A version of the General Lee - a 1969 Dodge Charger made famous in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard - fetched a winning bid of nearly 10 million dollars (GBP 5 million) in an online auction.

If the bidder comes through with cash or financing for the GBP 4,950,250 price, the car will be the most expensive item sold by eBay, company spokeswoman Catherine England said.

Actor John Schneider, who played blond heartthrob Bo Duke in the show, sold the car, which was not featured in the original show but carries the signatures of the cast. Shocked Schneider, 47, said he expected bidding for the orange coupe, which has "01" on the doors and is emblazoned with the Confederate flag, to go for GBP 1.5 million at most.

"In my wildest dreams, two people would get into a bidding war at about 2.5 million dollars ... and I would have been delighted with that. However, I'm three times as delighted as that now," he said.

All the living original cast members and crew from the show, which started in 1979, signed their autographs under the bonnet of the car. It was also featured in the movie Dukes Go To Hollywood, and Schneider raced it in The Silver State Classic Challenge in Nevada.

The actor said he would use the money to help produce a sequel to his 2006 film Collier & Co. "I think I'll go on vacation first and then make the movie," said Schneider, who after "Dukes" acted on Broadway and had roles on shows including Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman. "This is really, really quite amazing."

When bidding escalated, customer service representatives at San Jose, California-based eBay called Schneider and recommended he take bids only from pre-qualified eBay customers who could confirm financing and provide other details. Although all eBay bids are considered a legally binding contract, the transaction is not official.

Emails to the winning bidder, who uses the screen name "Fishbashr1" and beat 60 other bids, went unanswered.

"The way it works is the money and vehicle swap hands between buyer and seller, but until we hear from buyer and seller we have no way of verifying whether the transaction happened," England said.

The current eBay record sale is 4.9 million dollars (GBP2.45 million) for a private jet several years ago.