A school boy when the muscle car era was in full swing, Bob was one of the guys who, early on, realized what treasures these cars were-ones worth restoring. Back then, dealer parts inventories still had a lot of '68-'70 B-Body stuff-but it took a lot of time to find what he needed to restore his Bee. "It took six years, because I was tracking down a lot of the parts through the dealerships," he says of his searches that took him to dealers that still had the sheetmetal, chassis, engine and other parts he sought on their shelves, new-in-the-wrapper New Old Stock (N.O.S.). "I was able to go to a dealer and get some N.O.S. fenders," Bob adds, "and when I rebuilt the engine and the transmission, I put as many N.O.S. parts inside them as I could."
Bob also performed the interior and chassis restorations, plus all the needed pre-paint bodywork.
Once done, it was time to enjoy the Bee. "It's only got 21,158 original miles on it," Bob says, adding that he's only put 650.3 miles on it since finishing the restoration. "It's not a 10-point show car, but it's equal to what came out of the dealership."
He's taken it to cruise nights and events near home-the 4.10 rear gear limits the cruising range-including some all-Mopar ones. "We have a show in Collingswood, New Jersey, and shows in Turnersville and Cross Keys." He adds, "I get kind of nervous when people come around it with bicycles and baby strollers at the car shows."
What's this Six Pack-equipped Bee like to drive? Bob says, "It's a handful! Cars like this don't handle the way cars do today." For that, you can thank its non-power-assisted steering and skinny, 70-series tires. "It wants to dance all over the road on you when you step on it," he adds. "But once you get it going in a straight line, it doesn't stop pulling, that's for sure!"
Bob's preferred method of acceleration with it doesn't involve a standing start, but it does involve car preservation. "I like to nail it from a roll, because if you nail it from a stop sometimes without slicks, you break stuff." He also says that, once all of the torque the 440 Six Pack can deliver reaches the back tires, the Bee's back end wants to jump out sideways. "Just hang in there, and once it straightens out, it's a bear," he adds. "Especially looking over top of that hoodscoop."
If you're up to the challenge of restoring a Six Pack-equipped Bee that you've found, Bob has this advice. "It's no different than restoring a regular Super Bee, except for if you don't have the original hood or air cleaner. They're probably the two hardest things to get. There are aftermarket hoods and air cleaners, but they're not quite the same."
In a year when Dodge dealers moved about 202,000 Coronets of all kinds, nearly 28,000 of them-over ten percent of all Coronet sales-were Super Bees. Of those, 1,907 got the A12 440 Six Pack option package-1,487 hardtops (826 four-speeds and 661 Torqueflites) and 420 coupes (267 A-833s and 153 727s).
'69 was the high water mark for not just the 440 Six Pack option, but for the Super Bee overall. Only about 15,000 Bees-including 1,268 Six Packs-were sold in '70, and just over 5,000 Charger-based Super Bees in '71 (99 with 440 Six Packs), the last year the Super Bee name graced a Dodge before its 2007 revival.
Still, this Bee delivered a lot for four grand in 1969 money. That sum is equal to about $22,800 in today's money, by the way-and when was the last time you saw a Bee like this sell for that?
'69 Dodge Coronet Super Bee hardtop
Owned by Bob and Judy Severino
Deptford, New Jersey
- Engine: Bob restored the 440 Six Pack using N.O.S. parts as he could find them. The trio of Holley two-barrels and the Edelbrock aluminum intake are all originals.
- Transmission: Rebuilt original 18-spline A-833 four-speed, with factory Hurst shifter.
- Rearend: The original Dana 60, with Sure Grip and 4.10 gears
- Suspension: (Front) Restored original-heavy duty longitudinal torsion bars and tubular shocks with an anti-sway bar. (Rear) Restored original-heavy duty leaf springs with tubular shocks
- Brakes: Non-power-assisted drum and shoe brakes all around with 11-inch drums
- Wheels and Tires: G70-15 redline Goodyear tires on 15x6-inch black steel wheels, with chrome lug nuts, and no factory dog dishes or covers.
- Body: Original '69 Dodge B-Body hardtop unibody got an N.O.S. pair of front fenders before Bob got it ready for paint. (Previous two owners had kept the Bee away from road salt and collisions as much as they could.)
- Paint: Bahama Yellow, applied by Tracy Braun.
- Interior: Restored stock interior features the original deluxe steering wheel and Rallye gauge cluster, original front seat covers and a repro Legendary rear seat cover, and an AM/FM tuner in the stock AM radio's housing.