Chrysler Corporation’s Special Order ‘999’ paint codes were used for paint colors that were not officially available for that model vehicle for a given year. When a car line was planned and introduced, a number of colors were designated as being available for that car. Dealer information and paint chips were distributed; assembly lines were readied with paint mixes and instructions for the paint departments for the identified set of paint codes.
The way a ‘999’ car was typically ordered was that anyone with a fleet account (dealerships, or large purchasing agents) could order any Ditzler color for any vehicle for an additional small fee of $75-100. When the ‘999’ order was placed, some notation as to which actual color was written on the order. The factory would have sent the car down the assembly line with papers that also reflected that special paint color. ‘999’ paint codes were not limited to colors that were not, or had never been made available for a particular model. It could also be a special order for a color that had been available but was no longer being offered.
A guy by the name of Samuel Stephen McConnell from Laguna Beach, California posted up on Facebook stating he owns a 1969 Dodge Super Bee that is the only 1969 factory ‘999’ coded FM3 Panther Pink test car. He claims it was used to test Chrysler’s new Panther Pink paint for the upcoming 1970 model year. He says his dad bought the car new at Jim Soutars Dodge on Main St (Rte. 66) in Barstow, California. The car has spent its entire existence in the desert. He states his dad had several cars on his 4 acres in near-by Hinkley.
Around 1980 or so, he removed the engine for some reason and just never did anything with the car after that. The car has sat away from any main highway for all these years just sitting. This is why there is virtually no rust anywhere on the car. Samuel says his dad got old and since he was his closest son, he wanted him to have the car. Currently the car wears very faded orange paint but he states that his dad painted it orange before it was parked. As a child growing up and later in life, he has always remembered his dad’s pink Super Bee.
To add some evidence to his claim, if you look closely at the pictures, you can see tons of remnants of the supposed original Panther Pink paint job everywhere. The fender tag for the Super Bee is indeed coded as ‘999’ in the paint code spot to further add proof to his story. He even has a picture of the Super Bee brand new wearing the Panther Pink paint!
What do you think? Is this indeed a one of a kind factory ‘999’ coded Panther Pink test car or just an old very well done paint color change? We will also mention that Samuel has decided to list the car up for sale as-is for $25,000 US.