Ride in a 1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee with a 426 Hemi ? Why Not! on My Car Story with Lou Costabile
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1971 Dodge Super Bee 426 Hemi Sunroof Muscle Car Of The Week Video Episode 314
- Published on Jul 12, 2019
- 1971 saw a completely new Dodge Charger. Out was the long, sharp, boxy Charger and “in” was the new curvier model for ‘71. The new design featured a more pronounced long nose / short deck look, and although it was about 2 inches shorter than the 68-70 model, it was also wider than it’s predecessor. The design remains controversial, with the interestingly up-swept pillarless side window design and fastback-ish rear roofline. A new bumper design split the nose in half, and our Charger Super Bee features a clean look with hidden headlights.
You could order all kinds of engines in your 1971 Charger, but our featured Super Bee is fitted with the one everyone talks about… the 425 HP 426 Hemi V8, and it’s coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. And while a Hemi Orange ‘71 Super Bee with a 426 and a stick might be tops on any muscle car wish list, it’s the top of this one that makes it even more special.
If you’ve never seen a factory installed power sunroof like this one, you’re not alone. Chrysler didn’t sell very many of the nearly $500 options, which mandated the full vinyl top as well. When you add in the code E74 426 Hemi engine at over $880.00, and you were looking at an expensive Super Bee back in ‘71 even before you start adding the rest of the options. Which do you think had lower production, the Hemi or the Sun Roof? We’ll answer that one later.
But if you DID spring for all these goodies, you got one heck of a ride, man. Ours features a sprawling white bench seat interior, complete with power windows, a 150 MPH speedo, 8000 RPM tach, and a pistol grip shifter for workin’ the 4-speed gearbox. Looking out over the long hood is a trip from any angle, as the Ramcharger scoop comes to life letting the 2 Carter AFB 4-barrels fill the Hemi with air. We’re envisioning a clear day, turning up the Music Master AM radio, hitting the power overhead switch to let the sun shine in, and dumping the clutch to let the 490 ft. lbs. of torque launch us straight into the 5th dimension.
These cars drive really nicely when in this kind of condition. Power steering and brakes ease the driver effort, and the heavy duty clutch is quite tolerable, even in traffic. The famous Chrysler torsion bar front suspension is taught but comfortable, with a sway bar to keep things on the level in the turns, and the 15 inch rally wheels and Goodyear Polyglas GTs hold the road. A Dana 60 rear axle can stand up to the torque as the leaf springs try to hold it in place. These cars have some of the coolest exhaust tips ever… many call them Machine Gun tips, but the red and chrome ends are officially called “Exhaust Bright Tips”. We call them awesome.
This is a love it or hate it design, and we’re leaning towards the love it, especially drenched in Hemi Orange with the white vinyl top and blacked-out hood to break it all up. The thin black stripe looks like the car just crossed the finish line with a black ribbon wrapped around the base of the windshield. Dual painted racing mirrors look cool, too.
All tolled, there were 5,054 1971 Super Bees built. 22 came equipped with the 426 Hemi engine, and only 9 of those were 4-speed manual cars. Coincidentally, there were also 9 known power sunroof 1971 Super Bees built with any of the available engines. But how many Hemi 4-speed cars had sunroofs? I’m not sure, but this one in the Brothers Collection is the Super Bee’s Knees, for sure.
#SunroofMopar #HemiSuperBee #musclecaroftheweek
1971 Dodge Super Bee 426 Hemi Sunroof Muscle Car Of The Week Video Episode 314 V8TV
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