LEE 3   Unit 1 close up car
When Warner Bros had decided to make the General Lee a Dodge Charger, three Chargers were purchased and were transformed into General Lees.  Once the General Lees arrived in Norcross GA. and the filming had begun John Marendi (Transportation Coordinator) labeled the three cars in no particular order LEE 1, LEE 2, and LEE 3 on a small black tag beside the vin tag of these cars for film editing purposes.  LEE 1 and LEE 2 were 2nd unit cars and were always at the shop for repairs where LEE 3 a unit 1 car stayed parked at the Holiday Inn were the cast and crew lived for 2 months.  This is why
LEE 3 was labeled last because it had not yet made it to the shop for repair before the other Generals were labeled. 

LEE 3 started life as a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T SE.  The car was F5 green with tan interior, power windows, power brakes, wood grain dash, and a 440 magnum under the hood.  Once purchased by Warner Bros it was transformed into a General Lee making LEE 3 the very first General Lee.  Once the car was finished it was then used to take the first publicity photos with the doors open and no "01's" on the doors since Warner Bros. had not yet decided fully what the General Lee would totally look like.    LEE 1 and LEE 2 were built a few days later after deciding that the General Lee would have the 01's on the doors.  LEE 1 and LEE 2, 01's were made out of vinyl but their was no time left to fix LEE 3.  The cars had to be shipped to Georgia for the filming. 
Once LEE 3 arrived in Norcross GA. Larry West painted the "01's" on this car.  After the first 5 episodes were shot Warner Bros. decided to move the series to California.  LEE 3 survived all 5 episodes in Georgia and was returned back to California.

Below is Jon Holland's LEE 3 replica where as you can see from the pictures its the same as owning LEE 3 back in 1978.  Compare the pictures below of LEE 3 and Holland's LEE 3.
LEE 3 Holland's LEE 3 replica