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A good ol' cruise-in at the drive-in



Published: Sat, August 6, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



A Bazetta resident's General Lee and sheriff cruiser were featured on an MTV program.

By KATIE LIBECCO

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

WARREN -- The Elm Road Triple Drive-In celebrated the premiere of the "Dukes of Hazzard" with a Thrillbilly Weekend, featuring exact replicas of cars from the movie -- the General Lee and Sheriff Roscoe's cruiser.

"This is expected to be the biggest movie of the summer, and we're anticipating a record crowd," Elm Road owner Bob Hreno said. "We've never had a premiere this big before."

Car owner Raymond Kohn's replica cars recently appeared on MTV's "Your Movie Show," which promoted the release of "Dukes of Hazzard." It featured about 20 other General Lee replicas from across the United States and was filmed in Covington, Ga.

Kohn, of Bazetta Township, said that his General Lee was used for all of the close-up shots in the film. His replica of the Roscoe Coltrane cruiser was also jumped by a car built by MTV.

Kohn bought the 1969 General Lee Dodge Charger in 1997 for $800. After about $30,000 and seven and a half years, he has recently begun touring with the car.

"The great thing about this car is that there could be a row of Corvettes, and it will always steal the show," Kohn said. "Cops get a kick out of it, too."

Kohn bought Sheriff Roscoe's cruiser in Louisville, Ky., in 1999 for $700. It took him only five months to complete the refit of this car.

An avid fan

The cars are exact replicas from those used in production of the "Dukes of Hazzard" and feature autographs from some of the stars of the original series.

"I grew up watching 'Dukes of Hazzard,'" Kohn said. "It's the only thing I remember watching on TV. I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever seen."

Kohn's wife, Tina, says she is supportive of her husband's love of the "Dukes of Hazzard." She got involved in the event with their dog Flash, a basset hound identical to the dog in the CBS series.

"Dukes of Hazzard" (PG-13) features Johnny Knoxville, Jessica Simpson, Seann William Scott and Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse. The movie is based on the series that ran from 1979 to 1985.

General Lee memorabilia, including hats, T-shirts, flags, watches and model cars, was on sale Friday during the Thrillbilly Weekend.

"Dukes of Hazzard" fans could have their pictures taken behind the wheel of the General Lee for $5.

Hreno expects the film to run for about two more months at the drive-in.

The premiere celebration for "Dukes of Hazzard" at the drive-in and Thrillbilly Weekend will continue tonight at 7 with the movie showing at 9:05.




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