When talking about Dodge muscle cars from the golden era, the Charger and Challenger are the first nameplates we think about, but the Super Bee was just as cool. Based on the Coronet two-door coupe and aimed at the Plymouth Road Runner, it was Dodge’s low-priced muscle car. And arguably the most affordable way into HEMI ownership at the time.
Following a short 1968 model year with only 7,842 units sold, the Super Bee was quite popular in 1969, moving a whopping 27,800 cars. It remained popular through 1970 with 15,506 examples delivered, but sales plunged to only 5,054 examples in 1971, mainly due to rising insurance rates and the looming oil crisis.
1971 turned out to be the nameplate’s final model year in showrooms, turning the Super Bee into a short-lived muscle car and a prized collectible. Granted, it’s not incredibly rare overall, but the HEMI-equipped examples are not only hard to find but quite expensive too. That’s because Dodge sold only 355 examples. And yes, I’m talking about all four model years, with the 1971 version topping the scarcity chart with just 22 units.
Cars equipped with the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) Six-Pack RB are also relatively rare with a few thousand units built over three years (the engine wasn’t available in 1968), as is the 340-powered Super Bee, sold in 1971 only. This leaves the 383 version as the more common offering. In 1969 alone, for instance, Dodge sold 25,727 units fitted with the “Magnum” big-block.
That’s a lot of cars, even for a muscle car legend like the Super Bee, but this doesn’t mean that 383 production doesn’t hide a few gems. It’s mostly about options and packages, but some examples left the factory in rare color combinations. The silver example you see here is one of those cars.
Granted, A4 Silver isn’t the most appealing exterior color for a muscle car hailing from the golden era. At least not when it comes to Dodge, which offered a wide palette of flashy colors like Plum Crazy, Sublime, Go Mango, and Top Banana. Panther Pink is my favorite, by the way. But while silver may be a bit dull for me, whoever ordered this Super Bee back in 1969 went with a blue interior. That’s a rather strange choice and a combo that makes this Mopar super rare.
How rare? Well, there are no color-based production records to run by it’s common knowledge that A4 Silver cars were usually built with black interiors. Likewise, blue upholstery was commonly specified with B5 Blue cars. And of the hundreds of 1969 Super Bees I’ve seen for sale in recent years, none had this combination.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that this Mopar is unique, but it’s definitely a rare bird, perhaps one of fewer than five ordered like this. So what’s the deal with this car? It just came out of long-term storage after sitting in a garage for about 20 years. The Super Bee has seen better days.
But it’s in solid condition given how much time it spent off the road. Sure, there’s a lot of surface rust on the roof and the right-side front fender. But there aren’t too many rot holes to talk about. What’s more, the interior seems to be complete. But it needs a thorough refresh to become usable.
The original 383-cubic-inch (6.3-liter) V8 engine is still under the hood. That is good news for the person who will put this Super Bee back on the road. This Mopar, picked up at a swap meet, just got a second chance at life. And hopefully, we’ll see it run and drive again soon, while still sporting its unlikely silver-over-blue color combo.