No Sting Left: 1971 Dodge Super Bee

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Shopping for a muscle car in the ’60s and ’70s led to sticker shock as the market developed. The engine or name brand you really wanted was always just out of reach. Dodge was selling the upscale Charger, but it wanted to broaden its appeal. Enter the Coronet, based on the Chrysler B body. With a host of engine options available, the Coronet barely broke the $3000 mark when new, even with a 440 cu. in. V8. To create more excitement, Chrylser allowed Dodge to badge engineer the Plymouth Road Runner in 1968, and the Super Bee (for “B body”) was born. As the market developed, automakers hamster-wheeled into ever more elaborate features to distinguish models in the marketplace: white letter tires, badging, stripes, bucket seats (high back, please), pistol-grip/horseshoe shifters, hood scoops…. and while Dodge tagged along, it also played the price card. In 1971, it introduced the final iteration of the Super Bee, now on the Charger platform. Enticing customers with a lower price tag wasn’t enough to offset market forces, though, making this the last year of the Super Bee nameplate in the US (until recent iterations). Here on eBay is a 1971 Dodge Super Bee project, bid to $1750. That price must be a cold shock to the seller because the listing asks for $32,500. This car is located in Allen, Texas.

This example is equipped with a non-matching but correct-for-the-car 383 cu. in. Magnum V8 with a 727 automatic transmission. The engine does not run. The VIN, showing an “N” in the engine digit, confirms the displacement and indicates this was originally a four-barrel making about 300 bhp – down by 35 hp from prior years thanks to detuning. I always note where the factory engine falls in the hierarchy of possibilities that year. It’s great if you have the top-of-the-stack option, but in ’71, two versions of the 440 along with the 426 Hemi were offered. Not to bash the 383 – it’s a fine engine – but I’d feel better if the VIN revealed even the two-barrel 440. Tragically, the fender tag is missing!

The interior was originally salt and pepper cloth with a console. The Rally dash with fake woodgrain still contains its gauges, but the heater controls and radio are missing. That surface rust on the floors is manageable, and other photos show no serious holes. The seller wants us to believe that the paint “would clean up” which brings to mind Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, “that’ll buff out no problem”.

The rear of the car shows the “Charger” badging that the Super Bee wore in this one year, and a host of damage to lights and sheet metal. I’m a fan of muscle cars and I’m the first to want to save a derelict, but a lot of work awaits the buyer here, and I’m skeptical of the asking price. This ready-to-roll example, written up recently by Adam Clarke, is bid to about the same money that this seller wants, though it could go higher. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Harvey HarveyMember

    Where’s the air filter? Get off my grass!

    Like 2
  2. George Mattar

    Very optimistic seller.

    Like 10
  3. Tim Bruce

    You have to be kidding at Best a$1500 dollar car I wish the seller good luck am I overlooking something

    Like 12
    • John Keehner

      He probably wants 40k for the Coronet behind it. Way over priced.

      Like 0
      • Carl Lahmeyer

        500 at best

        Like 0
      • 2015 2SS

        Guess the 57 Chev

        Like 0
    • Steve

      A $1500 classic car project!?!?! I have not seen anything like that especially on Barn Finds for 20 years!

      Like 0
  4. Garfield

    I’m on my way to Walmarts.

    Like 2
  5. PaulG

    Thirty two-five
    Seriously…?
    $32,500.00
    For real?
    It’s almost funny until it isn’t

    Like 18
    • The Other Chris

      Exactly. I scrolled down to comment on the price, whereas I normally wouldn’t. But this is just comical. For a 383 auto non-numbers car that needs one of everything?! Come on, man!

      Like 4
  6. John

    Looks more like a parts car – lacking quality parts – to me.

    Like 7
  7. Rumpledoorskin

    Fly in, drive home.

    Like 6
  8. TomP

    $32,500 is never going to happen. I’m guessing the bids will get to $12,200..

    Like 4
  9. Robert Levins

    Madness. Is it almost over? Here we go – the recession is starting this year and by the end of the year we will know if this Classic Car madness will continue. This Super Bee is a piece of junk. Period. You would have to buy it for less than $10,000.00 (Sane money), in order to keep your shirt in the long run. Remember- he (or) she who buys this year, will probably be “The” owner for a long time, before the market rebounds again. Which could be never. Good luck to all. Nice article too by the way.

    Like 9
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      We all wish everything was more affordable but it will continue. They aren’t making more classics and interest isn’t waning at all!

      Like 3
      • Hank kaczmarek

        Not much attention to being penny-wise and pound-foolish.
        When I got my 48 Indian Chief (basket case) and went to some antique bike meets as a kid I was told NEVER BUY A BASKET CASE—GET SOMETHING THAT RUNS.
        End of the day, you’ve got a junker. Poor quality of what’s left—Interior and Body. Non Matching #s non running engine. Plenty of body Rot.
        I wouldnt’ give him more that 1800 for it. Needs about 75K of work.

        Like 3
      • E58Driver

        I have several similar to this one and all of them run. A couple even present nicely… watching how these are going is making me consider letting them go to hedge against what’s been done to my 401 since 2008….

        Like 0
    • Midway

      Put 40K into it and it’s worth 35K good deal to meee

      Like 6
    • danny

      Robert, the madness will continue! As the housing market is in a slump right now bested by interest rates, every market has its highs and lows. Houses which would have sold, now are being removed from the market for better days. The Classic Car industry unlike the housing market, cannot continue remanufacturing these one of a kind cars! That is why they are called CLASSICS! Owners of these beauties will push them back into the garage, cover them up..and wait….and wait …on the market. When these beauties reappear again…the price you currently see for these classics will have gone even higher. Once again Econ 101 applies, short supply, high prices..these cars will never go backwards, only upwards!

      Like 0
      • Grant

        I don’t think so. Our generation may very well be dead and gone before that time, and we are the people who lust after these. Sure, a spit polished full reso may someday be worth something, but junkers like these will then get crushed. If you have one now, best to dump it on some naive fool while you still can. This car should be given away for not much more than the price of scrap to someone who wants to work on it for their own use, not to flip. I have nothing against profit, even in the old car market, but it has gone to an extreme and that has pretty much ruined the hobby for the vast majority of us. The housing market, BTW, is not going to cool down. Right now, over a third of all home sales are from cash buyers who use them as investments. There will always be plenty of rich fat cats, they never suffer, and they will just buy them as they have been, so they can turn them into over priced rentals for the poor younger generations who may never be able to actually someday own a home of their own. Our daughter and her husband, bought a home a few years ago, they got new jobs on the other side of the state so had to sell. The house was on the market for one day, and they were offered 30, 000 over asking price sight unseen from a buyer 2000 miles away. Obviously an investor. Great for my kids, but not so much for people of more humble means. This was 4 months ago, supposedly when the housing market had cooled.

        Like 1
      • TRWRacing

        Without a doubt the housing market has cooled. Next door neighbor bought their house in 2013 for $219K and but a little $$ in the interior upgrades, ignored the outside. The landscaping has no curb appeal driveway crumbling and a garden gone wrong in the backyard with tree/weeds ready to take out power lines. They want $365K and it’s been on the market for a year lol. Bought ours in 2004 for $298 and put $80k into it.

        Like 0
  10. Alan Kieler

    You’d have to pay me to haul that away

    Like 8
  11. Roland

    That’s an awful lot of cash for not a lot of (working) car. Is the owner offering a full restoration for that price?

    Like 2
  12. Melton Mooney

    Well, if the fender tag is missing you can put all the rarest options on it, 4-speed it, and paint it the rarest color. Then buy a repro fender tag and get Govier to certify it as unique in the universe and get 100K for it at auction.

    Like 1
  13. Fred

    I belive this car was bought by Dennis collins on coffee walk and then sold to Richard Rawlings at gas monkey then he sold it to some mopar shop on his show I just can’t remember the name of them. They may be this guy who has it now at (American Steel Classics).
    Sad to see such a cool car with a good story being thrown around from person to person. But it explains why it’s so expensive they’ve all had to make money on it. Sad to see looks like a good car to build neat options.

    Like 5
    • Big C

      You just explained why this heap is priced the way it is. When these junkers start getting passed around by the rich horse traders? The prices get crazy.

      Like 1
  14. CCFisher

    Some say that the “Bee” in “Super Bee” refers to the high-performance Chrysler B-series engine under the hood, not the intermediate’s body designation.

    Like 0
    • The Other Chris

      I have no idea whether that’s true or not, but then how do they explain a Hemi Bee?

      Like 1
    • Big Bear 🇺🇸

      I guess the COVID-19 shot got to they mental state!!! Come on really $32,500 for a junk yard car!! Missing the Bible on the fender. Without the tag you will have a hard time what’s missing. Unless under the back seat is the order sheet will help you. If that’s missing it’s a $12,500 car period and I am being nice. This Bee needs a complete strip down body dip or blasted with Walnut shells. And another $30,000 parts and labor. Remember it’s a bone stock low level Bee! I hope the seller reads these comments and WAKE UP!! 🇺🇸🐻🇺🇸

      Like 1
  15. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

    This “madness” won’t end as long as there are millionaires and billionaires willing to spend the money

    Like 7
    • Grant

      How do we fix that problem? Should we? Could we?

      Like 1
  16. MTBorst

    I have a friend that thinks a number matching hemi Cuda would still go for 2m. In today’s economy most of these people are in dream/fantasy land.

    Like 1
    • Grant

      I remember seeing a hemicuda in a used car lot late in the late 70s. I think they wanted 3 grand for it, and we ll laughed. It never was a practical car for so many reasons, plus the price of gas was nearing a buck a gallon (like 5 bucks today). There wasn’t such a vast chasm of wealth separating people in those days, far less crazy rich people who bought such things on a whim. It was going to be a hard sale. My guess, the price was dramatically slashed until some weekend racer could afford it for the track, or maybe the engine went into a drag boat and the rest of the car crushed. Drag boats were a pretty big deal in those days.

      Like 1
  17. George Birth

    I agree with Tim Bruce $1500. for this one is about all it is worth. This is a non runner non numbers matching piece of junk parts car. Seller seems to have a vivid imagination of the worth of this clunker. He needs to look at vehicles for sale on barn finds .com that actually are worth his asking price. Looks like reality just slapped him awake.

    Like 2
  18. Davey Boy

    Same guy had a junk 72 green Chevelle missing a fender or no interior no drivetrain no hood no front end at all except one Fender it seemed like now I can’t remember the exact price but I know it was astronomical and apparently from one of the previous comments on that car everything this guy has is over the moon pricing and he must be getting it because he still selling things like that. Really sad day

    Like 0
  19. Davey Boy

    Sure would like to have some of the stuff behind it like perhaps the 70 Coronet/Super Bee or some of the various others but not for the prices he’s asking

    Like 0
  20. Brian Fabre

    Before Dodge made the low priced Coronet Superbee, in 67 ,there was the Dodge Coronet R/T. Not a cheap automobile.It came standard with a 440 magnum 4bbl engine,top of the line Coronet,could be optioned with the 426 street hemi.68,Dodge offered the Charger R/T and Coronet R/T, engine options as the 67’Coronet R/T. Yes, the Road runner and Superbee were considered lower priced cars, however the only RB engined mopar with a 2 bbl was possibly a 413 truck or industrial engine. The only 2bbl put on a 440,came as a set of 3 holley 2barrels,tragically! 390 hp in 1969 1/2 in the A12 Road runners and Superbees. The 6pk or 6bbl lasted until 71, although rumors of 72 6pks are heard of!

    Like 0
  21. Dave

    Davey Boy, check out sellers other eBay listings, black ‘70 Superbee. It’s a special “Finlandia Edition” meaning, lotsa Alpine Lace Swiss Cheese In place of metal!!!! And, people are bidding on it?? All I can say is, well Charlie Murphy, cocaine is a helluva drug!!!

    Like 1
  22. TomP

    Well I hate to sound like a broken record, but Barrett jackson, Mecum, and other auction sites are skewing the selling costs of cars out of reality and into realms of fantasy. After a bronco sells for 1.3 million, then immediately every schmo with a basket case bronco in their field thinks they have a gold mine, when actually the car will only sell for the $500 that it’s worth. If anything, it makes for good entertainment.

    Like 0
  23. TomP

    The listing ended at $5300. With 0% feedback, how could you go wrong..

    Like 0
  24. AtomicNinja

    The author mentioned that they would rather have the 440 two barrel motor than the 383. Who wouldn’t, considering it would be the only time in the history of the earth that a 440 would’ve come with a single two barrel carburetor on it. A true one-of-one car, imagine the value.

    Like 0
  25. James owen

    I like it, I would want to get her on the road again, have to work on the price?

    Like 0

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