These amazing, purpose-built 1969.5 Dodge Super Bee A12s have
finally become such A-list collectables that finding one you can
drive is getting tougher all the time. Kind of funny that a car
built for abuse on the track has become so valuable that nobody
takes them out to play anymore, but here's one that's cosmetically
gorgeous but still ready to get out and play.
First off, this is a real A12, as denoted by the 'M' as the fifth digit in the VIN. The rest of the fender tag is a bit cryptic because these cars were simply 383 Coronets pulled off the assembly line and given a full makeover. But it's definitely legit. It was original a code R4 Charger Red car, but when it was restored, it was given a proper coat of Hemi Orange. Nothing else says performance quite the same way and given the show-quality workmanship, I don't think anyone is going to complain. All the correct A12 hardware is there, though, including the butch fiberglass lift-off hood, which offers just the right shade of satin black, four hood pins, and proper "SIX PACK" decals that aren't just there for show. Out back, you get a black bumblebee stripe which really needs to be there on something called a "Super Bee," but otherwise there's not much ornamentation. Sure, both bumpers are nicer than anything coming out of the Hamtramck factory in '69, and the unobtainable grille up front is in outstanding condition, but the overall look is purposeful, not ornamental, and that's what we like most.
Bench seats and nothing but the essentials were the recipe for the A12's success on the track. If it didn't make the car go faster, it wasn't installed, it was just that simple. This one was restored with that philosophy in mind, and the use of original materials and patterns gives it an honest look that celebrates simplicity and purpose. The gauges are in excellent condition and give you a fairly comprehensive view of the engine, although a tachometer was still an option on the A12 cars. Yes, there's an AM radio plus heat and defrost, but virtually no A12s were delivered without them, so that's not a demerit (and you may actually prefer at least a few creature comforts between �-mile passes). The trunk is neatly finished with a correct plaid mat and a full-sized spare tire assembly plus jack.
The heart of the A12 is a 440 cubic inch mill topped by the Six Pack induction system. In the lightweight Super Bee, it was formidable and in the hands of the right driver, usually faster than even the mighty Hemi. This one has been rebuilt to stock specs and includes the giant Six Pack air cleaner that seals itself to the hood for a ram-air effect. Correct Hemi Orange paint, reproduction clamps and hoses, and a heavy-duty 26-inch radiator add to the A12 look under the hood. Power steering and brakes were not available, so don't ask, and the exhaust manifolds are beautifully finished. The chassis is very well finished, and aside from some stainless mufflers, is completely stock. The 727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission is probably the best bet if you want to win races and it's backed by a bulletproof Dana 60 with acceleration-happy gears inside. It even wears blacked-out wheels without hubcaps, just as it did in 1969, as well as a set of recent redline radials that look right but handle far better than the old bias-plys.
So go ahead, spin the tires and rev the engine, the A12 was built for it. It isn't friendly, but it's ready to rock and still strikes fear into the hearts of your fellow motorists. Call today!