Up until 1970, factory muscle from Ma Mopar was often heard before it was seen. That's especially true of the 440 Six Pack that joined the Dodge Super Bee's option list in the spring of 1969. Three Holley two-barrels atop an aluminum Edelbrock manifold, all on top of the proven 440-inch RB engine, resulted in an advertised horsepower figure of 390. (If you believe that, we have an old bridge in Brooklyn we'll sell you cheap!)
For 1970, the Six Pack was on the option list from the get-go, as were ChryCo's High Impact paints. These extra-cost ($14) colors boasted brighter pigments than Chrysler dared use in production-car paints before, and color names that were as eye-catching as the colors themselves. Such as Plum Crazy-the factory color that Larry Lee's Six Pack-powered '70 Bee was covered with before it left the factory.
Not only was the vibrant violet color picked by the original owner, but a white vinyl top, white bucket-seat interior, and white rear-quarter stripes were also on the order blank, making this B-Body much different from the "White Hat Special" Coronets sold by the thousands.
When Larry first saw this car in 1990, it was a resto-project candidate. One of his buddies bought it, gathered parts to restore it over the next nine years, and then got going on the project, but didn't finish it. "He kind of ran out of gas on finishing it," Larry says. "He offered to sell it to me, and I couldn't refuse. I decided that with this color combination and the engine combination, I just couldn't pass it up."
The deal was made, and Larry had an in-progress car in his New Salisbury, Indiana, shop needing more work-nearly six more years of it, off and on-to finish if it was going to be done right. At the time he bought the Bee, Larry had two '70 Road Runners that he'd freshened up for sale and used to bankroll the Super Bee's restoration.
Even though major metal repairs were done, there was plenty of bodywork to do before the reproduction stripes and vinyl top went on. "There were a lot of things half-done. I took the car back apart and started over," says Larry. he and another buddy, Dave Bary, left the sheetmetal on but turned their attention to the paint and what was under it. "The primer hadn't been block-sanded well, and the paint was the wrong shade, so we spent a lot of time going back over that. I blocked all the clear off it, all the way down to the base, and started [over]." Once the body was ready, Dave Bary applied the FC7 Plum Crazy color in DuPont Chroma Premiere basecoat/clearcoat form, which Larry said "looked as smooth as a piece of glass" once it dried.
Larry's Bee is an original V-Code 440 Six Pack car, and that's how it was restored, with a
Where the Six Pack gets its name-three Holley two-barrels atop an Edelbrock intake.
While the three-decades-plus-old body was being attended to, the engine was rebuilt by Jim Stonecipher at Capitol Motor Parts in nearby Corydon, Indiana. It got a bellyful of the good stuff underneath its Six Pack setup, including an .030-inch overbore and TRW 10.5 compression pistons on stock rods. A stock forged-steel crank went in the bottom end, while a wilder-than-stock Crane hydraulic cam (0.518/0.518 lift) went in the RB block, joined by Crane rocker arms. PBM's valvesprings and 2.08-inch intake/1.81-inch exhaust valves also went in the ported stock Six Pack heads. On top went a restored set of Holley two-barrels with correct linkage, as did a Chrysler electronic ignition and Taylor ignition wires. TTI headers with 2-inch tubes and 311/42-inch collectors went on, joined by a pair of Summit mufflers, a 3-inch-diameter aluminized dual-exhaust system and correct-looking chrome exhaust tips.
When finished in the spring of 2006-as originally planned-the Super Bee scored a Second Place in the B-Body Modified class at the Chrysler Classic at Beech Bend, Kentucky, then scored a First Place at the next Chrysler Classic-at Edgewater Sports Park near Cincinnati-a couple months later.
Who said a budget musclecar had to be cheap inside? The white buckets, console, and Hurst
What's it like to drive? "It's a lot of fun," Larry says with a bit of understatement. "It's pretty unique around here," he adds, meaning southern Indiana's Harrison County, near the Ohio River. "You see some Road Runners and Challengers around here."
Speaking of Challengers, Larry's Super Bee isn't the only vividly colored Mopar in his family's garage. "We have a Panther Pink '70 Challenger convertible that I restored several years ago that's actually my wife's car. Between the two, we like standing out in a crowd." There's a future stand-out '70 Dodge in his shop now. "I've got a '70 Challenger hardtop that I've worked on a little in between other projects, but we're talking about putting a Hemi in it. I have a crate motor, and I might consider doing that. I've always got something going on."
Fast Facts '70 Super Bee production, both body styles/all engines: 14,696< '70 Super Bee hardtop (all engines/transmissions): 11,540 '70 Super Bee hardtop with 440 Six Pack (four-speed and 727): 1,072 '70 Super Bee hardtop with 440 Six Pack and four-speed: 599
'70 Dodge Coronet Super Bee hardtop
New Salisbury, InProduction totals:
Engine: Enough to scare Opel Kadetts at 50 yards in stock form, this 440 was treated to a .030-inch overbore, TRW 10.5:1 pistons, Crane hydraulic cam, Mopar electronic ignition-and the three two-barrel-Holleys-atop-an-aluminum Edelbrock-intake we lovingly call "Six Pack." Ramcharger underhood cold-air induction system connects hoodscoops to deep-breathing RB. TTI headers and Summit 3-inch mufflers produce sounds that keeps Kadetts at least 1,000 yards away at all times. The engine was built by Jim Stonecipher at Capitol Motor Parts, Corydon, Indiana.
Transmission: Do terms like "eight thirty-three" and "Hurst pistol-grip shifter" ring a bell?
Rearend: You can never have too much rearend with a 440 Six Pack. That includes the Super Track Pack (Dana 60 with 4.10 gears and Sure-Grip differential) the car was built with-and restored with.
Suspension: Restored original front torsion bars/rear leaf springs.
Brakes: Front disc/rear drum, just as it was built.
Wheels: Centerline Telstars (15x7-inch front, 15x8-inch rear) replaced the boat-anchor candidates that replaced the factory originals. Tires are Goodyear Eagles (225/60R15 front, 275/60R15 rear).
Bolt-on Power. Optional Ramcharger cold-air system added the orange underhood hardware, an
Body: Original '70 Dodge Super Bee hardtop. Quarters, floors, hood, and other rusted areas repaired before acquisition by Larry Lee-no fiberglass parts used. Bodywork and paint prep by Larry Lee and Dave Bary.
Paint: Same great flavor (FC7 Plum Crazy) that the Bee was built with, done this time in DuPont Chroma Premiere basecoat/clearcoat by Dave Bary.
Interior: Repro seat kits and carpets by Legendary Auto Interiors, pistol-grip shifter by Hurst, wood-rimmed steering wheel by Grant.
The Clincher Catch Me Copper Unforeseeable Fuchsia Statutory Grape Gang Green Well Red Cost Of Living Rose Fisher Body Rust Hi-Ho Silver Frank Lloyd White
Per the folks at www.maxwedge.com, these nine paint names were allegedly rejected by Chrysler executives: