May 5, 2007 in Nation/World

General Lee sale would be eBay record

Rachel Konrad Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Actor John Schneider of “The Dukes of Hazzard” looks at a replica General Lee in this photo from June 11, 2005.
(Full-size photo)

SAN JOSE, Calif. – A version of the General Lee – a 1969 Dodge Charger made famous in the television show “The Dukes of Hazzard” – brought a winning bid of nearly $10 million Friday in an online auction.

If the bidder comes through with cash or financing for the $9,900,500 price, the car will be the most expensive item ever sold by eBay Inc., company spokeswoman Catherine England said.

Actor John Schneider, who played the blond heartthrob Bo Duke in the show, sold the car, which was not featured in the original show but carries the signatures of the cast.

Schneider, 47, said Friday that he expected bidding for the orange coupe, which has “01” on the doors and is emblazoned with the Confederate flag, to go for $3 million at most.

“In my wildest dreams, two people would get into a bidding war at about $2.5 million … and I would have been delighted with that. However, I’m three times as delighted as that now,” he laughed.

All the living original cast members and crew from the show, which started in 1979, signed their autographs under the hood of the car. It was also featured in the movie “Dukes Go To Hollywood,” and Schneider raced it in The Silver State Classic Challenge in Nevada.

The actor said he would use the money to help produce a sequel to his 2006 movie “Collier & Co.”

When bidding escalated this week, customer service representatives at San Jose, Calif.-based eBay called Schneider and recommended he take bids only from prequalified eBay customers who could confirm financing and provide other details. Although all eBay bids are considered a legally binding contract, the transaction isn’t official.

E-mails to the winning bidder, who uses the screen name “Fishbashr1” and beat out 60 other bids, went unanswered on Friday afternoon.

“The way it works is the money and vehicle swap hands between buyer and seller, but until we hear from buyer and seller, we have no way of verifying whether the transaction happened,” England said.

The current eBay record sale is $4.9 million for a private jet several years ago.

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