In the sixties and seventies, fuel injection, turbochargers, dual camshafts, variable timing and four valves per cylinder were rarities in American iron. Cubic inches and carburetors ruled in the go fast crowd and Chrysler made good use of both. They launched the spartan Road Runner and Super Bee in the same year. Both were introduced with a 383 cubic inch powerplant. More was demanded and a 426 hemi and a 440 cubic inch version of the base engine were offered. The hemi was expensive raising the Super Bee’s price by a third. Few were ordered. The multi-carbureted 440 was more reliable, matched the hemi’s time to sixty mph and could turn the quarter in the 13’s. For many a Mopar guy, it’s the one to have.
This Super Bee came equipped with a 440 with three two barrel carburetors, a forced air “Ramchargers” hood, a Mopar automatic with column shifter, and Rallye wheels. A coupe model with the defining side pillars and pop out rear windows, it is among the rarest of Dodges. Of the 15506 Super Bees produced in 1970, less than 200 of the 440’s were coupes. Only 87 had automatic transmissions.
“Super Bee, the great-looking piece of man's iron that knows how to live on a budget.”Chrysler ad
The Super Bee followed the Plymouth Road Runner as Dodge’s muscle car entry. Based on the intermediate sized B-body Coronet (thus Super Bee), it was always a bit more elegant than the Plymouth. Both had an upgraded suspension, bigger brakes, a special hood and a host of engine options. The Dodge was longer and had more chrome and more interior accoutrements. Its wood grain dash and steering wheel, floor carpet, and 6 separate round instruments inset in the dash gave it a finished look. The design improved over its three year production run and most say the 1970 model with its “bumble-bee wing” split grill was the most attractive. In 1971, the Super Bee rested on a Charger platform; its similarity to the Charger R/T divided the Dodge customer base and Chrysler ceased Bee production in 1972.
The consignor, a well known Florida classic and sports car dealer, presents this Dodge as numbers matching. It has been repainted in its original color and much of the interior is original. All gauges function. Hood, trunk and door fit appear to be excellent.
A review of commonly used databases reveals wide variations in prices of Super Bees as well as many other muscle cars. Clones or tribute cars can bring down the averages. The more common problem is a mismatch between the car’s data plate and the car’s equipment; placing a 440 in an engine compartment which housed a 383 at birth lowers value substantially as can a color change. None of those problems here as the trim tag indicated Super Bee designation, V code 440 six pack, Mopar automatic transmission, and Banana paint that were part of this Dodge’s heritage are easily verified.
Offered is an icon of the muscle car era. Though sold as a budget performance car, it had a much richer look than many of its counterparts. It’s hard to go wrong with fast, good looking and rare.
Addendum - 2/10/17
Since the time of writing, the consigner brought in a Mopar expert to verify the numbers on the Super Bee. He found that the engine and transmission were built at the same time, both having November build dates. It is his opinion that the engine and transmission have been present in this car since they were new. The chassis was built earlier in the same year as the engine and transmission. He noted that the body panels and radiator core appear to all be original with the radiator core stamp easily seen.When last purchased at Barrett Jackson Palm Beach 2011, the car was identified and described as "440 Six Pack matching numbers "V" Code".