1969 1/2 Dodge
Coronet Super Bee
8,517 Actual Coronet Super Bee 440+6 4 Speed A12
Where do you start to describe an 8,500 original mile, original paint, original title, original window sticker, original interior, original owner's manual and warranty booklet, two owner car? I didn't know either, and that's why I wrote the paragraph below first. The purpose of any opening paragraph of a sale ad, newspaper article or magazine feature is to catch your readers' attention, lay out the story and outline where you're headed. Great. The problem is, with a car this nice, the first paragraph ends up being 4000 characters long, and that ain't exactly Wall Street Journal grade material. Follow along—I'm sure I'll find some way to break it down!
For Mopar muscle car fans, Hemi was four letters for performance. Hemi was also four letters for expensive, temperamental and, for the most part, bland, with only those little “Hemi” badges to alert the other guy to the thrashing he was about to receive. In what seems as an about-face answer to all of that was this car: The lift-off hood A12 package, 69 ½ Super Bee and its corporate cousin Road Runner. Expensive? The six pack option was barely half of the Hemi's cost. The 440 six pack engine had a far greater disposition due to a more straightforward set of carbs and hydraulic lifters. As far as bland, aliens riding passing asteroids knew what they were. Brash, loud, as fast as (and occasionally faster than) the Hemi, nearly devoid of creature comforts and with no clear track objective, these cars did one thing, and did it well: They ruled the streets.
Let's get on to what is fast becoming my favorite part of this hobby; paperwork. I know, it might not be as “sexy” as the paint or performance stuff, but you can sit down, look over some documents, and find yourself back in 1969. Set the WABAC, Sherman!
Sometime in the summer of '69 a young John Shumar walked into Patrick Dodge in Connellsville, PA, an isolated city in the southwest corner of the state. John had a plan to dominate the local competition, and he knew Dodge had the gear. By the window sticker, he ordered himself an A12 car with all the good stuff:
V2 Hemi Orange paint
H2X Deluxe black bench seat interior
A12 440 six pack package, $462.80
D21 Four speed manual gearbox
D69 4.10 Dana rear axle (A12 std.)
D91 Sure grip differential (A12 std.)
E63 383 engine (supplanted by the six pack mill, and standard on all A12 window stickers and fender tags)
J25 Three-speed wipers $5.40 (mandatory A12)
N51 Max cooling package less fan (A12 std.)
N65 Fan-torque drive (A12 std.)
R11 Music Master AM radio $61.55
S15 Police handling package $28.70 (mandatory A12)
V1X Black vinyl top $89.20
V8X Black bumblebee stripe (std. Super Bee)
Y14 Sold car
Y39 Special order
U7S Special order G70x15 tires (redline; std. A12)
$52.00 Later it showed up at Patrick wearing a sticker price of $3,837.65, becoming vehicle stock #386 (it's written on the owner's manual cover.) Now, we can't say if he had half of the money up front or if he had a trade, but the title shows a lien of $1,944.00 due to Commercial Credit Plan in Uniontown, PA. He paid the debt off by July 26, 1974, and the car was fully his.
We also have the original warranty booklet for the car, again with John's name, showing a delivery date of September 16, 1969—late enough that he could have bought a '70 model instead! Now, if you've never seen a real live A12 warranty book, you may not have seen the crazy STICKERS added to the booklet to show that the car had the same warranty as the Hemi—try doing that today in our litigation-crazed society! They're applied haphazardly, too, with the care and technique shown by Creative Industries' employees on these cars and the aero cars! Don't get me wrong—this is a SUPERB example of an A12 car, but let's just say that quality was job #1…to a price point and a deadline. And that's how history really happened!
Let's do a quick walk around. How frequently do you see ANY original paint cars, let alone high impact colors like this, on cars that were built to be thrashed? Sure, there's some high point wear, the stripe's got a few nicks, and there's the odd scratch here and there, but it's ORIGINAL. Anyone can have a car repainted, but it's only original once! Stand back a few feet and appreciate what's there—the car is nice and shiny and there's NO rust on the body, anywhere. You have to get pretty close to see that it hasn't been repainted, so you're going to shock people twice—once when they see the car, and once more when they walk up to it and realize they're looking at a 38-year-old paint job! The vinyl top's original, all of the trim is original, as is the chrome. The grille is in superb shape, as is the rear finish panel. The taillights are the correct, late-style three bulb units. The wheels are all original to the car, with the two dimples by the filler hole and the big “H” stamped by the hub. The hood is the original unit, expertly repainted in Organisol black as that finish wore away within months of new! You'll also notice little things that are usually wrong on restored cars, like the original front wheel lip moldings that are notched for the splash shield attaching bolts! All the lights and lenses are original and have never been out of the car, including all four original GE headlights. Stand back or get right on top of this car and you'll learn all sorts of new information about its construction techniques! The outside of this car is absolutely reference grade!
Moving to the interior you'll find it COMPLETELY original and untouched. We've had a debate around here as to what to do with the seat cover on the front bench—it's dried out and has seam splits. We're ordering another, and we'll leave installing it up to the new owner, if he or she chooses to. It would be a no brainer if there were other non original pieces inside, but there just aren't, from the original, exceptional carpet to the mint headliner. The dash is perfect and the chrome around the gauges is beautiful—this car was kept warm and dry and it shows. The rear seat looks like it's never been sat in and there aren't any wear marks in the steering wheel or center cap (silly as it sounds, but that rubber texture wears down just from your thumbs!) I guarantee this to be a full reference restoration interior, right down to the inspection/notation stamp on the glove box liner!
Pop the trunk and you'll see a new trunk mat amid every original component installed in the car. The original jack and spare (yes, with its unobtainable-at-any-price, never-been-on-the-road Goodyear G70 redline tire) are bolted down as Chrysler did in '69. The paint in here is original, too, with its original jack decal and tire designation under the lid! The taillight housings are still perfectly plated as are the side marker lights. Pick up the mat and you'll find a GORGEOUS trunk pan—it's in line with the rest of the untouched sheet metal on the car!
Under hood, you'll find an incredibly well detailed motor (John blew up the original while still under warranty—no wonder Chrysler didn't make a second run of these things in '70!) The motor was pulled within the last couple years and everything was brought to absolute concours specs, from the paint to ALL finishes to ALL the correct parts! The level of detail such as this requires a mint, low mileage car to start with—there's no substitution for original parts, let alone date coded pieces! There's the original refinished wiper motor, ballast resistor, voltage regulator and the original washer fluid bottle, to name a few! The motor's a date-coded replacement '69 HP unit, topped by the original carbs, coil, intake, distributor and air cleaner! The original exhaust manifolds are in place, as are the original battery cables! Also ALWAYS missing are the little black caps over the front splash shield studs.
All hoses and belts and all wiring was changed out for new, correct reproduction units for the sake of safety and reliability. The motor is tuned to perfection, starts immediately and has the power to match its looks!
Underneath, all sheet metal, the full suspension and everything else bolted down was treated to the same concours treatment as the engine compartment. There isn't a flaw to be seen anywhere, again a product of having all correct components with 8.000 miles on them to start with! Every nut and bolt is correct and the finishes are impeccable! I'm not talking about faking finishes—if it was unfinished, bare metal from the factory, there's nothing more than a light coat of oil to protect it now! The level of detail is amazing in the front suspension, with Cosmoline coated lower control arms, black phosphate and bare hardware, bare steering linkage, the correct K frame in the correct sheen of black (with its inspection mark on top, no less) and the drips of paint hanging from the torsion bars is correct! We took pictures for this sale, and I've taken a couple dozen more for reference! The transmission and Dana axle have their inspection marks as they should and any tags originally on the car are duplicated and present. The sheet metal is coated in the correct dark gray dip primer while the Hemi Orange is dusted on as it should be. Again, this is concours-level stuff! All of the fuel hoses have been replaced with the proper “KV” units, the metal brake and fuel hard lines have been replaced and there are NOS brake hoses, again in the name of safety. You'd better have a lift at home if you buy this one—you'll spend as much time underneath as you will behind the wheel!
So here you have a piece of history, well kept, yet ready to run over and around anyone. Pretty interesting choice you have to make there, eh? You can show it, store it away in a bubble, or thrash on it, and it'll do any one of those things well. We've got a car that has frameable paperwork, an original finish, a rebuilt drive train, an original interior, a restored under hood area and undercarriage as well as just about every single piece of original equipment Dodge bolted to it in the summer of '69. Seldom do you find a time capsule, and less seldom yet is it a car with this level of collectability! With its original hardware and high visibility this is a car you can't allow to pass you by!
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