Plum Perfection: Ed Holland’s 1969 Dodge Super Bee

Growing up in a family heavily involved in racing, Ed Holland of Alberta, Canada had cars in his blood from the get-go. “My family raced stock cars and my dad did a lot of drag racing when I was younger. Since I was around cars so much during my childhood, it just became a part of my life,” shares Ed.

Like most kids in love with cars, Ed built a lot of model cars growing up, however there was one particular model that he built that stood out more than the rest; a 1969 Dodge Super Bee. He tells us, “When I was younger, I built a ’69 Super Bee model. From that moment on I became hooked. Over the years, my desire to get a real Super Bee was very strong. At one point I came across a really cool Super Bee Hot Wheels car painted in purple and I decided I needed to build a real car based on that Hot Wheels.”

In November 2013, Ed came across a 1969 Dodge Coronet 440 coupe for sale on Kijiji down in Calgary, Alberta. The Coronet was a pretty bare bones example however being as it originally came with a 318 and a 3 speed manual transmission, it was 1 of only 245 built in 1969. It rolled out of the factory painted F3 Light Green Poly with a black vinyl bench seat interior. Over the years, the Coronet had changed colors and was now painted Purple which really caught his interest.

Ed tells us, “I decided I needed it so I contacted the owner. We discussed everything quite a bit and tried to make a deal. Sadly, things didn’t work out and the car sold to someone else. Frustrated but determined to find a car, I put a wanted ad on Kijiji. Shortly after, a gentleman in Gibbons, Alberta contacted me and said he had exactly what I was looking for.”

Not wasting a minute, Ed and his friend made their way over to the seller’s house to see the car. Much to their surprise, when the seller opened the garage door, there sat the exact same Purple Coronet that Ed tried to purchase not too long before. “I told the seller that I knew everything about the car and that I had recently tried to purchase it off the guy he bought it from without much luck. He laughed and said that it was meant to be,” says Ed. Very interested in the Coronet, Ed told the seller he would do some thinking and be in touch shortly.

On Valentine’s Day 2014, Ed came home from work to find that his wife had a surprise for him. She had purchased the car for him as a Valentine’s Day present! “I was so excited; I finally had my dream car! Now it was time to figure out a plan. I knew the car had good bones so my sons and I got a plan together and decided to build one bad ass Super Bee,” he shares.

Not wasting any time, Ed contacted his friend Mike Pankiewich to come over and take a look at the car. Shortly after, the car went off to Hinton, Alberta with Mike to have the body and paint done. While the car was at Mike’s shop, Ed spent most of his time contacting people and searching the internet for parts. One day while parts hunting, Ed received a call that nobody wants to hear but is quite typical in the Mopar restoration world; the car needed a little more work than everyone had anticipated.

As it turns out, the car needed new floors, quarter panels and a driver’s front fender. While Auto Metal Direct came to the rescue with their reproduction sheet metal, Mike had to build a good front fender out of a couple different donor fenders. Once the sheet metal and body work were complete, it was time to pick a paint color. While he knew he wanted to keep the car Purple, Ed wanted to put a twist on it. It was decided to paint the car in a more modern Plum Crazy Pearl Coat to get that ultimate metallic sparkle. To contrast the Purple paint, a White bumblebee stripe was installed across the rear of the car.

Eight months after it left to go to the shop, the car was painted and back home, Ed and his sons went to work re-assembling the car. A 440 was installed between the fenders with a Six Pack set-up. Backing the engine was a fully built 727 Torqueflite automatic and an 8 3/4 Sure Grip rear end fitted with 4:11 gears.

With the help of his family and friends, Ed worked day and night to finish the car for a Father’s Day car show in near-by Hinton. He says, “During this time re-assembling the car, I decided I didn’t like the original steel hood so I sold it. I searched and eventually found a fiberglass A12 Six Pack lift off hood down in southern Alberta. However, when I put it on the car, I realized the matte black finish on the hood looked off with the Purple paint and White stripe. My wife suggested I paint the hood White to match the stripe so I did and the rest is history!”

The car was finished just in time for the car show and was a hit, winning People’s Choice. Shortly after, it was invited to participate in the big World of Wheels indoor show which it did. With some time before the show, Ed decided to take the time to wrap up all of the loose ends on the car, which included cleaning and tidying up all of the wiring and giving the car a full polish. It was around this time that Ed decided he wanted one thing; more power.

The 440 was pulled and replaced with a 493 stroker built by Darcy Clarke at Red Door Racing. The new stroker engine is based off a 440 block and features 440 Source cylinder heads, a Molnar stroker crank, Molnar rods and Harland Sharp rockers. Up top, the Six Pack set-up was re-installed. Everything breathes through Hooker headers that run into a full 2.5″ exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers.

Ed finished up everything and entered it into the World of Wheels show along with 7 other Mopars in the Edmonton Mopar Association. After four days of meeting new people and checking out some wicked cars, it came time for the awards. Ed was very excited to learn that his car placed 4th in his class. Since that show, Ed has made some additional changes to the car to make it more cruise-able on the highway. The entire brake system was upgraded with a Wilwood disc set-up and out back, the 8 3/4 was fitted with a new Eaton TrueTrac and 3:23 gears. When the car was originally built, Ed ran a set of Cragar SS wheels wrapped in BFG Radial T/As however he has recently upgraded to Rev Classic 100 series wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes4 tires sized at 225/50R17 (front) and 275/55R17 (rear).

“I’ve met a lot of amazing people along the way and I’m glad I did. They kept me in check while building this car. Daryl Boechler, Daniel Theberge, Cal B. Strass, John Van Ginkel, Spencer Cordingley, my dad Bob Holland, my brother Stephen Holland, my amazing wife Paula Holland and my kids – thanks for all your help,” says Ed.

*Special thank you to Miranda of MNK Photography of Edmonton, Alberta for the use of some of her amazing photos of Ed’s Super Bee; many thanks!*

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Cody Krueger

Car Feature Editor – Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody's parents gave him a rusty '69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody's garage still features that '69 Charger as well as the additions of a '71 Charger R/T, '71 Super Bee, '73 Duster, '08 Challenger SRT8 and a '13 Ram 3500. Cody can truly and proudly say that he is a true Mopar nut in love with all types of Mopars!

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