From 1968 to 1970, Dodge produced the Super Bee. This magnificent machine was based on the Dodge Coronet 2 door coupe. It was a rebadged version of the Plymouth Roadrunner and Dodge Coronet. Due to the success of sales for the Plymouth Roadrunner, Dodge Division General Manager Robert McCurry asked for a similar model from his styling office.
The Original Super Bee
The design structure of the Super Bee came from the Dodge Coronet. Although both vehicles had a similar exterior appearance, the Super Bee was slightly heavier (approx. 65 lbs). The bumblebee tail stripe, fancier grille, the taillight orientation, and larger rear wheel openings were some of the other exterior features that set this model apart from the Coronet. A dash cluster from the Dodge Charger was used for the Super Bee. This was different from the 4-speed manual transmission cars as they received a Hurst Competition-Plus shifter with Hurst linkage. The Super Bee had higher-quality accessories which increased the price the car was sold for, compared to the Plymouth Roadrunner. This higher price had a negative effect on the sales.
1970 Dodge Super Bee
A redesign of the Super Bee was introduced in 1970. A new front-end with a twin-looped front bumper that Dodge Public Relations called “bumble bee wings”. A “six-pack” version of the 440 cu in Dodge engine was added mid-year to the 1969 model which carried over to the 1970 model. This was rated at 390 bhp. Sales fell from 27,800 in 1969 to 15,506 in 1970, dropping again to 5,054 in 1971 from what they believed to be due to the redesign. Sales pressure came from other angles within the business as well which caused other high-performance cars of that year to experience the same issue. 1970 was the last year the Super Bee design was based on the Coronet, most likely due to the decrease in sales.
|Model Year||Engine Available|
|1968-1970||383 cubic inch – “Magnum”|
|1968-1970||426 cubic inch – “Hemi”|
|1969-1970||440 cubic inch – “Six Pack”|
Muscle Car of the Week
In the below Muscle Car of the Week video, you’ll learn that a Super Bee logo was created to be placed on the Dodge Super Bee. The logo was a bee with goggles, pipping and big wheels. The idea to create such a logo came from the Plymouth Roadrunner which had the roadrunner cartoon character logo. The bee logo came from an earlier design for the Dodge Scat Pack. The Scat Pack was a branding for all the Dodge muscle cars. This included the Charger, Challenger, Dart GTS along with the Super Bee. The Scat Pack was a club in 1968 that could be joined through a local Dodge dealer. Once joining the club, members would receive a newsletter, membership card, and a sticker. The cool part to joining this club was receiving the Dodge Direct Connection High Performance Parts Catalog for free. In that catalog there were Scat Pack parts packages that could be purchased to make your Scat Pack car go faster. (Check out the video for specifics on the different types of packages and what each included.) You can imagine just how cool those individuals part of the Scat Pack felt at the time.
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