Today Muscle Cars World starts with 1969 Dodge Coronet Super Bee. From the 1969 through 1971 seasons, North Carolina racer Wyman Collie tore up the strips from Virginia to South Carolina and from the Atlantic Ocean through Bristol, Tennessee. Campaigned under the banner “Little Thirsty” in SS/FA with good success the car was well known around Wyman’s home town of Charlotte.
Wins came frequently with the highlight being an SS/FA class win at the 1969 NHRA Fall Nationals at Bristol, TN. There are even newspaper clippings about the car’s successes in the Winston-Salem Journal and copies of his NHRA and AHRA licenses!
Starting out in the mid to low 12′s Wyman eventually got the car into the high 9′s at close to 120mph. As any good racer would he kept notebooks of tire pressures, track conditions and more. More pages and receipts are devoted to the parts he installed, people he solicited for advice, part numbers and more. Read more!
Unfortunately for car and driver, Wyman grew ill in 1971 and stopped racing altogether. Like many cars in these situations the Super Bee was set aside for a “someday” return to the strip which never happened. Sitting in a barn the car became a time capsule as the years turned into decades. A few years after his passing the car went to the family dentist who turned the car over to Hodges restoration. Months turned into years as the car again sat before Lee Hodge bought the car and restored it to the level you see it here as a shop project.
Start outside to find bright Hemi Orange paint covers the all original body panels and nicely applied Organisol on the original hood. The original grille is excellent, as are the original wheel lip moldings. Re-chromed bumpers glow front and rear with clean lenses at both ends. The original trunk floor is still in place and in excellent shape, as is the often destroyed deck lid. A new vinyl top surrounded by bright reveal and drip rail moldings sets the car off and ties in well with the black bumblebee stripe.
Moving to the interior you’ll find a clean mix of original and reproduction parts. Those are new seat covers, a new BE/A dash pad and new ACC carpet keeping you comfortable with original door panels, headliner and sun visors. Performance Car Graphics-enhanced gauges are bright and clear behind a Mr. G’s re-chromed bezel set. Chrome items such as window cranks and door handles are excellent.
Pop the trunk and you’ll see a new trunk mat along with the original jack and a new Firestone G70x15 spare which matches the rest of the wheel set. The taillight housings are excellent, a new jack instruction decal is on the deck lid and you’ll find a very clean trunk pan in line with the rest of the untouched sheet metal on the car.
Under hood, you’ll find a well detailed motor and replaced with another from Chrysler – $100 racer net for the block! It was a brand new piece built up specifically for SS/FA racing, with 12.5:1 compression, a big cam, headers and all the good stuff inside. Detuned with stock compression pistons it’s still quite a stormer! The built motor is topped by the original carbs, intake and air cleaner, while the coil, wireset and wiring harnesses are correct reproductions.
Underneath, all sheet metal was treated to a factory correct concours treatment with dark gray “dip” primer and orange overspray. The front suspension is properly detailed with new hardware, bare steering linkage (new tie rods, bushings and ball joints replace the originals – no sense in taking chances on drag strip hammered pieces) and the correct K frame in the correct sheen of black. The transmission is a race-ready replacement with Hemi internals and a deep TCI aluminum transmission pan while the original Dana axle was rebuilt with new bearings and seals.
All of the fuel hoses have been replaced with the newer pieces, the metal brake and fuel hard lines have been replaced again in the name of safety. With a rowdier-than-stock motor you’re going to need a heavy breathing exhaust system, and TTI’s ceramic coated 3″ pipes are just the ticket. Matching ceramic coated DynoMax mufflers and TTI’s 3″ stainless tips finish off the job and make the car’s intentions very well known!