In the sixties and seventies, fuel injection, turbochargers, dual camshafts, variable timing and four valves per cylinder were rarities in American cars. Cubic inches and carburetors ruled in the go faster 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.
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 extras. 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 Finest Automobile Auctions will be offering this example at their upcoming Boca Raton auction on the 11th February. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos courtesy of The Finest Automobile Auctions / Bill Pack.