Home > Hatchback > Automoblog Book Garage: Charger, Road Runner and Super Bee: Chrysler B-Body Muscle 50 years

Automoblog Book Garage: Charger, Road Runner and Super Bee: Chrysler B-Body Muscle 50 years

Charger Chrysler Super Bee Road
ZTSG 31/01/2022 Hatchback 213
Danielle and I often go out for coffee to get rid of the needs of the work week. This was the situation on a recent Friday night. It's funny because I always look forward to wearing my "beautiful" clo...

Danielle and I often go out for coffee to get rid of the needs of the work week. This was the situation on a recent Friday night. It's funny because I always look forward to wearing my "beautiful" clothes. This means a T-shirt, jeans and a Detroit Lions hat.

One of my “nice” shirts is black, with the Scat Pack Super Bee racing across it. I wore that out for coffee recently and the barista commented on it.

Imagine if I had the actual car?

Big Power

New Discoveries

Author

Availability

Charger, Road Runner & Super Bee Gallery

Big Power

In 1966, the Dodge Charger was the first Chrysler product marketed to the baby boomers. Even the name is synonymous with muscle, power, and rebellion. It looked good in the driveway reflecting the sun, it looked good burning rubber on the street, and it looked especially good on the big screens of Hollywood.

Charger inspired the rest of Chrysler’s B-Body muscle crew; the Plymouth Road Runner and Super Bee, particularly.

New Discoveries

Charger, Road Runner & Super Bee: Fifty Years of Chrysler B-Body Muscle follows the entire

B-Body story, from the original Dodge Charger to the Charger of today.

The glory days between 1966 to 1971 are highlighted, but the years between and current era are covered too.

There is a lot about the Charger I didn’t realize.

Did you know the Charger was once a personal luxury car? Yes, it’s true, with Corinthian Leather and all. And a hot hatchback inspired by Carroll Shelby? Charger, Road Runner & Super Bee: Fifty Years of Chrysler B-Body Muscle chronicles all of this, right up to the modern day return of the Charger in 2006.

Author

James Manning Michels is a lifelong automotive enthusiast, accomplished road racer, and former acquisitions editor for Motorbooks, who we partner with for this series. He is the author of How to Repair Your Scooter and co-author of 365 Motorcycles You Must Ride.

Availability

Charger, Road Runner & Super Bee: Fifty Years of Chrysler B-Body Muscle is available through Amazon and Motorbooks. Don’t forget your Super Bee t-shirt either . . . of course, if you have an actual Super Bee, that’s much better.

*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.

Charger, Road Runner & Super Bee Gallery

While Ford set its sights on Ferrari and Le Mans,

Chrysler focused on American-born motorsports. None fit that description better than drag racing. Chrysler racing engineers developed engines, moved axles, dipped aluminum body panels in acid, and tried anything else they could think of in the quest for lower elapsed times and higher trap speeds. Archives/TEN: The Enthusiast Network Magazines, LLC

A-990 Hemi drag cars with radicallyaltered wheelbases started showingup at tracks toward the end of 1964.The idea originated as a designexperiment by Chrysler research andracing engineers; 12 cars were builtfor Chrysler-sponsored drag racingteams. Here’s Dick Landy playing withhis in a parking lot. Archives/TEN: TheEnthusiast Network Magazines, LLC

One day in 1959, a group of Chrysler engineers having lunch at the Chrysler EngineeringInstitute discussed GM’s big-block V-8. Somebody suggested they might pool theirresources and privately build a MoPar capable of beating the dominant GM engine. Thus,for about thirty dollars each, did a group of Chrysler’s biggest engineering names godrag racing. Funny Cars, the 426 Hemi, even the Charger name are just a few parts of theRamchargers legacy. Archives/TEN: The Enthusiast Network Magazines, LLC

This 1966 PlymouthBelvedere convertible with its 426 Hemiautomatic is one of only six built.Mike Mueller

It might havejust been a Coronet withan artistically grafted-onfastback, but the 1966Charger was still a strikingdesign. Mike Mueller

What fun it must have been tobe Elwood P. Engel. For example, if youwere Chrysler’s vice president of stylingand you wondered what a 1968 Chargerwould look like without a roof, yousimply initiated a “styling experiment”with a ’68 Charger R/T donor car. Thename on the official folder? “Charger IVEl” (“Charger for El[wood]). Hot Rod

The 383 Super Commando wasthe base engine for the Road Runner,but Chrysler wanted to make it uniqueto the car. So they took the cam fromthe GTX 440 and put it in the 383.Archives/TEN: The Enthusiast NetworkMagazines, LLC

Here you can plainly see the differences between Superbirds and Charger Daytonas. Superbirds have vinyl roofs; Daytonas have wings that include the rear stripe’s paint. Mike Mueller

Charger, Road Runner & Super Bee: 50 Years of Chrysler B-Body Muscle by James Manning Michels.

At the Automoblog Book Garage last week, we ventured beyond the horizon with Airstream.