The old ’Bee continued as my primary transportation for quite a few years but eventually the wear and tear took its toll, and it became a shed in the back yard. After a few more years of deterioration, I realized it deserved a better life and felt a proper restoration was in order. Although I liked the original Green Go green paint, I was tired of it, so I decided to change the color. After so many years, I just needed something different. Planning once again that it was to become my daily driver, I chose to add a few other items to my liking. While the original 383 was a great engine, I’ve always enjoyed the drivability and response of a 440 Six-Pack...or as I call it, a 440 two barrel with a lot of secondaries. Somewhere along the way I had picked up a decent 440+6 motor, so with nothing more than a brush-hone and new bearings/rings/gaskets, I put it back together. I did upgrade to a hydraulic roller cam and roller rockers for efficiency and durability with today’s motor oils. I have been using the 833 overdrive transmission and a 3.23 rear gear. Last year I averaged 17.1 mpg on a 4,000 mile journey to the east coast and back. This compares with the prior year’s trip (2009 Mexico to Canada) where I only got 14.5 with the non-overdrive transmission. Other minor modifications are that I’ve added satellite radio, and to help protect the paint I have 3M Clearguard behind all the wheel openings and on the leading edges front bumper and lower valance.
The Mexico to Canada journey was a great trip. One quick memory was offering a ride to two young Hutterites outside of Two Dot, Montana. Hutterites are like the Amish back east. They had never seen a car like this, but soon hopped right in. They were asking all kinds of questions and eventually asked “How fast will it go”? My response was, “Well, let’s find out.”
It’s still a wonderful experience driving an old muscle car on a long road trip. When it’s time for paint again, I’m thinking Sand Pebble Beige and no stripes, you know, keep it subtle? To me it’s still the same old Superbee, but I guess times have changed and I haven’t. So what you see now is an ongoing 30 year bond that was never really intended to be. The odometer is still functional and shows 325,000 miles. I have no idea how many more miles the ’Bee has in it, but I’ve personally watched it roll over twice. It was at 114,000 when I got it all those years ago. This lifetime of memories has far surpassed any investment potential I could have ever realized.