Last year at the Mopar show at Moroso Motorsports Park in West Palm Beach, Florida, John and Ramona Bober of Viera, Florida, had their '71 Charger Super Bee chosen for the Editor's Choice award. The story behind this Bee is as sweet as the ride itself. In fact, we decided to let John (with some help from Ramona) tell the story:
Growing up and living in Buffalo, New York, with Ford and Chevy production plants in my backyard, it was hard to like Mopars. My first ride-the one that must have started it all-was a police car. My father was a New York State trooper, and when I was around 10 years old, he brought home his cruiser and said he had to take me for a ride. He was going around 15 mph and said, "Hang on." He hit the gas, and the car twitched a little and then jumped to about 110 mph. I asked my dad what made this car so fast. He said they were testing some Hemi cars for possible use as new police vehicles. About a week later, I asked him to bring the car home again, and he said he couldn't. He had been given 10 cars to test, but it cost too much to maintain them, so they were all sent back. I can say not all police car rides are bad.
In 1974, my best friend's dad was going to pick up his new Charger SE. They asked me if I wanted to come along. It was Y5 Yellow Blaze with black interior and a black vinyl roof. I loved that body style-I wanted that car.
In the late-'70s, when I was in high school, not many guys had a Dodge or Plymouth. I was driving my sister's boyfriend's 340 four-speed 'Cuda on Friday and Saturday nights. I was hooked. I needed to get myself a car. I was still leaning toward the '74 Charger style, but I wanted one without the emission rubbish, so I looked for a '71 Charger. During that same time, I was an employee at a department store, and I found that a fellow coworker, Ramona, shared an interest in cars-particularly musclecars. She was driving a Hornet at the time, but she was into Corvettes and wanted a '73. I told her I wanted a '71 Dodge Charger, and I knew I would find the right one someday.
Through our friendship, we vowed that whoever acquired their car first would will it to the other person. After that arrangement, I found employment elsewhere and then saw her only occasionally. At age 17, I got my first Charger. It was not the '71, but a '73 Charger SE with a 400. I stopped by to see Ramona to let her know what I had purchased. She was very excited and asked if she could have a ride in it. We went for a ride later that week. That was our first date, and we've been married for 20 years.
In the late-'80s, my friend's dad gave me the '74 Charger that I'd ridden with him to pick up. It had well over 100,000 miles on it when I took ownership. I had a compression test done on it, and it was still within specs. But by 1989, we had sold both cars. We were sad to see them go, but I decided to pursue my motorcycle interests and began competing on the dirt-bike circuit. I've owned several road bikes over the years. When we moved to Florida in 1990, I started to do some road racing as well as motocross.