Diamond In The Rough? 1970 Dodge Super Bee

The second that I spied this Dodge Super Bee, I said to myself, I bet that’s a Florida car. The exterior Live Oak mung and pine needles are a dead giveaway. And I’m no stranger to parking a car under a tree in the sunshine state and then having to deal with the consequences. And actually, outdoor storage seems to be the preferred method of storage for about a third of the state. Nevertheless, it’s great finding a Super Bee anywhere as they are so often overshadowed by their Plymouth Road Runner corporate cousin; a closer look is in order. This 1970 Super Bee is located in Tallahassee, Florida, and available here on eBay for a BIN price of $10,500. Thanks to Ikey H. for this tip!

I have always appreciated the Super Bee even though it was a bit of a “How about me?” following in the footsteps of the Plymouth Road Runner. The Super Bee continued the same Road Runner theme as a stripped-down muscle car, an offset to the pricier, better equipped Coronet R/T, just as the Road Runner was an entry-level and more austere GTX. While similarities abound between the Super Bee and the Road Runner, the two biggest differences were the wheelbase, 116″ for the Road Runner, and 117″ for the Super Bee, and sales volumes. The first generation (’68-’70) Road Runner replicated itself about 167K times, more than three-fold the Super Bee’s 51K units. In 1971, the Super Bee moved to Mopar’s new fuselage intermediate body style, as did the Road Runner, but the Bee was now based on the Charger and not the Coronet. And ’71 was the end of the line for the traditional Super Bee, barring Mexican use of the name and a later version in the 2000s.

First up, the VIN checks out, this Dodge Super Bee is exactly that. But the seller is pretty mum regarding this Dodge though he does not hesitate to inform potential buyers that this is “A rapidly appreciating muscle car.”  That may be the case existentially, but this example is more of a “rapidly depreciating muscle car” considering its current station in life. He does state that it will need complete restoration, Roger that. He doesn’t add any more color than to say that this example has “typical rust” which could mean anything up to and surpassing the floors falling out. More specific detail would really help with the sale. The exterior of this Dodge actually shows pretty well. The body looks intact and undamaged other than one slight crease in the passenger side fender. It’s difficult, however, to get a good look at the lower portion of the body where the Mopar rust option always seems to start. It appears that the quarter panels and the trunk lid have some decomposition occurring and the rear bumper is, expectedly, losing its triple chrome plating but there is nothing obvious beyond that. Its exterior condition is rather amazing for an outside car. The finish has completely faded to chalk but not burned through, though the roof has some weirdness occurring. Perhaps it was repainted another color at some point and now that other color is peeling off.  The seller does advise that there is no broken glass, good to know. As for the Live Oak coating, it definitely will wash off; hot water, strong soap, and some elbow grease will do the trick. Of particular note are the four, full-size wheel covers. I’m not sure if they are original and specific to this model but they are not the type of wheel treatment one would expect to find on a Super Bee. The thought here is that this Super Bee is in better physical shape than would be expected.

The interior, however, is another matter, it’s beat. The avocado seat upholstery is done in and there is a lot of detritus covering the floor of this split-bench seat equipped Dodge. The concern, of course, is the floors. The seats and dash/instrument panel are all in place, so that’s good to note but you can see by the rust on the steering wheel horn ring that this Super Bee has been in adverse conditions for some time.

The engine room possesses the standard 335 gross HP, 383 CI V8 “Magnum” engine. The good news is that it looks unmodified (other than the spark plug wires) and unmolested. It even has A/C! The bad news is that it doesn’t appear as if it has run in a very long time and the seller makes no mention of this Dodge’s operational capability. It’s not a leap to assume the engine will need complete dismantling and rebuilding if for no other reason than its long stretch of dormancy. The odometer shows 51K miles but there is no claim as to its accuracy. Transmission responsibilities are handled by a three-speed automatic, column shifted, TorqueFlite unit.

The attraction to this car is that it would appear to have been lightly optioned by an owner that wasn’t looking for big muscle, just something to enjoy. And the lack of modifications, either well done or hacked-in, as is so often the fate that befalls a Mopar, is refreshing. This car really makes me want to know more about its original owner. As far as a Super Bee goes the loop bumper treatment on the ’70 is probably its most controversial statement. A half a century ago, it was panned by many but time changes views; it’s subjective anyway. It’s going to take, I would believe, a lot of inspection and eyeballing for this seller to reach his intended price, especially with such a paucity of written detail. But there could be a diamond in the rough here. What do you think, possibilities, or too many unknowns?

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    It would be wise to value this a parts car until proven otherwise.

    Lousy pictures and a less than helpful description suggests this car will be for sale for an extended period of time.

    Steve R

    18
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Boy there are a lot of nice classic cars that could be bought for $10,000.

    16
    • RemyB

      There’s a whole lot of C4 & C5 Corvettes running around and in great shape for $10K or less. Hard to see how an American would buy this. Europeans love old American muscle so I can see how one of them may buy but not me for the price.

      2
  3. LandYacht

    Love the car, hate the pics and description for that price. If the seller offered more info and / or a lower price, I’m driving up to Seminole country this weekend.

    4
  4. Joe Machado

    To think I was in Tallahassee 3 weeks ago, empty trailer. Oh well.
    I just asked a friend in town there if he knows of it. Waitin for answer

    5
  5. Piston Pony

    I would not give $10,500 for one with almost zero information on it.

    2
  6. Gaspumpchas

    Guy would have helped himself if he aired up the tires, wash the scum off it and cleaned it out. Would have at least presented better. Im sure the underside is toast, but wait–its a florida car. Good luck pulling it out of the mud. Stay safe.
    Cheers
    GPC

    8
  7. Tom Member

    I asked my dog his opinion of this car and all he could say was “RUFF” !!

    BIGGER question for me is, it looks like this car has been sitting there for a long time. Looks like a parking area behind it (well used) and a main road in front of it. HOW has this car sat there this long without “passerbyers” or Passer-BUYERS not scooping it up years ago when it was in better condition and worth something?

    Now, “A rapidly appreciating muscle car” was true up until MAYBE 2018. SORRY not any more. I keep preaching it but the market, which I know VERY well, is changing and that statement is no longer true, sorry.

    You can go on http://www.cars-on-line.com . There is a BEAUTIFUL (same car) 383 4 sp car documented, DONE, RED & READY for the local crusie night, like 54K mile car I think asking $42K. You could not restore this car for twice that $80K plus your 10K mistake- I mean buy-in. This car will take $80-100K to get to a $40-45K value when done.

    Like Steve R said, parts car maybe and I might say for $2K in my experienced opinion. I am not a Dodge guy but unless this thing has some parts on it that are next to non-existent thus valuable, …..sorry. The market is changing for decades to come, perhaps forever. Basic economics. Supply is going up (cars for sale), interest is decreasing over the newer generations, those of us who love these cars are getting older, much older collectors are dying off sadly, collections are going to auction cause the kids don’t want them they want the cash, = all of that is driving the price and value down.

    10
  8. Nick

    @Jim ODonnell All MOPAR B bodies of that generation had essentially the same wheelbase, 116″, all are exactly the same structurally underneath the styling sheet-metal.
    I have seen some sources saying 1″ + or – for different years (eg. 1971 Road Runner at 115) but that inch is inconsequential (on any model) and more of a styling tool. They just move the locating pin, where the rear axle sits, on the leaf springs, nothing more than that.

    5
    • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

      Good to know Nick, thx.

      JO

      1
  9. Rex Kahrs Member

    Tom is right. I have always loved old cars, but in my 20s and 30s, I wasn’t interested in 50-year-old cars….(in my 20s, a 50-year-old car would have dated to the 1920s). I liked the cars I saw as a kid, mainly late 50s and all the 60s cars.

    For me, the cutoff is 1971, but that’s just a personal preference. I could see even at age 13 that cars weren’t being built the way they used to be. The designs were boring, the colors weren’t interesting.

    Now we have the I-phone generation, who, I can tell you has zero interest in old cars, especially 50-year-old cars. They grew up in the early ’90s lets say, and obviously there wasn’t anything in the US being produced at that time that might have captured the imagination of a youngster more than his Gameboy.
    Now their attention is completely hijacked by the damn I-phone, and they have to google how to wipe their ass, much less crawl under some greasy car from the 1960s. Personally I enjoy crawling under greasy cars way more than looking at my I-phone (wait, I don’t have an I-phone, just a flip phone, and I like it!!).

    Anyhow, this young stud has somehow suddenly become my grandfather, and that’s OK, I’ll be out in the garage with my old cars, until the girls need me to fix something. Here’s a shot of me and the girls on a cruise last year to Cozumel. I hate cruising, but my daughter is (was) a dancer on a Carnival boat before the ship hit the fan!

    12
    • Fiete T.

      I’ve said the same thing in spirit and people think I’m stupid. The time, effort and money to restore stuff like this or buy “Classics” is of 0 interest to most under 45. My daughter got a GT350, via a buddy, for under $50k. Starts, stops, reliable, warranty, absolute cartoon fun to drive, and is not too typical to see.
      She appreciates old cars, doesn’t want one – fanboys do not want to see the reality of a shifting demographic

  10. Sam M

    No pic of trunk,or pass comp floor ????

  11. 370zpp

    No extra charge for the rats obviously living inside this Florida POS?

    1
  12. Terry Bowman

    Just to set a different stage on “Value” or cars. I spent $15,000 restoring my 69′ Dart 340 Swinger between 87′-89′ and around 2,000 hours doing so, myself. It was probably worth around the $15,000 cash I put into it, when it was done. I still have and enjoy it. Been to over 500 car shows. It’s called a Hobby!!! What is that worth?

    6
  13. Desert Rat

    Love the front end of these car but not much more, the trunk area seems way to long compared to the Roadrunner, plus the styling is much better on the Roadrunner. Still these are cool cars.

  14. Troy s

    I knew a few people that had owned a 383 Super Bee back in the day,…always said the same thing,”I threw in a hot cam, headers, yada yada, and it was Almost as quick as a 440.” Without fail it was a guaranteed response. I can only think of one guy who drove a Road Runner, in the later 70’s, he seemed deaf and dumb and snooty, glad my cousin broke up with him too…..
    I looked at a super bee for sale on a classic car lot back in ’89, from the side I looked at the trunk and then All the way down there to the front end. The car seemed enormous compared to a Chevelle parked next to it.

  15. Peter J Weinzierl

    I love the B body cars, especially this Super Bee style. Its HOT. I prefer this over the Road Runner any day. It’s so unique in many ways. It has to be a soup stirrer for me though.

    1
  16. TimM

    A 70 super bee for this price is amazing to me even in this condition!! I don’t know how many were made and I wouldn’t look it up to pretend I know but this was the beginning of the end of the muscle car!! Even know it’s not a four speed car it stillborn has some value as a super bee!! Great find!!!

  17. Rangerwalker24

    Does it come with new duct tape to hold the back window in? Looks like some bad rust around it that is being covered with tape to “try and prevent” more water intrusion…..
    Not worth $10g’s in my opnion.

    1
  18. Maverick

    Crusty from the inside out. Sat out in the elements way to long. Parts maybe.not at that price. Good luck.

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