Even though adding a Hemi...
Even though adding a Hemi to your purchase in '69 was cost prohibitive, the result was a car that was unmistakably muscle.
Unavailable with A/C due to...
Unavailable with A/C due to the giant powerplant under the hood, the interior of this Super Bee is all but barren of any optioned amenities. The solid bench seat with the long arm shifter is signature of the bare-bones Mopars of 1968 and 1969.
The floors of Chrysler were a flurry of motion in late 1967. Corporate marketing demanded that new and exciting shapes be implemented in the Dodge lineup, primarily due to the sweeping changes in design by their competitors. Corporate bigwig, Bill Brownlie, had pushed from the inside to get the Coronet a much needed redesign earlier as the B-Body's platform was nearly identical to the '65 model. Additionally, the Charger was basically a fastback version of the Coronet and shared nearly the entire front clip and doors with the Coronet from '66 and '67. Brownlie, tired of the squared, boxy design of the Dodge model lineup, opted for a total retooling of both cars, starting with the Charger. What resulted was automotive history.
True race inspiration crafted the shape of the '68 Charger. From there, the Coronet received the same treatment, sharing the same underpinning as the Charger but with more subdued styling. Amazingly, despite the family resemblance, neither car shared an inch of sheetmetal.
The sister vehicles at Plymouth were undergoing the same maturation, but word leaked to Dodge that Plymouth was looking at adding a new line to its stable of vehicles, namely the Road Runner. Cheap, bare-bones, powerful, and aimed directly at the youth market, the Road Runner was definitely intended to be a musclecar. Brownlie scrambled to provide a comparable car, resulting in the Super Bee. This late start by Dodge meant the Road Runner was cleaning up in sales by the time Dodge had the Super Bee ready for production. In an effort to spread publicity, Dodge blitzed the media will full-page color spreads in Hot Rod, Car and Driver, Super Stock and Drag Racing Illustrated, Mopar Trend, Car Life, Road and Track, Popular Hot Rodding, Drag Strip, Auto Racing, and Cars, as well as 250 college newspapers.
Unlike the distinguishable Runner, the Super Bee shared everything with its siblings. Based upon the Coronet 440 two-door post coupe and designed to carry a little more trim and chrome than its Road Runner counterpart, the Super Bee was available its first year with the standard 383 Magnum found in virtually all Dodge vehicles that year. The standard gearbox was the four-speed manual A833, the 727 TorqueFlite was optional, and like the R/T, the Hemi also was available. The Super Bee borrowed the Coronet's bubble hood and using the Charger's aircraft-inspired dash gauges. Interior trim was kept to a bare minimum with neither bucket seats nor a center console.
The following year, the Super Bee maintained its previous Spartan accruements but also offered improved interior accommodations, such as better seat options like dual buckets and an interior light package. In addition to the standard bulge hood, the Super Bee could be ordered with an aggressive Ram Charger hood, a special hood with cutouts that enable fresh cool air to enter through dual wedge-shaped scoops. A greatly improved grille treatment and taillight valance was also new for the '69 model. The grille featured a deep delta shape surrounded by chrome trim and accented with a polished and painted bumblebee badge.