When Mopar first debuted the unibody style of automotive building for their full line of cars, this new style of car building was touted as making the car stronger and safer. When a car is new, this might be the case. But add thirty of more years of driving across bumpy roads and/or the occasional crash, and things tend to “loosen” up a bit. When I say loosen up, I mean that welds can break, metal can fatigue, and the body tends to flex a little more than it did when it was new. Not only can normal driving loosen up a unibody’s construction, but since most of us are playing with our cars, it’s safe to say that there have been more than just a few engine swaps done over the years to increase horsepower.
Since our project ’Bee was built in 1970, and we didn’t buy it new, it’s really hard to say what kind of life it had. The only thing we were told by the previous owner was that the original engine was blown up a long time ago. Now, the plan is for us to install a stroked out 440 with slightly more horsepower than the factory delivered in any ’70 Superbee. So, while the car is at Unlawful Racing, we decided that a simple rollbar (read: not necessarily NHRA approved), and their Chassis Stiffening Bars were going to be an added necessity to this car. While climbing over a rollbar can be tricky for some, and use of the rear seat is usually not an option anymore, our theory is that we can deal with tricky, and we don’t foresee any of us needing to get into the back seat anyway.
The Chassis Stiffening Bars from Unlawful are a direct bolt-in unit that ties the rear framerails with the front framerails, and also ties the left side of the car with the right side. It even incorporates a bolt-in driveshaft safety loop, which is a nice, added benefit. The rollbar is a custom-bent piece made of 15⁄8-inch .120-inch thick wall tubing that fits the car nicely, and still adds a ton of support to the body. We didn’t want the roll bar to be a complete hindrance when getting in and out of the car, but give the body some added stiffness.