For my mind, the only reasons giant American muscle cars exist in racing games is because one of them might be a “Starsky & Hutch” Ford Gran Torino or a “The Dukes of Hazzard” Dodge Charger. I’d just recently done a ‘General Lee’ for “Test Drive: Eve of Destruction” and relished the idea of doing another one in Forza.
Just one problem: no Dodge Charger. Luckily, the Pontiac GTO Hardtop bears more than a passing resemblance thanks to its distinctive front grillwork and overall bodyshape. On top of that, I also found a site detailing the restoration of the original ‘General Lee’ Charger.
The flag was a doddle. It is a blue rectangle laid over a slightly larger white rectangle with four red triangles laid over four slightly larger white triangles. Forza even has little stars, great! Rotated the stars and plonked them down.
The restoration article mentioned a neat touch on the first ‘General Lee’ which I decided to replicate. The chequered flag crossed with the confederate flag on the boot lid of the car. Very happy with that.
Next up, the words “General Lee” on the roof. Here is where I hit a snag and a time vacuum. The problem was that I didn’t have enough layers to write “General Lee” twice on the roof in black letters outlined in white. I tried a number of different ways of reducing the number of layers I’d need but it never worked out. (I had to get a “GENERAL LEE” done in about 25 layers and it took me ten to just do “LEE”.) After a long time, I gave up and decided to leave it blank.
The numbers were the last thing I did, and they didn’t work out too badly. I was using my racing number of 34 instead of the ‘General Lee’s “01”. The four was created using the decal 4 but the three had to be scratch-built. I made sure to get an angle for the upper and lower right corners of the 3. My first attempt at the numbers made them too wide but that was fixable and they looked much better once I thinned them.
Looking on the net to see if anyone else had done a ‘General Lee’, I found two examples. Both were very good. One even had the words “GENERAL LEE” painted correctly on the roof. Neither of them had the chequered / confederate flag motif and both had used the “01” as the car number. The one that didn’t have “GENERAL LEE” written on the roof had used a sponsor decal instead to create the right feeling and I was, erm, inspired by that excellent idea. He had used the all-white “Toyo Tires” logo but I looked for logos that were black and white. I used the “Bridgestone” logo which featured black text outlined in white just like the “GENERAL LEE” text on the original.
The final touch was finding the right wheels. The Flkse Mach V’s matched the ones on the original most closely as they had the same number of spokes of the correct style.
While I spent much more time on this than I anticipated and got a little frustrated with the text on the roof, the whole thing has turned out great. I’ve got my own ‘General Lee’ with own racing number. Now all I need is a trick horn!