Farm life and beyond in Canada in case you’re interested.
STORY • JJ DeCorby PHOTOS • TheBruntBros
Growing up on the farm in western Canada was not much different from the experiences of others growing up in rural communities on the open prairies. You farmed in the summer, fed cattle in the winter, and braved the snowstorms to play hockey in between blizzards. Whatever the agenda that season, you usually found yourself behind the wheel of a farm vehicle sometimes with a driving license, but more often without.
There was only one rule on our farm— the vehicle had to be a Mopar, which was the baptism of Chrysler brainwashing handed down to me from my father. We were surrounded by Power Wagon pickups hauling hay and delivering parts to the field. On Sundays, my dad loaded all of us kids into one of the many Chrysler boat-like cars he owned as we raced our way off to church. Being born in the early seventies meant that I missed out on the glory days of the musclecar era and the standoff showdowns of the horsepower wars between the Big Three. Fortunately, my father was a Chrysler fanatic and if it wasn’t a D-100 pickup in which you were chasing into the farm field, it was a late model fifties or early sixties fin car he had you piling into the back seat.
The vehicles were not new or very extravagant,
but thanks to the Chrysler engineers, they
definitely did not lack the ponies.
I was old enough to witness the remnants
of the late 1960s and the early 1970s
horsepower wars as some of the gearheads
in my area refused to die, and some
owners declined to retire the fuel burning,
tire smoking street demons that still raced
down the roadways in my early youth.
One summer day in the late 1970s was
a moment that seemed like only yesterday.
My future brother-in-law was dating my
oldest sister and my dad had granted him permission to park in the farmyard, only because he drove a Dodge—a 1970 383Super Bee.
Walking back to the farmhouse
from chores, I found myself stopping at
the Bee and carefully traced the decal
lines— the reverse C-stripe and the Super
Bee logo of this red rider with my finger.
For whatever reason that moment was
ingrained in my memory forever.
As years progressed, I grew older and
passed my driver’s license test in my parent’s
1961 Chrysler Saratoga. By this time
my dad had added to his collection of big-block fin cars. I often snuck into town to find pavement to help burn the carbon out of the vehicles, unfortunately, without my dad’s permission. More often than not, the neighbors and relatives reported these
exploits to my father.
As kids we didn’t receive an allowance
for working on the farm, but the agreement
was that my dad would buy us our first
vehicle, as long as it was a Dodge. That led
to my first car, a 1974, 383 Charger, which I
still own today.
Years passed, life carried on, I found a
career, and met my beautiful wife. I moved
from the open prairies towards the west
coast and settled down to raise a
family, but I never lost my father’s
passion for the Pentastar. I must
have inherited his Chrysler addiction
as I soon amassed a small
herd of B-bodies.
My work allows me to travel
quite frequently which helps me
scour the Canadian countryside
for old Mopars. A couple of years
ago, while working back on the
prairies, I ran into a fellow that I
had done some previous car deals
with, and was told he had just
acquired a Super Bee. One phone
call lead to another, and before
I knew it, I was standing beside
his 1970, FK5, Hemi, 4-speed Super Bee.
It was deja vu as I was hypnotized by the
rear flank of the car as I carefully traced the
reverse C-stripe and the Super Bee logo
with my finger, just like when I was 8 years
Following minor discussions and little hold back from me, the FK5 stinger made the trip across the prairies and was soon parked in my garage. It is an original USA car and was restored by a single car owner before making its way north across the border. The previous owner had begun the restoration assembling the Hemi Super Bee with many original and NOS parts.
Much of the restoration was complete. I just had to clean up a few loose ends on the car and added a few missing parts, bits and pieces—a process that continues to this day. You’ll no doubt note the tan alkyd distributor cap. Some “knowledgeable” folks told me it is supposed to be tan, others said black. Mr. Ehrenberg, the final word in this publication, after looking at TheBruntBros photos said “tan is correct,” so it stays.
The 34,256 original-mile Hemi Super Bee is one of only 21 Hardtop, 4-speed, Hemi Super Bees ever produced. The Bee retains its correct FK5 Metallic Burnt Orange paint covering the car’s mostly original sheetmetal. The Bee’s silhouette is filled in with a black bench seat interior and the iconic pistol grip shifter protruding from the floor out from the A-833 transmission.
The original Hemi block was lost due to testing the Hemi’s limits (hence our Big Bang theory title) early in the car’s life and was refitted with a warranty replacement which is not stamped. The trans might have given up the ghost at the same time as what’s in the car now is correct but not matching numbers. JJ keeps the Bee next to its’70 440-6/4-speed Super Bee (one of 559) hive mate in a climate-controlled climate garage.
The Bee rarely flies these days, but it recently travelled south of the border where it attended the 50th Hemi Anniversary event at the 2014 Mopars at the Strip in Las Vegas. The car received one of the limited 50th Anniversary Hemi awards signed by the Ramchargers and was autographed on the rad support by the late Tom Hoover. Overall, this Bee is one honey of an automobile