Brian Grams doesn’t need another bright orange 1969 Dodge Charger -- but says he’s in a race against time to buy the first General Lee 01 car before its current owner, golf-pro Bubba Watson, makes good on his promise to paint over the Confederate flag emblazoned on the roof of the vehicle.
Grams, the director of the Volo Auto Museum, told FoxNews.com on Monday he believes the car is an iconic piece of television history that should be preserved in its current form and displayed in his museum. It might even go next to the other General Lee car that’s on display -- and a crowd pleaser.
“It’s one of the top five TV cars of all time,” Grams said.
Grams said he reached out to Watson through social media and though he has not heard back, he’s optimistic Watson will hear him out.
“He’s up against a double-edge sword,” Grams said. “A good solution would be to sell it to the museum. “
Watson, a two-time Masters Tournament winner, announced on Twitter last week that he was planning on painting over the Confederate flag with an American flag, amid controversy surrounding the embattled symbol.
Watson initially paid about $121,000 (taxes included) for the car in 2012.
The “Lee 1” was the first car built for “The Dukes of Hazzard” television show, and could be seen flying through the air during the opening credits of the popular sitcom.
After the show was canceled, the busted up vehicle turned up in a junkyard.
It was fully restored, put on the auction block and bought by Watson.
Watson’s July 2 tweet -- “All men ARE created equal. I believe that so I will be painting the American flag over the roof of the General Lee #USA” -- went over like a lead balloon to many of his followers.
Chris Lawrence @Senator51 responded, “@bubbawatson. Unbelievable you would cave in to this nonsense. Sell car and donate the proceeds to a worthy cause if you want to feel good.”
Fox Sports analyst Clay Travis went so far as to call Watson “an idiot and a coward,” in a recent column.
Grams told FoxNews.com he isn’t looking for a donation from Watson and is willing to “pay fair market value” for the car.
Grams already has on his lot one version of the “General Lee,” which he calls “one of the staples” of his museum. His car -- “General Lee No. 8” -- was the last one built for the first season of the “Dukes of Hazzard.” In all, 249 cars were made. Eleven remain in existence, Grams said.
The Illinois-based Volo Auto Museum also showcases more than 300 “classic, antique, muscle and Hollywood cars.” The Tinsletown trophies include the 1994 “Flintmobile” from the “Flinstones” movie, the 2004 Harley Chopper used in the movie “Ghost Rider” and the 2002 Aston Marton used in the James Bond movie “Die Another Day.”
Multiple attempts to reach Watson for a comment by FoxNews.com were not immediately returned.