The Story of the 1971 Dodge Super Bee

The Dodge Super Bee, a brief but impactful presence in the golden era of muscle cars, hit the scene in 1968 and stuck around until 1971. Initially tied to the Coronet, its final year saw integration into the Charger lineup.

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As Dodge’s most affordable muscle car in its early days, the Super Bee faced a modest start in 1968 with just 7,842 units sold. However, the following years marked a surge, reaching a peak of 27,800 units in 1969. The trend continued in 1970, selling 15,506 units. Unfortunately, the muscle car faced a decline in 1971, moving only 5,054 units.

Rarity and Variations

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The 1971 Super Bee, though considered less desirable in design, birthed some rare editions. The HEMI variant, with a mere 22 units produced, stands out. The 440 Magnum cars, especially the 26 four-barrel and 99 Six Pack examples, add to its scarcity. Sunroof-equipped models are exceptionally rare, with only nine in existence. Notably, the Mr. Norm’s Super Bee, sold through a Chicago dealership, adds an intriguing touch to the Super Bee legacy.

Grand Spaulding Dodge in Chicago, co-owned by Norm Kraus, played a pivotal role in the Super Bee saga. The dealership, a muscle car haven since 1962, offered performance upgrades to Dodge vehicles, creating a unique niche. Mr. Norm Dodges, akin to other dealer-prepped muscle cars, are both elusive and highly sought after. The 1971 Super Bee discussed here may have a connection to this exclusive legacy.

Spotted at the 2023 Mopars with Big Daddy, a red 1971 Super Bee takes center stage. Potentially one of the few ordered through Grand Spaulding Dodge in 1971, it retains high originality, boasting factory body panels, chrome trim, and much of the interior.


### Q1: What is Mr. Norm’s?
A1: Mr. Norm’s refers to a line of Dodge vehicles sold through the Grand Spaulding Dodge dealership in Chicago. This dealership, a muscle car hub, focused on high-performance modifications.

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### Q2: How rare are Mr. Norm Dodges?
A2: Similar to other dealer-prepped muscle cars of the era, Mr. Norm Dodges are both scarce and highly sought after. The exact number sold over the years remains a mystery.

### Q3: Is the 1971 Super Bee discussed a numbers-matching car?
A3: No, the current setup of the 1971 Super Bee does not feature the original engine. However, the owner possesses the original engine, stored for safekeeping, making it a potential candidate for a numbers-matching restoration in the future.

1971 Dodge Super Bee

The company’s most affordable muscle car at the time, the Super Bee, moved only 7,842 units in 1968, but sales soared to a whopping 27,800 examples in 1969. Sales remained strong in 1970 when the Super Bee found 15,506 homes. Things went downhill in 1971.With muscle cars about to be discontinued due to new emissions regulations and insurance rates going through the roof, the Charger-based Super Bee sold only 5,054 units. The nameplate was discontinued before 1972, leaving the 1971 Super Bee a one-year gem.

It’s the least desirable iteration of the muscle car due to its design, but it spawned quite a few rare rigs. The HEMI variant is arguably the scarcest at only 22 units built. The 440 Magnum cars are challenging to find as well. Dodge sold only 26 four-barrel units and just 99 Six Pack examples.

But it’s not just drivetrain specifications that make a 1971 Super Bee rare. The sunroof cars are nearly impossible to find because only nine were ordered with one, regardless of the engine. Finally, there’s the Mr. Norm’s Super Bee, a mysterious unicorn many of us will never see in the metal.

What’s a Mr. Norm’s car, you ask? Well, these cars were sold through the Grand Spaulding Dodge dealership in Chicago. Established in 1962 and co-owned by Norm Kraus, Grand Spaulding became the biggest Dodge dealership in the US, thanks to its focus on high performance.

Performance upgrades weren’t massive, but many of the Chargers, Challengers, and Super Bees that left the dealership have a bit of extra oomph and revised components. Mr. Norm also went as far as to drop the massive 440 V8 in the Dodge Dart to create the infamous GSS.

And like most dealer-prepped muscle cars from the era, including Yenko Chevrolets and Royal Pontiacs, Mr. Norm Dodges are scarce and sought-after. But no one really knows how many were sold over the years, so these Mopars are an ongoing mystery. The 1971 Super Bee you see here is part of that legacy.

Spotted at the 2023 Mopars with Big Daddy, this red beauty may be one of only a handful of Super Bees ordered through the Grand Spaulding Dodge dealership in 1971. Moreover, it’s a highly original example that still rocks the factory body panels, chrome trim, and most of the interior.

But is it also one of those super-rare gems with a numbers-matching engine? Well, the original powerplant is no longer under the hood, but the owner still has it on a stand in the garage. And that’s because the current owner also bought the car with a different engine under the hood.

He found the original mill sometime later but opted to put it in storage for safekeeping. So, while the Super Bee is not a numbers-matching rig in its current setup, it’s just an engine swap away from becoming one of the most desirable 1971 Super Bees out there.

Granted, I’d reunite the car with the original V8 in a heartbeat, but I can understand why the owner wants to keep it in storage. It’s an excellent way to preserve it for future use should he decide to sell the car.

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