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jerry rushing

In 1958, something wonderful happened for moonshine runners. The Chrysler 300D appeared! A behemoth capable of running 140 mph with a full load of shine. In those days the top speed of the fastest police car on the road was 100 mph. The stage was set for many chase scenes.

Jerry Rushing and his brother bought a 300D, modified it, and a legend was born. Jerry always named his cars, and he gave this one a special name, Traveler. Traveler was General Lee’s horse, believed to be one of the fastest horses of the time. It’s no coincidence that the Charger used in The Dukes of Hazzard was named The General Lee.

Four years after General Lee died, his horse, Traveler, was buried next to him. An action that reflected his love and respect for his trusted steed. Not unlike the horse, the car, Traveler, never let it’s owner, Jerry, down. In one of their most hair raising, shine running adventures, Jerry exhausted the Traveler and it ran out of gas. Literally running for his life, Jerry had to abandon the Traveler. Riddled with bullet holes, the car was impounded.

In 1981, after a long, lonely, ownerless time the Traveler found itself a new home in Connecticut. It was bought by wealthy collector, Richard Dengler. The mystique of this famous car had never diminished, in fact the Smithsonian approached Dengler’s widow to acquire the car. Sadly it was in such poor condition, the Smithsonian rescinded its offer.

By 2001 it seemed as if Traveler was to be forgotten. Behind a garage housing Ferraris and Packards, Traveler sat, destined for obscurity. Fate intervened. Lawrence Wolfel, a true lover of fire breathing, fuel burning monsters, discovered Traveler in a broken down rotting trailer. Though separated by a generation, Wolfel would come to love the Traveler as Jerry did.

A passion was born, Wolfel has immersed himself in restoring Traveler to it’s original splendor. Researching and documenting the car’s history, Wolfel has toured the country with Traveler in tow.

Just like General Lee and his trusted steed, the lives of Traveler, Jerry Rushing and Lawrence Wolfel are forever entwined.