1969 Dodge Super Bee Six Pack

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. The gaudy hood that boldy proclaimed this muscle car as the Six Pack often caught the attention of police. See more muscle car pictures.

Chrysler engineers used some good-old hot-rodding to create one of the muscle car era's most intoxicating machines: The 1969 Dodge Super Bee Six Pack.

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They took Mopar's fine 375-bhp 440-cid Magnum V-8 and treated it to the time-honored hop-up of more carburetion, replacing the single Carter quad with three Holley two-barrels on an Edelbrock Hi-Riser manifold. Normal driving ran the engine on the center carb; punching it opened the two outboard Holleys and delivered an astounding 1375-cfm charge. Hemi valve springs, a hotter cam, magnafluxed connecting rods, and other fortifications helped boost output to 390 bhp.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. In the stripped-down style of true hot rods, air conditioning and cruise control were not offered on the 1969 Dodge Super Bee Six Pack.

A Hurst-shifted four-speed and a 9 3/4-inch Dana Sure-Grip diff with 4.10:1 gears were standard. TorqueFlite was optional, but disc brakes, air conditioning, and cruise control were not allowed.

Dodge's home for the new mill was the econo-muscle Coronet Super Bee, which again came with a 383-cid V-8 or the 426 Hemi. In honor of the tri-carb setup, the newcomer was called the Super Bee Six Pack, a name broadcast on the sides of one of the wilder hoods in muscledom. Its scoop lacked a filter or valve to keep out foreign elements -- though it did have rain drain tubes. With its matte-black finish and NASCAR tie-down pins, the fiberglass lift-off hood said this car meant business, a message reinforced by standard steel wheels unadorned except for chrome lug nuts. (The engine and hood also were offered in the '69 Plymouth Road Runner as the "440+6".)

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Underneath the functional hood scoop, the engine breathed deeply through the three double-barrel carbs that inspired the name "Six Pack".

Dodge's 440 Six Pack cost $463, about $500 less than a Hemi. No Mopar mill was as all-out fast as the Hemi. But the 440 could hang with one until 70 mph or so, and the deep-breathing Six Pack added a near-Hemi high end. "The result was a torque motor that would rev, too, a fearsome street cleaner," wrote Car and Driver's Patrick Bedard in his 1990 muscle retrospective.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. For a car that was so fast, the Super Bee had surprisingly good handling.

With their Hemi-grade suspension, Six Pack Super Bees were surprisingly good handlers. That outrageous hood did bait cops, and made every oil check a two-person job. So what? Considering its price and performance, this Six Pack was a small-deposit, high-return steal.

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