1969 Dodge Super Bee 472 Hemi Walk-Around
The Dodge Super Bee is the cousin of the Plymouth Road Runner. In the first production run back in 1968-1970, it was based upon Chrysler’s “B” body style for midsize cars (namely the Coronet) and came with either the 383, 426 or 440 cubic inch engine. You could get either a three-speed Torqueflite automatic or manual four-speed transmission.
The Competition at Chrysler Corporation
Back in the 60s, the various divisions of Chrysler were in head-to-head competition, fighting for control of the performance division they called Street and Racing Technology (SRT). Dodge and Plymouth divisions were fighting each other to get control of the racing market.
It’s hard to imagine that a division like SRT could exist in a car company, but in the 1960s gas was cheap, environmental concerns were small, and everyone was interested in good-looking light-bodied cars with amazing horsepower.
The Dodge Division Delivers
The Dodge division did not disappoint when it came to delivering what the buying public wanted. The Super Bee had special paint, medallions, and decals. The 383 Magnum had 335 hp. The 440 came with three two-barrel carburetors, which their marketing department called a “six-pack.” It had 390 hp. For an extra $500, you could get the 426 Hemi which had 425 hp.
In 1969 they added a scooped air-induction hood. Back then, car marketing was wild, and they even had a name for the hood – it was called the “Ramcharger.” The car also featured a special grill, taillight configuration, and a Hurst shifter.
In 1969, the basic package Super Bee was just $3,000, which is equal to $19,000 today when you account for inflation. Of course, they sell for far more at auction.
The Monster Bee in the Video
In the Ramblin Around TV walk-around video above, we see a very different car. It has the original Super Bee chrome plated medallions, but under the hood is a 472 cubic inch Hemi with dual four-barrel carbs, Indy heads, and ignition to make the car buzz.
The example car is black on black, has Cragar wheels and a four-speed transmission. It has a special instrumentation package, including a Sun tachometer. Adding a Stewart Warner or Sun tach to the drive column was not unusual back then; the clock and tach were combined stock from the factory, and most people felt like that was a granny feature, and it was not popular with street racers.
The Super Bee is a cool car, and there is no question about it. It is a favorite at car shows and on the drag strip. People like to see, and they like to hear the sound of the engine, partially a high-powered monster like this one.