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Friday, January 8, 2016

MOPAR mania, part 1: Motormax 1:24 1969 Dodge Coronet SuperBee




It was just a few days before Christmas, and the local Wal-Mart was busy with last-minute shoppers looking for any good gift to give.  The shelves were empty, so for this lone collector nothing to find.  Then came this green Dodge SuperBee, and I gave a second though "should I buy it or leave it for the next person?"  Didn't take long to get this Motormax casting, usually the not-so-great company for plenty of details, for a reasonable $10 bucks.  As it turns out, unlike those other Motormax castings this one was well worth the price!




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The SuperBee name arrived on the Coronet line in 1969 and would become an icon for itself.  Basically it takes a bone stock Coronet and turns it up a notch with more power: a 440 CID three two-barrel carb V8 that produces 390 hp. to the rear wheels by a Hurst 4-speed manual transmission.  Then the hood is a lightweight fiberglass version in gloss black with four hood pins to secure it down and a large scoop at the front.  Finally, the exterior gets a few cosmetic enhancements that also includes the rear bumblebee stripe and bumblebee logo's.  It might not be the fastest MOPAR but it was strong and mean.  The name was revived on the 2006 Charger and the bee emblem still makes appearance on some current Charger models.





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The reason why this Motormax casting has all the good details is because it was the last of the good times for Motormax when details went into infinity without cost constraints.  I almost got this vehicle a few times but never seen one in stores so I passed on it many times.  When I finally got a chance to see one I decided to finally pick it up, with no regrets about it!  The usual colors are wild yellow or red, but this one uses a subliminal avocado green color that looks pretty nice on this car.  The front has a chrome grille bar that tends to blur out the inner details that include the mesh grille, quad headlights (that tend to show off too much of the exterior color inside), and the bee logo.  The lower bumper has round signal lights and a Georgia plate with the GT Georgia Tech university logo, and their mascot is a bee.  Get it?  The sides are long and clean with dual indents just after the doors and the black rear stripe with the SuperBee logo.  I like how Motormax went up the next step by ditching the stock steel wheels for the sporty chrome mag wheels with large but not too large tires that fill the wheelwells nicely.  Surprisingly despite looking a bit too big for the wheelwells the tires do not rub on the body at all.  The rear has chrome trim surrounding the tri-taillights with DODGE letters in the middle of the blacked-out panel, and dual exhausts poking out of the rear bumper with the Georgia plate again.





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The interior shares the same dashboard with the Dodge Charger and the Plymouth Road Runner with the same flat layout, dual gauges with auxiliary gauges to the right, stereo and ashtray in the middle just ahead of the tall 4-speed shifter, and a neat 3-spoke steering wheel with wooden rim and silver column stalk that looks similar to the ones found on the 1970 Dodge Challenger.  The front and rear bench seats have similar patterns, while the door panels have detailed patterns and handles.  Not that impressive, and the gauges on my tester was placed upside down, but satisfactory nonetheless.  The hood scoop is functional and you can see a little bit of red from the engine;  open the hood to show off the 440 V8 with red air cleaner surrounded by a tub to direct air flow to the engine from the scoop, red 3-D engine block, detailed belt and alternator, radiator, battery, and coolant resovoir.  The engine is no engine pan as you can see the ground at the bottom from the front of the engine area.  The only problem found is the radiator does not extend down to the bottom.  The base underneath show the lower control arms, X-brace engine support, and engine and transmission details up front, dual exhausts leading to the rear where the detailed live rear axle and leaf springs reside, and all of this is on a one piece plastic base.  Not bad.





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Compared to recent Motormax castings that I have reviewed this is by far one of their best, with lots of details and the spot-on aggressive look of the Superbee name.


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