Coronet Super Bee
Frame Up Built Coronet Superbee 440 4 Speed Convertible
The great thing about the muscle car era is that the factory created new high-performance models based on existing platforms, meaning that there's a great deal of parts compatibility. On the one hand, that makes clones possible, but on the other, it allows the enterprising enthusiast the ability to build dream cars that may never have existed in the first place. Take, for example, this 1969 Dodge Coronet convertible, fully dressed in Super Bee regalia with a thumping 440 under the hood. While the factory never built such a beast, it doesn't take much to build your own phantom, a car that the factory COULD have built, but never did.
Super Bee fans will note that the very first Super Bee show car was, indeed, a convertible, but once production started, the decision to focus on performance and price dictated that a heavier and more expensive convertible had no place in the hard core Scat Pack. But that doesn't mean you didn't lust after one, and after you see this brilliantly executed Rallye Green 440-powered example, you'll probably be wondering—as the rest of us are—why the factory just didn't go ahead and do it anyway.
The fender tag doesn't tell us much about what the car is today, but it was indeed a V8 Coronet ragtop when it was new:
Dodge Coronet, Charger
F9G: 318 230HP 1x2 BBL 8 CYL
St. Louis, MO, USA
138206: Sequence number
E44: 318 cubic inch 2-barrel V8, 230 horsepower
D31: A904 3-Speed Automatic Transmission
B5: Bright Blue Metallic Exterior Color
P2X: Trim - Premium, Vinyl Bench Seat, Black
X9: Black (Dodge) Interior Door Frames
102: Build Date: January 02
150473: Order number
A01: Light Package
A04: Basic (Radio) Group
G33: LH Remote Racing Mirror
J25: 3-Speed Wipers
L31: Fender Mounted Turn Signals
M31: Belt Moldings
M33: Body Side Moldings
R11: Radio Solid State AM (2 Watts)
END: End of Sales Codes
At a cost of over $100,000, this stunning convertible was completely rebuilt from the ground up by Reid Stevens, who is well-known to Mopar fans for building incredibly detailed tribute cars. Reid's Curious Yellow 1971 Plymouth Hemicuda Convertible took First Place in the E-Body class at the 2007 Carlisle All Chrysler Nationals. It was engineered to be not only brutally fast, but impressively accurate as well. It shows zero miles since it was completed (yes, zero, meaning it's so fresh you can still smell the paint), and is spectacular in every measurable way. The bodywork was straightened and finessed until it was as straight as any concours contender, and since they knew this car would be getting A LOT of scrutiny at shows, the guys in the body shop went the extra mile to make sure everything lined up correctly. The detail lines on those massive quarter panels are razor sharp, not sanded down to mere suggestions of their former selves, and correct scoops were added not only to the hood (they're fully functional, by the way), but just behind the doors, too, which is surely how the factory would have done it. Two-stage urethane accurately reproduces the Rallye Green finish, which has a lot of metallic and a hint of gold underneath, so it positively glows in the sunlight. If you crave attention at the next Mopar Nationals, this is your ride.
Other details have been added, including the Super Bee stripes around the tail, the blacked-out grille, and '440 Six-Pack' badges on the hood. Other little details that you may not have noticed are the hood pins, fender-mounted turn signals, and the little Super Bee emblem on the deck lid, all of which add to this car's air of authenticity. The chrome is beautifully restored, and all the stainless has been mirror buffed. I suspect that this is one of those cars someone will fall in love with on the spot, and we won't be able to get him out the door without it.
If you build a car that looks this fast, you'd better be able to back it up. Fortunately, the guys dipped into the Mopar parts bin, just as the factory would have, and served up a thumping 440 cubic inch V8 topped by a big 4-barrel carburetor (note that a fully rebuilt Six Pack setup comes with the car and RK Motors Charlotte can install it for you before delivery, please contact us for details). Exceptionally well detailed, the engine bay almost looks ready for concours duty, although the huge long-tube headers that make this car so much fun to drive are hard to miss. But otherwise, the Hemi Orange enamel on the block is as nice as the paint on the body, the decals throughout are accurate, and even things like hoses, clamps, and the windshield wiper motor are correct. Power brakes and power steering were added, so the car will truly be a pleasure to drive (remember that it hasn't even seen pavement yet, it's so fresh). The Ramcharger ram air system is fully functional, and this big block inhales so much air that you might worry about the hood caving in at full throttle without it. The details are more than impressive.
The only transmission you wanted in your Super Bee, factory-issued or otherwise, is an A833 4-speed manual topped by a Hurst shift linkage and feeding an 8.75-inch rear with street-friendly 3.55 gears on a Sure Grip. The chassis is all-new, with more correct details and significant upgrades. For instance, there's a massive 3-inch exhaust system with an X-pipe and electric cut-outs just ahead of the stock style mufflers, as well as a set of disc brakes up front. On the other hand, the floors have been properly undercoated and not painted body color like the over-restored show cars you see all the time. Fresh shocks at all four corners, new lines and hoses throughout, and a shiny clean gas tank hanging at the rear. Topping it off are those gorgeous polished 17-inch Torque Thrust wheels wearing massive low-profile BFGoodrich radials.
The fender tag says this originally had a black bench seat, but you can't argue with the jaw-dropping looks of the black and white bucket seat setup that's in there now. Expertly replicated seat covers, including the cool headrests that were optional until mid-way through 1969 when federal law took effect, are surely better than new. Fresh black carpets, reproduction door panels, and that gorgeous center console give it a high performance look and a new car feel. All the gauges have been rebuilt and are fully functional, even the tick-tock-tach. A correct Music Master AM radio remains in the dash, still sporting its unusual thumb-wheel style knobs, and the steering wheel is a beautifully restored original piece. The black vinyl top was put down for the first time in our photo studio, and it fits extremely well with no snags or wrinkles in the fabric, and a white boot hides it when it's stowed. In back, the trunk offers a reproduction mat, full-sized spare, and a complete jack assembly.
Just looking at the quality of the workmanship, you know this car cost twice the asking price to build. Careful construction and attention to detail ensure that this is a convincing example of a car that isn't too far removed from production, and I can guarantee that more than one so-called “expert” at the next Mopar show will fall for it, it's so well done. In the meantime, it's also fast, comfortable, and stylish, which are all the things we look for in our hobby cars. An outstanding example of a supercar meant to be driven.
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