'69 1/2 Dodge Super Bee - Graham Howard - Fareham, Hampshire, England
Engine: the original RB440 block got the royal treatment before finding itself back between the fenders after serving as a powerplant for a seasoned race car. While the block was being freshened, the factory 904s were ported, polished, and refitted with the factory Hemi springs and retainers, as well as Mopar Performance valves. A more aggressive Crane 509-lift camshaft replaced the factory bump stick. light JE aluminum 10.5:1 compression pistons were used after the cylinders were bored out slightly. The original Edelbrock aluminum intake tops the plant with three refurbished Holleys. Graham made sure to have the engine appear as stock as possible, but produce more horsepower than the engine did in 1969. For the final touches, Graham had a set of tti ceramic-coated headers mated to the heads, tunneling the spent gases out of a tti system, complete with factory-appearing chrome tips.
Transmission: Besides a minor rebuild, the factory 727 TorqueFlite remains the same with the column-shifter.
Rearend: Part of the 440 Six Pack package was a mandatory Super Track Pack with the Dana 60 Sure Grip with 4.10 gears regardless of the transmission. Graham had his Dana's gears swapped to 3.70 for more street driving.
Horsepower & Performance: From the factory, these cars made an advertised 390 hp. With all the modifications to Graham's Super Bee, we estimate close to 450s. The late, great Ronnie Sox got a '69 1/2 6BBL Road Runner in similar trim and four-speed into the high 11s. we wonder how this Bee would fare.
Suspension: The Super Track Pack was the factory suspension package that came mandatory with the midyear performance package. Stronger Hemi-style torsion bars and gas shocks made for a pretty stout combination. Mopar Performance Super Stock leaf springs reside in back with new shocks in front. Graham also installed a rigid antisway bar for assistance in cornering.
Brakes: You had only one option in 1969-factory manual drum brakes at all four corners. No power and no discs. They were cheap and plentiful on the Chrysler parts shelves. Graham wanted better stopping power, so the front now sport discs, while the rear still retains the factory 11-inch drums.
Wheels: Just like the designers intended, the 6 1/2-inch-wide by 15-inch-tall stamped-steel wheels look intimidating in all black. Chrome lug nuts were a "plus" to the wheel combination from the factory.
Rubber: Though not known for their ample traction, they do fit the part. Bias Ply Redline tires were all that was available from the factory (that or all black). with all the power the 440s put out, we figure Graham's going to need a couple sets of these 225x70 donuts.
Body: When Graham picked up the Super Bee in 1999, he said it needed a full restoration. The body and paint were in pretty poor shape, so a complete body stripping was needed. Everything was taken down to the bare metal, including the optional Coronet R/T faux sidescoops. Thankfully, the contoured glass was preserved, as well as much of the trim.
Paint: Since the Super Bee's Butterscotch Yellow was so rare and significant, there was no other hue Graham considered. The tail is wrapped in the signature bumblebee stripe that Chrysler revamped four years ago for the limited production Rumble Bee trucks.
Interior: Though retreated, the interior is all pretty much how the factory buildsheet demands. The bench seat was recovered, as well as the rear bench. the carpet and headliner were also replaced. The dash was also put through the process, with a new pad, repainted gauges, and new chrome coating. The column, with its 37-year-old column shifter, was gone through just to be on the safe side.