Stored in ’73: 1969 Dodge Super Bee

It’s rare to find survivor-grade muscle cars these days that are true “survivors.” Sure, there are plenty of sellers who will hawk a car that may have some attributes here and there that have survived – like an original paint car with an engine swap, or a matching numbers example that has been cosmetically restored – but few cars actually have all the major boxes checked of having survived with no major surgery performed. This 1969 Dodge Super Bee appears to be an actual survivor, having been in storage from the mid-70s until 2006. Find it here on eBay with a $72,000 Buy-It-Now. 

The seller claims thus Super Bee is a “…real deal M-code, A12” car that went into storage in 1973 after being purchased new in California. It emerged from storage and was only lightly touched up, currently retaining all of its original sheetmetal and mostly original paint. The 440 Six-Pack Magnum engine does, unfortunately, feature a replacement block, but the seller notes that all of the accessories and parts (radiator, carbs, intake, distributor, air cleaner) are original to the car.

The interior also passes the smell test in terms of standing up to the survivor claims. A bench seat with nicely preserved surfaces and uncut door panels are hallmarks of a preserved car, and the manual transmission makes this Super Bee a winner regardless of your opinion on its survivor qualities. The seller notes this configuration makes the Dodge one of 267 examples equipped with the four-speed, and because of its popularity with drag racers, it’s all the more incredible this Super Bee has escaped a life-time of clutch drops and smoky burnouts.

Now, the engine continues to be the one area where some of you may debate the Super Bee’s virtues as a survivor. In addition to the replacement block, the engine bay has also been cosmetically restored. Now, I like a clean engine bay as much as the next person, but some “before” photos would likely help sell potential buyers on the notion that the underhood clean-up was needed, and that every effort was made to preserve original details where possible. Regardless, this Super Bee is likely one of the best ones left that hasn’t been over-restored, and should fetch a fair price when all is said and done.

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Comments

  1. Jeff

    For $72,000 you would think they would replace the bad throw out bearing.

    20
    • Kellerg

      But it’s “original” and would detract from the overall price…errr… I mean originality. 🙄

      16
  2. Peter Reed

    I reckon it’s a bargain! BIN!

    1
  3. PDXBryan

    Damn, it’s Mopar central around here these days! I’m stumbling around with jazz hands and drooling! Cut it out, leave me alone!

    7
    • Adam

      Too true. Today’s barn finds email made would make any molar fan go nuts. Ford fanatics should rethink themselves. I need a cold shower!

  4. SquirrelyGig

    OK. I’ll be the first to admit that I know far less than a better part of the people on BF, but I’m not a complete automotive dummy. Having said that, I mean no offence to anyone, particularly the fine people who indulge us w/ this great site. With that said, I feel there is some contradiction in the first two paragraphs? So I simply want to ask, because I’m genuinely curious, how is this a “true survivor”?
    I’m curious, because to quote (first paragraph),It’s rare to find survivor-grade muscle cars these days that are true “survivors”. “Sure, there are plenty of sellers who will hawk a car that may have some attributes here and there that have survived”, yet second paragraph states, “It emerged from storage and was “only lightly touched up”*, currently retaining all of its original sheetmetal and “mostly”* original paint.
    See what I did there (*)? I added quotation marks (“),(*) to the key words.
    I understand that BF writers can only base there story on what details they have or are given, which to put it mildly, are often times limited @ best I’m sure. However, something of this potential “provenance” seems like it should be researched a bit deeper, before truly calling it a “survivor”. Nowadays what is”lightly touched up” & “mostly original” paint? Perhaps the key words are in the first sentence “survivor grade” & I’m misinterpreting the whole thing?
    To me a survivor is something that is discovered, pulled from the darkness & cleaned up w/ a bit of soap, water & maybe a few detergents. Not including expendables like hoses, belts, tires, etc.
    Am I over thinking this whole thing? I’m open to intervention. Please help!

    24
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Nah, you’re on the right track, IMO. However, this is much closer to a “survivor” than the Laguna S3 from a couple of days ago. It would seem that the term is quite diluted in many instances, and to varying degrees. I’m with you.

      6
    • LAB3

      The term “survivor” is a stretch on this one, I think the term “honest” sums it up much better. It’s not 100% as-is coming out of the factory but close enough to not make much of a difference in my book.

      7
    • Dave

      I’ve always considered a car a “survivor” if it’s never undergone restoration and is in driveable condition and still has its original drivetrain.

      5
    • TONY RIBEAU

      With a replacement engine it is NOT A SURVIVOR!

      3
  5. Grid Michal

    That hose stuck out between the intake and breather isn’t a hose but its tongue! That sucker is plumb wore out from the trip fro CA to ME! A quick check on specs showed 14″ tires, 1.00 4th gear ratio and (known) 4.10 rear. Googling an equation yielded 71.1MPH=7000RPM, for example. This extrapolation is a bit extreme (average MPH was probably closer to 60, or 5900RPM), but 3081 miles from Los Angeles to Portland divided by 71MPH equals 43.4 hours at 7000RPM. Probably with all 6 barrels sucking down premium the whole way. Then again, maybe I’m just an alarmist. Maybe the block was replaced immediately after the trip.

    1
    • Speed

      The wheel diameter is 14″. The tire diameter would be more like 25.5″. So 70 mph is about 3900rpm.

      9
    • J Paul Member

      For what it’s worth, 1969 Super Bees with the 440-6 had 15 inch wheels, not 14: https://www.allpar.com/mopar/440.html

      But Speed is right that the wheel diameter is NOT the same as the tire diameter. Could you imagine Chrysler actually making a drag-focused muscle car that could only top out at 71mph? And that’s assuming that a stock 440 could even make it to 7000rpm without exploding in a spectacular fashion.

      8
      • Dave

        It’s not the diameter, it’s the circumference of the tire that matters. That will tell you how far the car will travel for each wheel revolution. That said, the 440 will be turning RPM numbers in the category of motorcycles. My 1200 Sportster turns 3500 at 65. Coincidentally, I had a 82 1.7L gas Rabbit that was geared the same. Now, while the engine will be running on the center 2 barrel carb it will be a noisy interstate drive. You have to remember that the 440 Six Pack cars were designed to race, not to drive on vacations.

        3
  6. Fordguy1972

    “Survivor” to me means in original, as ordered from the factory condition. Touching up the exterior paint, restoring the engine bay and replacing the block would seem to exclude this Super Bee from being labeled a “survivor.” I would accept “lightly restored” as being more correct. I’d also like to know why the block was replaced and when.

    I consider my ’72 Galaxie a survivor. Original paint, chrome, interior and matching numbers drivetrain. While I have made mechanical upgrades to the car and added aftermarket wheels, I have kept everything needed to return it to factory original condition if I so choose.

    I don’t blame the seller for using every adjective to help him sell his car. It’s a beauty and a very desirable Mopar. I think “lightly restored” would be a better way to describe it’s current condition. These days it seems the word “survivor” can be used to describe any car that is still with us after 30 or 40 years. Apart from that, my only complaint is the clutch issue. For the asking price of $72,000, the seller should repair it. I’d be a little hesitant as a potential buyer to fork over all that money for a car that I’d have to pull the transmission out of.

    12
  7. Steve

    “It’s all the more incredible this Super Bee has escaped a life-time of clutch drops and smoky burnouts.” It didn’t. Hence the replacement block…

    18
  8. Bill Nagribianko

    You define a true survivor right off the top, tell us you think this car qualifies, and then tell us the motor is gone, it’s been cosmetically restored under the hood, and it’s not even all original paint. Am I missing something here??

    4
  9. span ky

    Another BS ad.

    2
    • LAB3

      If you read the ad there’s no BS included, the seller is quite open about what the car has been through. It appears that said BS has happened here, and continues.

      4
  10. JerryDeeWrench

    Well let’s think about this don’t you think all cars no matter what condition are survivors maybe we could class them according to there condition like in grades 1 thru 6.. Of course that might some of the fun out of the whole thought process.

    1
  11. Dave Castine

    The seller is a very stand up guy, no BS, owns a local Chrysler/Dodge/Ram Dealership I believe

    He also started this place a few years back, he always has very nice cars. I think he’s trying to thin his herd a bit. I think the car is well priced for what it is.

    http://portlandmotorclub.com/facility/photo-gallery/

    1
  12. Steve S

    If the engine block was replaced with a period correct block with no markings then that is the right way to change the block out and not hurt the value of the car
    they had a lot of extra engines that did not have vin’s or any kind of markings on them and got swapped with the original engine block for some reason it could of been damaged some how to cause the engine block swap

    • Dave

      Only problem is that minus the original block the car will always have a pesky asterisk following it that will reduce its value.

  13. Grid Michal

    I stand mortified and corrected. Thank you. From now on I stay in bed at 3AM instead of thinking my brain cells have had enough sleep.

    3
  14. Del

    Blah blah blah.

    Lot of guys worried about what a survivor is.

    I can tell you…anything that made it out of the 1960s is a survivor including me.

    Lotta guys just envious.

    Love to have this car.

    6
  15. Del

    Is there no fender tag ?

  16. Del

    Now I see the fender tag. It has been removed. Its rusty as hell.

    Do fender tags from Maine rust this bad in 4 years ?

    I am thinking the story here may not be correct.

    The frame looks skanky too. To must rust for 4 years before storage.

    Unless there is some explanation the car is only worth half the asking price.

  17. oldsquid

    I’m with the comments about the clutch, how cheap can you be to not do it and then ask 70 large for the car? These are one of my fave Mopars but I’d be buggered before I’d enter into a deal at those numbers with a noisy throwout bearing. C’mon, if the guy owns a dealership he get a wrench on it.

    5
  18. Peter

    I am surprised that after being on the road for only three or four years the car needed a new block. I would have thought an engine block is the last part on a car that is replaced unless a conrod went through the side of it.

    1
    • Sidney

      Why has no one asked why the car was stored for almost half a century when it was less then 4 years old? Might be fun to know, or would the true story sour the price? Like, it was a drug king pins ride and he committed some evil crime in it so it got hid away. Now he is in the nursing home, the bills are coming due, something like that.

      3
      • Jim Kirkland

        Sometimes the car was stolen.
        Other times, the car out-ran the
        local police, and the cops were looking
        for it. Afraid to put it back on the
        street where it would surely be
        spotted, the operator, afraid of the
        implications of an arrest, just let it
        sit there while they went away to
        college, got married, etc. And yeah,
        now they’re old.
        A friend’s brother out-ran the cops,
        and they fenced-in the Mustang deep
        in the back yard, for years. Gone now.

  19. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Doesn’t have the 6 pak / Hemi – K-frame….paint over spray….with 70,000 miles it sure cruised around a lot in those few years….say it’s been restored a little….but just bothers me I don’t see that pan shield – AL Hemi and six pak cars got including the 340 six pak E bodies……

    1
  20. Jeff

    What month in 1969 did they start using the skid plate?

  21. Troy s

    An honest to God six pack Road, umm, Super Bee. That thing was probably driven pretty hard which might explain the engine block swap, wonder if it still has the special cam. Also seems to have been parked right around when the first gasoline crisis happened. One thing is for sure… I’d love to run it through the gears a few times! What a blast.

    2
  22. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    To many the term survivor is a gray area. A lot of people consider my SC/Rambler a survivor. In my case its very similar to this car. 60k miles, original metal, never torn apart, original interior, touch ups on some paint. I upgraded the engine and went through the typical long term sitting stuff brakes, hoses, belts, exhaust. When I pulled it from the barn after 34 years it still had the original exhaust still on it. Well rotted out but it was original… I agree that they should fix the clutch issue before sale, thats a no brainer. As for the block, who knows. From what Ive seen over the years is many of the A12 cars received replacement blocks early on. They were just ran hard like many cars of the time. Was the block installed before or after it was parked? Maybe this is why it was parked, blown and put away. If it was done after and is a date code correct piece it wont harm the value. There are so many cars in our hobby that have dcc engines or are built as clones/tributes that pull good money. As for this car, its a nice looking car, not my favorite color for them but still nice and I’d love to drive it.

  23. Del

    These cars were driven hard when new both track and on highway.

    Block replacements under warranty became quite a problem for Chrysler and costly.

    They started sending factory warranty guys to check out abuse issues before just coughing for new blocks on these muscle cars.

    2
    • TONY RIBEAU

      A new 426 HEMI FROM 1966 TO 1971 came with a 30 day warranty. 1964 to 1965 came with none

      2
  24. Woody

    Im thankful to be a survivor too,growing up in the era when muscle cars like these tore up the streets and sounded great too! Why wouldn’t you tear thru the gears and try to get everything out of this monster? Who cares what happened to the motor this car looks good and is a survivor,with the right numbers.Love this color and would be nice to own this classic!

    1
  25. Woody

    I’m thankful to be a survivor too,growing up seeing classics like this on the streets and these are some of the greatest sounding big blocks.Who wouldn’t tear thru the gears of this Mopar monster tire shredder! The numbers are there and don’t care where the original engine is now,it’s a survivor car,drive-it.

    1
  26. Mike

    Just watched Barrett Jackson today,a 100 point restoration on a green 12 car….beautiful car totally done matching everything …sold 62,000.

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