It’s not common that a mid-60s muscle car is found in “as is” condition; most have been restored or customized to a fare-thee-well. This ’69 Dodge Super Bee seems untouched for the most part. Based on the mid-size Coronet, the Super Bee was the Dodge boys’ version of Plymouth’s Road Runner but their cartoon mascot was generated in-house, rather than sourced from a TV cartoon character. It was an era when big motors were stuffed into light weight bodies as was the case with Pontiac’s GTO. You could order one of these with the famous 426 cubic inch hemi V8 which offered 425 horsepower of tire shredding thrills.
By the early ’70s, in the wake skyrocketing insurance and fuel costs, muscle cars were no longer in vogue and the original Super Bee became a victim of automotive colony collapse. But everything old is new again so Dodge recently re-introduced the Super Bee character on its current high performance iteration of the Charger.
Yeah, this one’s got a hemi V8 but a four-door muscle car? Really?
We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that apian imagery was also used to market a car that could be perceived as the very opposite of Dodge’s brawny stingers, both then and now. The Datsun B210 Honey Bee was introduced as a low price leader in 1975 but a muscle car it most certainly ain’t. 80 horsepower from a 1.4 liter (85 cubic inches) motor doesn’t equal blistering acceleration but performance, clearly, wasn’t a priority. The car weighed a mere 2100 pounds, approximately half that of the current Super Bee, and Datsun claimed 41 mpg on the highway. We think that’s pretty sweet.
As noted, the original Super Bee was a variant of the Dodge Coronet so here’s a period commercial that appropriates Burt Bacharach’s “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” as the backing track for the “Dodge Is Turning Up The Fever Now” theme. Yeah, baby!
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