1971 Super Bee Dodge Charger

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   Bruce Crum - GF7 Dark Green Metallic 383, Auto,

      New Zealand GF7 383, 4bbl AUTO, PAINTED WHITE TOP

Story by: Mike Garrard

My name is Mike Garrard, and I live in New Zealand. A friend who gave me a ride in his' 72 Challenger influenced me. I knew I wanted a Mopar, but E-bodies were not my thing and '68-'70 Chargers didn't quite do it for me either. I now own a '72 Charger SE, that I bought back in '98.

Once I decided I wanted a '71-'72 Charger I decided it would be cool to find out if there were others out there. I discovered various '71-'74 Chargers but as far as '71 Super Bee's go I know of just 3 (there's only 2 '71 R/T Chargers that I know of)

Anyway this Charger was a ordered new in Canada I don't know much about the early history of it how it came here but I do know the first owner to own it here in New Zealand was a women. She sold it to one of the "Smith brothers" I'm not going to use their real names for this story why? Read on and you will see that muscle car abuse stories did not just happen in the USA! The Smith brothers had 2 '71 Chargers between them. Andrew had this '71 Super Bee while his brother James owned a '71 RT Charger 6-pk. I had heard stories about the Super Bee but had no luck tracking down the owner despite the fact it wasn't located too far from my home.

One day a friend from the gym told me his brother wanted to look and my '72 Charger. He was looking to by a one, but I wasn't looking to sell. I told him he was welcome to come and look at my car. We got talking and the mystery Super Bee subject came up. Not only did Bruce know the car but also he knew the owner. He has been trying for years to buy the car without success (a classic "I'll fix her up one day story"). Not long after Bruce had finally managed to buy the distressed Bee.

This is what Bruce found out.
James destroyed his 6 pack RT Charger in a high-speed accident. It was completely totaled! While I have never seen this RT, Bruce did. When I bought my Charger it came with a spare set of complete taillights, these taillights came off the '71 RT charger. Not long after this there was a financial dispute between the brothers over storage fees for the Super Bee. James took the Bee off his brother and it sat for years outside deteriorating from the elements. Rust took a hold big time and when Andrew finally got the Bee back it was in a sad state.

It continued to sit and sit till Bruce finally got the car in 2004. The car hadn't been registered for road use since 1986! What Bruce does have going for him is this Bee came with alot of NOS parts. The interior is tidy but the body needs work. The Bee has the standard 383 auto on the column hideaways, bench seat and the rare painted white roof option. Hopefully Bruce will get the restoration started as he's busy building a new house and the Bee hasn't moved in 2 years. Bruce plans to sell his nice '70 Challenger to finance the restoration. He will need a correct hood as the one on the Bee right now is a '73 bulge hood with the Bee insert pressed in.

If anyone would like to email me re: this Charger or any others here in New Zealand my email is:

mikesbbody@hotmail.com Mike

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