Musclecar competition among the Big Three domestic auto manufacturers really heated up in 1969. Even number four, American Motors, was cranking out fast iron in the form of the 390-powered AMX. Drag racing was the thrust of this on-track/showroom competition. Chrysler products were known for their drag strip prowess, and management wanted to maintain that reputation.
To keep ahead of the competition (literally and figuratively) Chrysler brought out a new engine package in mid-1969. The 440 Six Pack was available in two obviously drag-racing-influenced special editions – the 1969 ½ Dodge Super Bee Six Pack and the 1969 ½ Plymouth Road Runner Six Barrel.
The Six Pack moniker came from the triple Holley 2300 series two-barrel carburetors. The carburetors topped an Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold. Under normal driving conditions, the engine ran on the center carburetor, but when the gas pedal was floored all three carbs gulped air and fuel. This was a tri-power induction setup (as GM called them), but Six Pack sounded more imposing.
For this new engine combination, Chrysler added Hemi valve springs with flash-chromed stems, Magnafluxed heavy-duty connecting rods, flat-faced tappets, molybdenum-filled piston rings, an aggressive camshaft, and a dual-point distributor. The compression ratio was 10.5:1. The net result of these improvements was 390 horsepower at 4,700 rpm and 490 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm. The prodigious low rpm torque and standard 4.10 gears made Super Bee Six Packs almost unbeatable at stop light sprints.
A12 was Chrysler’s option code for the 440-6 package (for both Super Bees and Road Runners), and it carried a price tag of $462.80. Besides the engine upgrades, the Six Pack option also included a very race-oriented fiberglass hood. The flat black hood featured a prominent and very effective hood scoop. In case other motorists wondered what was under the hood, red decals boldly stated “Six Pack.” Four hood pins (no traditional hinges or latches) secured the lightweight hood. There was foam on the underside so the hood could be placed on the roof while working on the engine.
Black steel wheels (with chrome lug nuts) and G70-15 redline tires complimented the Super Bee’s drag racer styling. Super Bee tail stripes adorned the rear quarter panels. Optional (M46) simulated rear quarter air scoops appeared on many Super Bees, including our featured Bright Green hardtop that belongs to Mike Ross. The A12 package was ordered on 1,487 hardtop Super Bees and 420 coupe versions.
An A-833 four-speed manual transmission was standard, and a column-shifted 727 TorqueFlite automatic was a $39.30 option (1,093 four-speeds were ordered vs. 814 automatics). A 9 ¾-inch Dana 60 with Sure Grip limited slip and 4.10:1 gears were standard. This was a track-tough rear axle, not a fuel economy combo. The chassis was beefed up with the Police Handling Package and Hemi-style springs. The brakes were 11-inch drums all around.
Super Bee Six Pack interiors were more functional than luxurious. A vinyl bench seat was standard, and bucket seats were optional.
1969 ½ Super Bee Six Pack cars were high performance bargains that could run with the Hemis for about a thousand dollars less