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

1 comment:

  1. I have seen my share of the General Lee cars, but your car is simply amazing. Add into the mix the autograph, I would give anything to own that car. The only thing is that the paint looks so amazing I would be terrified to put it on the roads. You must have your share of trophies on the mantle shelf.