the Con, and didn't see another Dukes thing the rest of the show. Weird how that works out.  I'm going to be on vacation when the next Steel City Con is going on, so I'll miss that and go to the December show.  I hope it brings even more new vendors with even more Dukes stuff. And some interesting celebrity guests.

This is a weird item I picked up at a bargain price on ebay.  It appears to be a German version of The Dukes of Hazzard Racing for Home Playstation game.  What's that?  You would like a video presentation of this and all other Dukes video games?  Well it just so happens I spent quite a bit of time producing just that!  Check it out right here.

The front of the box looks like a poorly photoshopped mash of Dukes pictures.  The back is about the same. The only reason I think it is German is the captions under the pictures.  It seems like its an actual commercial release, but I can't be certain.  I hope it's not a bootleg, but if it is, it's a darn sure good one.

The disc is even weirder than the box.  It says "Dukes of Hazzard" and "Carmageddon."  That made up word is no where else on the package.  I doubt that is the German translation for "Racing for Home."  This is an all around weird addition to the collection, but an addition none the less.

This is a belt buckle I bought what seems like a long time ago.  I had to check my own posts to see if I mentioned it yet.  Seems I didn't.  It is the same kind as the Daisy one I got a few months ago.  The picture of the General Lee they used seems to have been taken with no regard to the background.  You can clearly see set pieces and back lot gear.  Interesting.

This one doesn't have a Warner Bros. sticker on the back like the Daisy one.

I have several packages of the Dukes card game from the makers on UNO.  But this one is unique as it appears to be just additional cards.  The other ones have card boxes included like a standard deck of cards. This is just cards.  The package is beat up, but I don't have this version and haven't seen it before, so I pounced on it.

The exclamations on the package are strange.  The left side has things that described the game, "Road Blocks," Speed Traps," and "Parking Tickets," but the right side has "A Really Wild Boss Hogg" and "Hazzard County Clout."  What?!?

It is a Wild and Wacky Card Game!

This is a girl's Dukes backpack I bought a while ago.  It comes from the same collection that I bought the General Lee Rough Rider from, and I've had it since then, but I was trying to clean it up a little.  It has some rust spots on it.  It was basically a "throw in" with the Rough Rider so I can't complain about the condition.  It is different and I'm glad to have it

It has been a good day for Megos.  I got these two Daisy's Jeep Megos in the same auction.  Neither are in perfect shape, but I didn't have one before so I made out.

The first is missing the Daisy figure and the box is rough.  I have several Daisy figures and might add one to the box for display.  The Jeep isn't connected to the box.  I only have the Gay Toys version of the Jeep which is non licensed.  So I might take this one out of the box to display with the other loose Mego cars.  Decisions decisions.

The back of the box is a little dark.  You can see more detail of the artwork on the next Jeep.

This one is in much better shape.  The box colors are more vibrant and the figure is included.  The plastic is ripped, but who cares?  It's over thirty years old.

The back features a great picture of Daisy and a nice shot of the actual Jeep .  It also mentions the other cars in the line.

Both sides of the box feature the same cartoon of Daisy driving her off-roader.  Notice the artwork has the incorrect "Daisy" text on the hood.  I'm glad the toy doesn't have this mistake on it, like several diecasts do.

I love the mention of "your collection" on the bottom of the box.  Way back in the beginning of the Golden Era of Dukes Collecting, they knew there would be crazy people like me obsessively hoarding all this stuff. But, no Mego, I will not cut out this picture.  As great as it is, I must keep the box intact!