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Super Bee's basic build a collector's boon

The Dodge Super Bee, such as Morley Fast’s 1969 edition, was released in hopes of attracting buyers looking for a low-cost, B-body muscle car.

The Dodge Super Bee, such as Morley Fast’s 1969 edition, was released in hopes of attracting buyers looking for a low-cost, B-body muscle car.

By 1969, the muscle-car era was nearing the height of its popularity and its sales arena was becoming crowded. The choices available from the Big Three manufacturers were staggering and included everything from compact to intermediate and even full-size models.

At Chrysler, the Plymouth Division opted for a low-cost intermediate in 1968, the Road Runner. Based on the mid-size Satellite, it sold several thousand more units than expected and was an over-the-top success story.

In the Dodge camp, the Coronet lineup was based on the same B-body platform and in an effort to attract buyers, the Super Bee model was born. The problem for Dodge was that the Super Bee had to compete with the posher Coronet R/T and the other stand-alone B-body offering, the unique and already popular Dodge Charger.

What resulted was Super Bee sales were significantly lower than the Road Runner. Today, lower sales figures simply mean a rarer model car when it comes to collectability, and the Super Bee certainly fits the bill.

For Morley Fast of Steinbach, owning muscle cars is nothing new. Through the years, Fast and his wife Lori have owned many and Morley even raced them locally in the ’70s at Keystone/Bison Dragways. While many of those cars came and went, a few of those were 1969 Dodge Super Bees.

“I really liked the ride and handling of the B-body Mopars, and was always on the lookout for another Super Bee,” Fast said.

In 2016, Fast was at a car show in Radium Hot Springs, B.C., and came across a Hemi-powered 1969 Dodge Super Bee. After meeting the owner and asking if the car was for sale, he found it wasn’t, but left him his contact information in case he changed his mind. Three weeks later, the owner called Fast and asked if he was still interested.

“I was deep into the building of our new home and didn’t really have a lot of time, but I said ‘if you can get it delivered to me, I’ll send a cheque,’” Fast said. Three days later, the Super Bee was in his driveway.

To most, it appears to be a basic two-door, Super Bee pillared coupe: the least expensive and entry-level model. Where things change is when you see the list of performance features added with the choice of the Hemi engine and Super Track Pack option.

The mighty 426-cubic-inch Hemi V-8 utilizes to four-barrel carburettors, a 10.25:1 compression ratio and dual exhaust to produce 425 horsepower at 5,000 r.p.m. and 490 ft. lbs. at 4,000 r.p.m. It’s backed up by a TorqueFlite 727 three-speed, automatic transmission and Dana 60 Sure-Grip rear axle fitted with a 4.10:1 gear ratio.

Aside from a repaint of the factory A4 Platinum Metallic paint in the late ’90s, and the reproduction 15-inch Goodyear Redline tires, this Super Bee is a 38,000 original mile car. The Super Bee also came with the optional Ramcharger forced-air induction package, that included twin hood scoops, leading to an encapsulated, oval air cleaner, to feed fresh air to the two carburettors. The only trim options found on it is the M21 chrome roof drip-rail mouldings and the Super Bee’s rear bumblebee stripe. Inside, the is the original blue bench seat vinyl upholstery and Music Master AM radio, looking just as it did when it left the factory.

Steering is manual as are the large, factory 11-by-three-inch drum brakes used to bring the Super Bee to a stop. Cooling is handled with a heavy-duty 26-inch radiator with fan shroud and the exhaust exits through the factory cast iron exhaust manifolds leading to a full dual-exhaust system with stainless tips.

There were 16,709 Dodge Super Bee models produced in 1969, with 7,645 of those being the two-door coupe model. Of those, 91 were equipped with the 426 cubic-inch Hemi V-8 and 53 were equipped with an automatic transmission.

Further number crunching shows that Fast’s Super Bee is the only one to roll out of the factory with the Platinum Metallic paint and blue vinyl interior upholstery.

Since purchasing the car, the Fasts’ have attended several car shows including World of Wheels and the Super Bee has taken many awards. “It’s a powerful car and our plans are to keep it well maintained and enjoy showing and driving it,” Fast said.

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