First Left Coast Build? 1968 Dodge Super Bee

The Super Bee was introduced by Dodge in 1968 as the corporate cousin to the Plymouth Road Runner. Over the car’s four-year run, the Super Bee would not enjoy quite the sales success of the Road Runner, perhaps because the marketing wasn’t as gimmicky. The seller has documented this ’68 Super Bee as being the first one built by Chrysler’s Los Angeles plant and it’s said to be a 1-of-1 car based on its exterior and interior color combination. This sweet looking Bee is located in North Scottsdale, Arizona and available here on craigslist for $52,000.  Thanks, Jackson Silvia, for the tip!

As an intermediate, the Dodge Super Bee was based on the Coronet 2-door coupe and – in essence – was a rebadged Road Runner. It was Dodge’s lowest-priced muscle car, and the name was derived from the “B” body platform which also included the Charger.  While the Bee and RR looked similar, they shared little sheet metal as they rode on separate wheelbases and had different rear wheel openings. Introduced mid-year, the Super Bee saw 1968 production of 7,842 units of which all were built with 383 V-8’s except for 125 cars with the 426 Hemi. The Super Bee name would be brought back by Dodge for 2007-09, 2012-13 as a model of the reborn Dodge Charger.

According to the Super Bee Registry, this Dodge was the first of 300 such cars to originate from the LA manufacturing plant. The car has only resided in three states (California, Nevada, and Arizona) and underwent a “nut and bolt” restoration in 2017. The engine, transmission and other parts are not original to the car, but largely correct for the year of manufacture (1968). All the sheet metal is original to the car with the exception of the trunk floor. All the trim that came on the car was removed, polished, and returned to where it belonged. Even though the paint is only three years old, the seller rates its quality as only 7-8 out of 10.

This Super Bee is powered by a 383 cubic inch V-8 (335 hp) with a 727 TorqueFlite transmission. Not numbers-matching, but period-correct and it comes with upgraded Suregrip 3:23 gears. During the restoration process, we’re told that every effort was made to stick with original or NOS as opposed to reproduction. Despite the seller’s comments about the paint, the QQ1 blue looks good flanked by the white vinyl top and white interior with black accents. The Magnum wheels blend well with the redline tires which were offered back in 1968.

The seller has a library of photos taken of the car during its restoration that will go to the buyer along with receipts for all the work that was done. The car is said to have 115,000 miles on it, although we don’t know how many of those are since the refurbishment. Hemmings has several Super Bee’s listed for sale from 1968-70 and they are all priced at $48,000 or higher. So, the seller’s car could be worth the asking price if his concerns about the quality of the paint are more opinion than fact.

 

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Comments

  1. Robert May

    Great looking engine compartment. Nice job!

    Like 7
    • Joseph Montenegrino

      Thanks Robert. I’m the owner of this Super Bee. I went crazy to make sure everything is correct with the car. I just consigned it with Gateway Classic Cars here in Scottsdale.

  2. Robert White

    Smitten again!

    Bob

    Like 3
  3. JoeNYWF64

    I didn’t realize Dodge painted the interior of the trunk body color too! Nice touch!
    Disc or drum brakes up front?

    Like 3
    • karl

      Plymouth too

      Like 1
    • Joseph Montenegrino

      Hey Joe, there are 11″ drums up front. Everything is how it came off the production line.

  4. Jcs

    It surprises me that blue over white is one of one, this was a very popular color combination of the day.

    Like 3
    • Joseph James Montenegrino

      Hey JCS. The 1-of-1 came from Galen Govier and not just the paint and white vinyl top. If memory serves me well, the turn signals and the rims with redline tires made it a 1-of-1…something like that.

  5. GP Member

    Great looking Superbee, My favorite color. To much coin for me. I bought my 1969 Bee back in the 80’s for 450.00. Drove it hard for at least 5 years. 383-4 speed. In the last picture, does it look like there should be a trunk seal ?

    Like 5
    • RNR

      There is one – it’s tucked under the flange around the trunk opening. Expand the photo and you can see it poking out on the right side.

      Like 2
    • Joseph James Montenegrino

      I actually put it on wrong. I put it beside the lip its supposed to be on. It has been corrected since this picture.

  6. Don't' Get Stung

    Honey I just sold your wedding ring and bought a Super Bee….

  7. Steve Clinton

    Will the price of cars like this ever level off?

    Like 1
  8. Gus Fring

    Non-numbers matching…no way at that price with a column-shifted automatic, especially. It’s a nice job, very well done. Glad it was saved but, the interest isn’t there to pull that kind of money with a non-numbers, automatic on the column.

    Like 6
    • Joseph James Montenegrino

      Hey Gus, I struggled with what you are saying. The car came with a floor shifter and a 440 six pack. When I found out is was the first one, I decided to put it back to 100% original. The car is beautiful and is not consigned at Gateway Classic Cars.

  9. ricky Whiting

    I can argue that this car is not a 1 of 1. In high school, 1969, my cousin bought a new 1968 Super Bee. Blue exterior, white interior, bench, column automatic. Maybe this seller is considering the rear end ratio, only difference I see. That Super Bee was one fast car, especially compared to my 64 Ford Galaxie, 390. Too bad my cousin wrapped the Bee around a tree just 1 1/2 years later. He survived with just a few bumps. The miracle of being drunk.

    Like 2
    • Joseph James Montenegrino

      Hey Ricky, I had Galen Govier decode it and he said it’s a 1-of-1 car. I remember that it was narrowed down because of the turn signal fenders…the rims and redline tires…something like that.

  10. Steve

    Why anyone would get their hands dirty when this is available?

  11. RegularGuy55

    I remember Dodge marketing hype at the time. They said the Super Bee was so fast, it almost got PAST the guy doing the striping.

    Like 2
  12. bone

    Beautiful car , but its not really a “rebadged Road Runner” , if anything, its a rebadged Coronet, like the Road Runner was a rebadged Belvedere. The whole front clip and from the doors back its all Dodge – Only Ray Charles would mistake this for a Plymouth

    Like 2
  13. Dave

    so how is this a Barn Find?

    • Hi Ho Hi Ho

      It drove past a barn on the way to see Old McDonald.

      Like 1
  14. John Bucholtz

    It makes sense this Super Bee is first off the line as there are many options on this car that are not on my 1968 Super Bee which was about 2000th off the line. Mine has a single driver side mirror, same 383, same 727 Torqueflight, same 3 on the tree, but this car is loaded compared to mine. If Super Bees are the “poor man’s muscle car” than my car’s build sheet must have been made for the poorest gearhead in 1968. Also, it makes sense that this was a special car. It is unheard of to find a Super Bee with all original sheet metal (and no Bondo) with the exception of the trunk floor (trunk floor’s in this model always rusted).The restoration is amazing.

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