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The Super Bee was a stripped-down model featuring a 383-cid V-8 engine. See more classic car pictures.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Mid-size madness afflicted the Dodge lineup for 1967 and began to roll out what became known as the 1968-1969 Dodge Coronet R/T and Super Bee Models, which included a 440 Magnum engine. As the name suggests, the new mill displaced a whopping 440 cubic inches -- this in a car that was typically thought of as supermarket and vacation transportation.

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At least it didn't come as an ordinary sedan, but only in hardtop coupe and convertible dress, decorated by dual paint stripes and a hood scoop. Early R/T ads declared that the "rampaging" Magnum speaks softly, but carries "a big kick."

Dodge wasn't about to let Pontiac's GTO and other muscle-car rivals pull ahead in the marketplace, so the R/T package carried on when Coronets earned their 1968 restyling.

Ranking among the most attractive intermediates, the new Coronet wore rounded bodies in the popular "Coke-bottle" shape that enhanced its long, low silhouette. Like other members of the Dodge Scat Pack, the R/T came with "bumblebee" stripes wrapped around the tail, unless the buyer specified otherwise.

Standard again was the 440 Magnum V-8 with three-speed TorqueFlite. The 425-bhp Hemi engine and four-speed gearbox were available, too. Brakes were larger than on other Coronets, but front discs remained a $73 option.

So did special instruments, including a tachometer, which added $90. Exhaust gases exited through twin pipes, and a special handling suspension was standard. Both the hardtop and convertible wore all-vinyl bucket seats, and came in 16 colors.

"Acceleration is very rapid," declared Car Life after its test of an R/T convertible that rushed to 60 in 6.6 seconds, "yet the engine never seems to be laboring. The 440's brute torque makes high revving completely unnecessary."

Apart from a revised split grille and taillights, change for 1969 was minimal. R/T gear included a simulated woodgrain instrument panel, sill and wheel-lip moldings, Rallye suspension with sway bar, F70 x 14 Red Line wide-tread tires, and Power Bulge hood.

To satisfy shoppers who felt an R/T coupe's $3,379 sticker was too high for comfort, Dodge added a budget-priced Super Bee during the 1968 model year. This few-frills, back-to-basics muscle coupe carried a special 335-bhp, 383-cid V-8, serving as Dodge's answer to the hot-selling Plymouth Road Runner.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1969-1969 Dodge Coronet R/T and Super Bee models.

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