Halfway through the photo shoot, the skies opened up and the rain poured down. Nathan Dosh kept a smile on his face, but he must have been dying inside. His wife, Kristi, admitted quietly that he has never taken his Super Bee out in the rain since it was painted.
We can totally sympathize. Here's a guy who has worked really hard to be able to afford the restoration job on a car he's owned for 10 years. It took him three years to finish the job, so it is understandable that he would want to keep it as nice as possible for as long as possible. Kristi also informed us that Nathan and their two sons, Trevor and Tanner, spent the previous night underneath the car detailing the undercarriage and that they would probably spend this night doing it all over again. We apologized as if we were responsible for the rain and finished the shoot as quickly as possible.
Nathan has owned this car since 2001. Three years ago he realized it needed a lot of bodywork, and he wasn't sure whether to keep it or sell it. "We decided to keep it, and it ended up turning into a family project from teardown to reassembly. I was surprised at how much they wanted to help. I owe them a huge thanks."
Because they all had a stake in the car, they were all upbeat during the photo shoot, in spite of the rain's effect on their detailing job. Nathan and his family were an exception to the attitude at most photo shoots, where the car owner is ecstatic and the rest of the family is indifferent or bored to tears. It was as if they were all being recognized for the great job they did with the car, and rightly so.
Ultimately, the overcast Minnesota skies worked in our favor, creating a relatively monochromatic backdrop to showcase the brilliant orange paint, and with its low-slung stance and sparkly Center Lines, Nathan's Super Bee looked like a shimmering oasis in a sea of gray.
Who: Nathan Dosh
Where: Rosemount, MN
What: '69 Dodge Super Bee
Engine: Under that big orange hood is the same 383 this Super Bee rolled off the assembly line with. It's been rebuilt once, but that was before Nathan bought it. Early last year, he pulled the engine to give it a bit of an external cleaning. At the same time, he slid in a new cam and lifter set, Comp's XE268H. To help out that cam, he dropped on an Edelbrock RPM Performer intake manifold and an Edelbrock 750-cfm carburetor and added a set of ceramic-coated Headman shorty headers. They connect to a 2 1/2-inch system with a pair of Flo-Pro V-Force mufflers. Other upgrades include a Mopar Performance electronic distributor and MSD wires, a Mopar Performance aluminum water pump, and a Melling high-volume oil pump. Though he guesses the engine was rebuilt about 10 years ago, Nathan said it still runs great.
Transmission: Not only is the engine original to the car, but the 727 TorqueFlite transmission is as well. Nathan sent it to Master Transmission in Rosemount, Minnesota, for a rebuild last year. The company added a Trans-Go shift kit, and he swapped in a 2,400-stall TCI Breakaway torque converter before putting it back in the car.
Rearend: The 8 3/4 rear axle is also original. It houses a Sure-Grip limited-slip differential and 3.23:1 gears.
Suspension: Though it rolled on skinnies and slicks at one time, Nathan wanted more of a Pro Touring look, so he cranked down the torsion bars and got lowering blocks for the leaf springs. He upgraded to CAP Automotive Products upper control arms, PST bushings, and a fresh set of KYB shocks on all four corners.
Brakes: The stock front drums were tossed in favor of a set of Master Power discs, but the rear drums remain. That's cool; the fronts do most of the stopping, anyway.
Interior: The passenger compartment is just as clean and cool as the exterior. It was completely refurbished with new carpet, Fat Mat sound deadener, and a Grant steering wheel. Cambridge Custom Upholstery re-covered the factory seats with Katzkin leather and suede material. Nathan's wife, Kristi, suggested the "Dodge" embroidery on the front seats.
Paint/Body: John's Body Shop in Nicollet, Minnesota, is responsible for the flawless bodywork and paintjob. Nathan had them shave the fender-mounted turn signals and radio antenna while they worked on replacing the car's quarter-panels. Jeremy Sieberg sprayed the paint, a custom blend of Sikkens paint that is close to Go Mango, but with just a hint of pearl.
Wheels/Tires: The wheels are Center Line Sundance Retro mounted with 205/45ZR17 and 285/40ZR18 BFGoodrich KDW2 tires.
Thanks: Nathan wants to thank John and Jeremy Sieberg of John's Body Shop, his wife, Kristi, and sons, Trevor and Tanner, ages 13 and 11, all of whom helped with the build. Nathan said they all spent a lot of quality family time in the garage working on the car together.