Coronet Super Bee
RKM Restored Coronet Super Bee 440 Six Pack 4 Speed
- Correct 440 SIX PACK V8
- Original A833 4-speed transmission
- Correct Hemi Orange paint
- Correct Black and White interior
- 44,728 original miles
- Frame-off restoration
- Fully documented
- Magazine featured
- Believed to be the only 'Bengal Super Bee' in existence
When you've sold roughly 2,000 collector cars to discerning enthusiasts all over the world, you get pretty good at understanding why certain rides appeal to certain people. And that increasing knowledge base is key to our RK Motors Charlotte staff effectively communicating the virtues of our latest irresistible offerings. That said; there are so many angles to this 1970 Dodge Coronet Super Bee that we're not real sure where to begin. It is, after all, the one and only 'Bengal Super Bee'. It also has a documented history that revolves around a low-mileage life. And, thanks to the pros at our own RKM Performance Center, it's one of the best restored Coronet's on the planet. But then, after you hear the car's amazing story, you probably won't care that much about orange paint, original miles and car shop semantics.
That story begins with a respected Dodge dealer in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tom Kneer, who just happened to love football as much as he loved peddling Mopars, was excited to learn his city would gain an AFL expansion team for the 1968 season. After talking to close friend and part Bengal's owner Barry Buse, Tom decided to build a run of special cars to celebrate his new obsession. Kneer envisioned mating the sleek, new-for-1968 Charger with the feline "Bengal" name and bright team colors. The problem was: the only orange paint Chrysler offered was a Michigan State Highway fleet color that, when ordered, required the sale of no less than 50 cars. After a bit of negotiation, 50 randomly optioned Chargers were ordered and, because Tom was a good sport about the large sale, factory-equipped with free Black Sport Stripes. And ultimately the cars known as Bengal Chargers were sold with Tiger Orange paint, Bengal Black accents and broadcast sheets that list no stripes at all.
That short history lesson brings us to Paul Brown, majority owner of the Cincinnati Bengals and first owner of this striking Coronet. Now, if you're Paul Brown, are you going to take delivery of a Hemi Orange Coronet Super Bee with White C-stripes? NO WAY! You're going to rip a page out of Tom Kneer's book, demand Cincinnati Bengals colors and cement the car's status as the only 'Bengal Super Bee' known to exist!
So, yeah, a rich football tycoon ordered a custom Coronet Super Bee; big deal, right? Well, here's where our car's story gets more interesting. Flash forward to 1985, an elderly woman from rural Cincinnati passes away and her home ends up in a probate auction. Like most folks the new property owner wasn't interested in the ancient house and barn, he just wanted the real estate. He hired a random construction company to demolish both structures and, during that process, one of the company's employees found an old car that was wrapped in tarps. To that employee's amazement, the tarps were hiding a 1970 Dodge Coronet Super Bee 440 Six Pack that only showed 17K original miles. After some wise research, the employee learned the deceased woman's son, who passed in the early 70s, purchased the then 10K mile Mopar from local Bengals and Browns legend Paul Brown. Unfortunately, he still had no idea that he'd officially re-discovered the only 'Bengal Super Bee' known to exist.
It wasn't long until our freshly cleaned and road-ready Super Bee found its way into the proud hands of an avid Mopar nut. That Mopar nut would continue to drive and show what is considered an amazing survivor until 1994, when he had to finance a wedding. Enter Scott Martin, a fellow Mopar nut who purchased the car and drove it from Cincinnati to Maryland, engaging in two damage-free scuffles with deer in the process. Though he loved it, Martin quickly tired of the car and sold it to a local collector who drove it straight to the 1995 Carlisle All Chrysler Nationals. It was there that Steve Chervinsky, a Quebec resident, experienced love at first sight. Steve had been looking for a '70 Super Bee for quite some time and was thrilled at how well this mostly original car survived. He promptly wrote a check and, along with his wife, road tripped the car all the way back home on a set of rock-hard Goodyear Polyglas tires. For the next 13 years, Steve drove and enjoyed his favorite Mopar as much as he could. And in 1999, he even won a feature in the July issue of Mopar Collector's Guide magazine. Yes, that's right: even as a regularly driven survivor, this Super Bee was nice enough to grace a magazine cover.
Fast forward to 2008 and, after spending close to two decades with the same car, Steve wanted a new muse. One night while browsing through our RKMotorsCharlotte.com website, he spotted a smokin' hot 1963 Dodge Polara Hemi and fell in love all over again. A deal was struck and one rainy Saturday morning a well-used, but correct and mostly original, 1970 Coronet Super Bee was trailed into our parking lot. After loading his new Polara, Steve mentioned that, although the Super Bee's Chrysler broadcast sheets are coded for White C-stripes, the car, like its famous Bengal ancestors, had always worn black. And then he made sure to let us know every former owner would verify the legitimacy of those stripes.
Now that a crew of dyed-in-the-wool car enthusiasts possessed the one and only 'Bengal Super Bee', the decision was made to put it through a deluxe, no-holds-barred reboot. Was the car solid? Yes, every piece of sheetmetal was original and mostly rust-free. But, over the last 23 years, this mighty Mopar had simply become another well-used classic that deserved, and truly needed, a high quality, frame-off restoration. So, based on the car's appearance, and the following fender tag breakdown, our RKM Performance Center techs sprang into action.
* W: Dodge Coronet or Charger Super Bee
* M: Medium
* 23: 2-door hardtop
* V: 440 cubic inch V8 that utilizes three 2-barrel carburetors to create 390 horsepower
* 0: 1970 model year
* A: Produced at Chrysler's Lynch Road manufacturing facility
* 136232: Sequence number
* E87: 440 cubic inch, high performance V8 that creates 390 horsepower
* D21: 4-speed manual transmission
* EV2: Hemi Orange paint
* H: High trim grade
* 2: Vinyl bench seat
* XW: Black and White interior
* EW1: White door frames
* 929: Assembled on September 29, 1969
* 29021144: Order number
* EV2: Hemi Orange roof paint
* N96: Fresh air hood
* 26: 26 inch radiator
The goal of our restoration process was to bring this Dodge back to a new or better-than-new appearance. That process began with a complete disassembly which involved all original pieces being catalogued. Next, the car's tub was stripped to bare metal and supplemented with a few small patches. Patched and disassembled, the body was outsourced for a non-acidic chemical dip. Fresh from that dip, that fuselage was completely submerged in E-coat and baked at roughly 400 degrees. Now protected from rust and weathering, the car's panels were hung and laser straightened. Those straight panels called for a new coat of primer, which was blocked out numerous times. The original floor-pans were oversprayed to mimic a factory-fresh appearance, then satin clearcoated for their protection. With those floors finished, it was time for a little color-keyed body sealer. That sealer was topped with a smooth DBC PPG basecoat and 2002 PPG clear. That clear was mirrored by roughly 80 hours of blocking and buffing. And, to finish things off, we ignored the car's original broadcast sheets by applying fresh Black C-stripes.
Naturally, while the car's body was being put through its paces, all this Coronet's stainless, chrome and anodized pieces were shipped off for proper restoration. After the freshly painted body was clean and ready to roll that restored trim was, along with new windshield gaskets, weather-stripping and cat whiskers, professionally re-installed. And pretty much any of the car's baubles that aren't restored original bling were purchased and installed new.
More popular than Chrysler's famed Hemi, and almost as feared, Dodge's 390 horsepower, 440 Six Pack powerplant was designed to be the industry's best combination of comfort, streetability and big block performance. As with its body, this Super Bee's correct 440/A833, 18-spline 4-speed drivetrain was completely pulled apart and mechanically and cosmetically restored. It took us a while but we located and restored a set of date-coded heads, a correct intake and three 2-barrel carburetors. And then we threw in a barrage of parts including: a new alternator, a new master cylinder, a new starter, new wiring harnesses, new exhaust manifolds, a new air cleaner, a new radiator and a correct Air Grabber assembly.
Like that first class drivetrain, this B-Body's chassis was subjected to an exhaustive restoration. Aside from a complete mechanical rebuild, work on the car's suspension began with a freshly dipped, epoxy-coated and scuffed rear end that was sanded numerous times to display a 'just from the factory' appearance. At the sides of that rear end, scuffed and painted leaf springs present a Satin Black, factory-correct sheen. The car's rugged 4-speed was hooked to a new driveshaft that, after being prepped and balanced, was decked in a bare steel color scheme. In front of that driveshaft, an original K-frame was dipped, metal-finished, sprayed in epoxy, sanded, blocked and then sprayed in factory-correct Satin Black. And finally, the car's control arms and steering components were all chemical-dipped, epoxied and then finished to factory specifications. With the suspension out of the way, the braking system, from lines to drums to hoses, was completely restored. Finishing off the show-ready undercarriage is a concours replacement exhaust system that's complete with correct chrome tips. New stainless fuel lines were routed from the big engine's carburetor to a new stainless fuel tank. And everything rolls on reproduction Rallye wheels, dent-free trim rings and meaty F60-15 Goodyear Polyglas GTs.
Inside the car you'll find a correct Black and White interior that's received a complete top-to-bottom makeover. New or restored items include the headliner, dash, instrument cluster, seat covers, seat foams, shifter ball, door panels, kick panels, sill plates and carpeting. Oddly enough, according to its original broadcast sheet, this Super Bee is actually a tach-delete car; which probably explains why it was already equipped with a warranty replacement block with just 17K miles on the odometer. To aid in preventing that warranty replacement block from suffering the same fate as the car's original mill, we added the tach back to the instrument cluster. And out back, the trunk was properly restored with an original jack, fresh hardware and a correct spare tire.
The sale of this one-of-a-kind muscle car includes two original broadcast sheets, an original owner's manual, an original factory brochure, an official Galen Govier Report, a copy of the aforementioned Mopar Collector's Guide spread and a copy of the car's Muscle Car News article.
Well, there you have it. Fully documented and fully restored, this stunning Super Bee is a magnificent showpiece that's suitable for any significant Chrysler collection. Whether you want to call it the one and only 'Bengal Super Bee', set it up and tell its amazing history, or just enjoy it as a world class, road-ready restoration, this spectacular classic fires on all cylinders! So come on, write yourself into the next chapter of this Mopar's awesome story.
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