Dodge Super Bee: A Short, Wild Ride
Although from a performance standpoint the Super Bee was every bit the equal of the Road Runner, the car simply didn't garner the showroom success of its Chrysler stablemate. It could be argued, however, that the Super Bee had more of a ragged edge than the Road Runner. The powerteam was never diluted with anything less than the 383 Magnum, and the raucous, race-oriented styling cues certainly spelled out its machismo quite forcefully. Perhaps the Super Bee was simply too much car for the muscle-hungry masses? History may never tell.
Wings Of Flight And Fancy
In 1969, Dodge set the NASCAR faithful in a tizzy when it debuted its way-out Daytona 500. Based on the Charger 500, with an eye toward unexcelled aerodynamics, engineers gave the Charger a knife-like frontend to better cut through the atmosphere, but an aggressive oversteer resulted due to the airflow being spoiled in back. The solution was to incorporate an unprecedented wing spoiler that could grab static air above the car and help keep the backend planted firmly on the high banks. Seeing the ways of this wisdom, Plymouth followed suit for its '70 NASCAR endeavors and, due to homologation concerns, chose the Road Runner for its wing car, which it dubbed the Super Bird.
Since the Road Runner had some fundamental platform differences when compared to the Charger, the Super Bird was more than simply a Daytona 500 clone. Wind-tunnel testing required modification to the cone-nose design (which also demanded new fenders), and a special insert had to be grafted on and a convex backlight installed to smooth out the airflow.
Understandably, the Super Bird didn't break any sales records at the showroom, but its 1,935 production run was good enough to meet NASCAR's requirements and solidify the car as the king of the roost in 1970-if only in spirit.
|Super Bee Production|
|Model Year||Body Style||Engine Availability|
|1968||Coupe||383, 426 Hemi|
|1969||Coupe, Hardtop||383, 426 Hemi, 440 Six-Pack|
|1970||Coupe, Hardtop||383, 426 Hemi, 440 Six-Pack|
|1971||Hardtop||340, 383, 426 Hemi, 440 Six-Pack|