The 1969 1/2 Super Bee and its cousin, the Plymouth Road Runner, equipped with the 440 Six Pack (“Six Barrel” for the Road Runner) engine option were the first production cars to feature an all-fiberglass, lift-off hood. The Six Pack 440 was introduced as a midyear option, and with it came the mandatory addition of the Super Track Pack and its 4.10:1 gears in the Dana 60 rear, either the A-727 automatic or 833 manual transmission, and no wheel covers on the black-painted (regardless of body color) steel wheels with chrome lug nuts. Models ordered as such are commonly referred to as “A12” cars, for the option code, and are a rare find, with only 1, 907 Super Bees (and 1, 412 Road Runners) built, 29 of which were exported to Canada (and 21 Road Runners). Disc brakes, wheel covers, cruise control, and air conditioning were not available for your 440 Six Pack Super Bee, making the cars true performance beasts from the get-go.
Adding to this list of hard-core performance insanity was the fiberglass hood mentioned earlier. Finished in non-reflective “Organosol” black paint, the hinge-less, scooped hood was held in place by four chrome bezel-equipped pins, and had an open fresh air scoop. Keeping with the budget theme of these cars, as well as the short lead time from the introduction of the A12 option, the decision was made to manufacture the hoods in lightweight fiberglass rather than the standard stamped steel. While all of this reads as “good times” for the performance-minded enthusiast, it came with a caveat: The driver had no way to shut out the weather from the air cleaner element. That wide-mouthed scoop was open for business at all hours, in all weather. If you wanted to fight Mother Nature, you could always order three-speed windshield wipers and consider it a partial victory. The hood was attached to the car with four stud pins, and the “Hair Pin” fasteners were attached to lanyards, which were glove box door cables sourced from A-body cars.
Along with these oddities, the A12 cars (which were built at the Lynch Road Assembly Plant) all showed an engine sales code of E-63, which denotes a 383 4-barrel. The special 440 Six Pack engine was provided by the Trenton engine plant. To clarify things, the VIN contains the letter “M” in the fifth digit to signify a special-order V-8 engine, versus the “H” that a 383 high-performance model would carry.
These very desirable cars are often tremendously well documented, and finding a numbers-matching example is a rarity, considering that these were purpose-built, drag race–ready cars. I had stumbled across a few examples at the All-Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle this past summer, ranging from the wonderfully preserved and meticulously restored to the barn-find, ready-to-restore, and I delighted in the story that all of these cars had to tell.