Dodge Super Bee
|Parent company||Chrysler Corporation (1968-1980)|
Chrysler LLC (2008-Present)
|Wheelbase||117.0 in (2972 mm)|
Plymouth Road Runner
Los Angeles, California
St. Louis, Missouri
Plymouth Road Runner
|Body style(s)||2-door coupé|
|Engine(s)||5.2 L V8|
5.6 L V8
5.9 L V8
3-speed Torqueflite automatic
|Wheelbase||108.0 in (2743 mm)|
|Length||192.5 in (4890 mm)|
|Width||71.6 in (1819 mm)|
|Height||54.0 in (1372 mm)|
|Body style(s)||2-door coupe|
4-door station wagon
|Engine(s)||318 in³ LA V8|
360 in³ LA V8
3-speed TorqueFlite automatic
|Wheelbase||108.7 in (2761 mm)|
|Length||198.8 in (5050 mm)|
|Width||73.3 in (1862 mm)|
|Height||53.3 in (1354 mm)|
|Assembly||Brampton, Ontario, Canada|
|Body style(s)||4-door sedan|
|Platform||Chrysler LX platform|
|Transmission(s)||5-speed W5A580 automatic|
|Wheelbase||304.8 cm (120.0 in)|
|Length||508.3 cm (200.1 in)|
|Width||189 cm (74.5 in)|
|Height||148 cm (58.2 in)|
The Dodge Super Bee was a limited-production muscle car from Chrysler's Dodge division produced from 1968 through 1971. The Super Bee mascot was resurrected for the 2004 Dodge Ram Rumble Bee model, and the 2007 and 2008 Dodge Charger Super Bee.
The original Super Bee was based on the Dodge Coronet. It was a 2-door coupe model only and was produced from 1968 through 1970. It was the company's low-priced muscle car, the equivalent of the Plymouth Road Runner, and was priced at $3,027. Plymouth Division had introduced the Road Runner first and the car sold well, prompting Dodge Division General Manager, Robert McCurry to have the Dodge Styling office create a competitor. During that time, both divisions were competing to be the "Chrysler Performance Division." The designers were assigned the task of creating a name and identity for the Dodge version. Senior designer Harvey J Winn won the "contest" with the name Super Bee and a new logo design around the Dodge "Scat Pack" Bee medallion. The first Super Bee was based on a '68 Coronet convertible. The show car was built at Alexander Brothers Custom Shop under Winn's direction and was introduced at the 1968 Detroit Auto Show..
Although the two cars are very similar in external appearance, the Super Bee was slightly heavier (approx 65 lbs.) and rode on a 117-inch (3,000 mm) wheelbase compared to the Road Runner's 116-inch (2,900 mm) wheelbase. In addition to the slight aesthetic external differences, such as larger rear wheel openings, the bumble bee tailstripe and fancier grille and taillight ornamentation, the Super Bee also used actual diecast chrome plated "Bee" medallions. These 3-dimensional medallions were prominently mounted in a raised position in the grille/hood area and the trunklid/taillight area of the car throughout the first 3 years of production and added a touch of class and panache the Road Runner lacked with its flat, 2-dimensional cartoon birds that faded and peeled over time. The interior of the Super Bee borrowed the racecar-inspired and more sophisticated gauge and speedometer dash cluster from the Dodge Charger while the 4 speed cars received an actual Hurst Competition-Plus shifter with Hurst linkage, compared to the budget-minded Road Runner's inferior Inland shifter and linkage. All these niceties did add to the higher purchase cost of the Super Bee compared to its Plymouth cousin and ultimately affected its sales numbers over the years it was produced. The Super Bee, like nearly all Chrysler musclecars of that era was available with the Hemi engine, however this option raised the price by 33% and only 125 were sold. The 1968 model only came as a 2-door coupe and 2 engine options, the base 335 hp (250 kW) 383 Magnum, and the 426 Hemi rated at 425 hp (317 kW).
The Super Bee included a heavy-duty suspension, an optional Mopar A-833 four-speed manual transmission, and high-performance tires. Outside, a stripe (with the bee logo) was wrapped around the tail.
A hardtop version joined the existing pillared coupe body for 1969, and a new optional twin-scooped air induction hood was now available and became known as the "Ramcharger". This particular option was coded N-96 and was the counterpart to the Plymouth Road Runner's "Coyote Duster" air induction hood. Of particular interest is that the Super Bee's "Ramcharger" hood featured forward-facing scoops which were far more efficient than the Road Runner's "twin vents" which merely laid flat on the hood, not forcing air in to the carburetor(s) as the Super Bee's did. Regardless of whether it was a Road Runner or Super Bee, the N-96 option commands immediate, extra respect whether it was at a stoplight or at the ever-present, modern day collector car auctions, as this option will drive up the selling price over a non N-96 equipped car. A "six-pack" (three two-barrel carburetors) version of Dodge's 440 cubic inch engine was added to the offering list mid-year. This option fell half-way between the standard engine and the Hemi as a $463 option. The 1969 model year gave Chrysler customers several engines to choose from. The base 383hp (high performance), 440 Six Pack, and the 426 Hemi. The 440 Magnum (4bbl) was not an available option, and was reserved for the Coronet R/T. For 1970 the Super Bee received a cosmetic redesign and was given a new front end that consisted of a twin-looped front bumper that Dodge PR referred to as "bumble bee wings". This new look turned off many buyers and the sales plummeted for the year, but ironically this particular design change is what makes it the most popular year of Super Bee to own in present day. Despite the new looks, the engine choices, as well as the "ramcharger" hood carried over from 1969. The 1970 cars from Dodge were chock-full of new and improved options, for example: a "double hockey stick stripe" variant of the bumble stripe was offered in addition to new high-back bucket seats, steering column mounted ignition as well as a "pistol-grip" Hurst shifter on four speed models. Rumors abound of the many concept and show vehicles Chrysler produced during the musclecar era, including producing 4 concept Superbee convertibles. The where-abouts of these 4 cars are unknown.
- 1968-1970 - 383 in³ (6.3 L) Big-Block V8, 335 hp (250 kW)
- 1968-1970 - 426 in³ (7.0 L) Hemi V8, 425 hp (317 kW)
- 1969-1970 - 440 in³ (7.2 L) Big-Block V8, 390 hp (291 kW)
- 1968 - 7,842 - 7,717 (383), 125 (426 Hemi)
- 1969 - 27,800 - 25,727 (383), 1,907 (440 Six Pack), 166 (426 Hemi)
- 1970 - 15,506
Since the 1971 Coronet was only available in sedan and station wagon versions, the Super Bee model was moved to the Charger platform. Since the Charger already had an R/T muscle car version, the Super Bee was slotted in as the low-priced entry in the line at US$3,271. 5,054 were produced which includes the 22 with the Hemi engine.
The moniker was discontinued until the 2007 Super Bee, which was a Charger SRT-8.
1971 was the first and only year that a small block engine (340 4-bbl) became available in the Super Bee.
Although the 440 Magnum (4-bbl) was not an available option on the Super Bee for 1971, 26 are known to have been built. With that option of the 440 the Super Bee could walk all over most Ford, Chevy, or GM products on the market.
- 1971 - 340 in³ (5.6 L) Small-Block V8, 275 hp (205 kW)
- 1971 - 383 in³ (6.3 L) Big-Block V8, 300 hp (224 kW)
- 1971 - 440 in³ (7.2 L) Big-Block V8, 370 hp (275 kW)
- 1971 - 440 in³ (7.2 L) Big-Block V8, 385 hp (287 kW)
- 1971 - 426 in³ (7.0 L) Hemi V8, 425 hp (317 kW)
1970s Mexican Super Bees
Around 1970, the Mexican-market Dodge Dart had a Super Bee package; Super Bees were based on the Demon/Dart Sport semi-fastback Mopar A platform until 1976, and the F platform (based on the Dodge Aspen coupe) between 1977-79 (sold in Mexico as part of the Dodge Valiant Volare series).
A new 2007 Super Bee model was introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. This model is based on the Dodge Charger SRT-8 and uses special "Detonator Yellow" paint with flat black hood and fender decals. It is a limited edition car, with only 1000 to be made in 2007]. It uses the same 425 bhp (317 kW; 431 PS) HEMI 6.1 Liter engine as the SRT-8.
For the 2008 model year, the Super Bee was only made in "B5 Blue Pearl Coat" (sometimes listed as "Surf Blue Pearl"  ), reminiscent of the blue used by NASCAR driver Richard Petty's vehicles in the 1960s and 1970s. Again, it was based on the SRT-8 model and used the 6.1L engine, and will have a limited production run of 1000.