Article and photography by Richard Butschi
Most all of us harbor cherished memories of our childhood homes and the cars that we first knew. Car folks later long for those vehicles to relive the past, turning memories to reality. Such is the case of Brian Aller, Toddville, who was raised on Mopar. His father, Ron, had a ‘69 Plymouth Road Runner.
While in high school, Brian caught wind of a ‘68 Dodge Coronet owned by an 89 year old lady in Czech Village. It was a red 2-door hardtop with a 318 engine and automatic transmission. And as young bulls do, Aller spent hours cleaning, tweaking and adding personal touches, such as mounting the Cragar rims leftover from his dad’s Road Runner.
This was Aller’s “baby” from 1984 to ‘96, but things changed. He was now married and raising a family so practicality stepped in. He bought a mini-van (OMG!), sacrificing his Mopar, his boat, his Jeep and motorcycle to do so. Fast-forwarding to 2009, the Mopar bug within worked its way to the surface. Aller started checking Ebay, eventually locating an authentic ‘68 Super Bee through a muscle car site in Minnesota, and skipping the formalities of a visit and test drive, bought the Bee over the phone, after photos and questions. The car was in somewhat stock condition with the 383 4-barrel carb and column-mounted, automatic 3-speed Torqueflite transmission. There were only 2 engine options when the Super Bee debuted for 1968 – the 383/335hp version and the 426/425hp Hemi setup. The body came only in a 2-door coupe model – with a “B” pillar, resulting in “flip-out” rear seat windows.
The previous owner had attempted some modifications to the car, so Aller wisely took it to Steve Knapp at Good News Garage in Center Point. It was gone through, eventually adding an Edelbrock aluminum intake and 850cfm carburetor. After 2-3 years of short road trips, Aller opted for a big change – a fuel-injected “6-pack” with an F&B billet aluminum throttle body and FAST EZ-EFT system, simulating the 440 3x2 barrel carb offering in the ‘69 Bee, which made 390hp. The new system’s power is estimated at just under 500hp. Aller and Good News also added 3” stainless exhaust, and new Be Cool radiator with dual Spal electric fans. Aller added some of his own touches, keeping the old stock radio on the dash and hiding new high-end system controls in the ashtray panel. Brian admittedly likes to burn the rubber, so he added a Line-Lok system to the front brakes. He also added custom wheel cap emblems to centers of the stock Magnum 500 rims. Future plans include disk brakes all around and possibly some electric exhaust dumps.
The Super Bee, along with the Plymouth Road Runner, were intentionally marketed for the young car buyers – offering clean styling with great horsepower at a modest price on a mid-sized frame and adding fun names and items like the “beep-beep” Road Runner horn and “Scat Pack” bee emblems. The “Scat Pack” included all of the Dodge muscle cars. The framework for these and other models like the Dodge Charger and Plymouth Barracuda, were called “B bodies”, which is where the name Super Bee was derived. The frames were originally used on Dodge Coronet and Plymouth Belvedere models. The Road Runner edged the Bee in sales due in part that the Bee was a bit longer, heavier and slightly more expensive, and it was tough competing against a popular cartoon character.
The hardtop was offered in ‘69, along with twin air scoops on the “Ramcharger” edition. The Road Runner version was called the “Coyote Duster”. The 440 “6-pack” was offered that year, outfitted with a Dana 60 axle and 4.10 rear gearing. 1,907 of these “A12 M-code” cars were produced. Super Bee production ran through the ‘71 model year. The name was resurrected for the 4-door Charger editions in ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ‘12 and 2013, but as usual, it just didn’t make the same kind of splash.