ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- In 1971 muscle cars were loud and proud. They carried special edition names like The Judge, Road Runner and Super Bee and were available in bold colors like Plum Crazy purple (Dodge Challenger) and Orbit Orange (Pontiac Judge).
Dodge's contribution was the Super Bee, a special edition Charger that was originally produced from 1968 to 1971 before being resurrected again in 2007 for the U.S. market.
Richard Stump of Flemming Island is among those that fell in love with the Super Bee's looks and performance. He bought his Green Go colored Super Bee 27-years-ago at age 23 while stationed in the Navy in Oakland, Calif.
He's happy to talk about the Super Bee's performance and restoration, but his favorite memory is bringing his son home from the hospital in the Charger. "He was born in Oakland Naval Hospital in 1985. I've owned it so long but I had it in storage for a long time because I was in the service and I had it in storage for 17 years," said Stump.
Stump's Super Bee is an original California car with no rust. It's been lovingly maintained and restored over the years. His 383 cubic inch, 6.3 liter V8 has been rebuilt, along with the 3-speed Torqueflite automatic and rear-end. The chrome has been re-plated, the interior has been redone and the exterior received a paint job.
Stump says his Super Bee will do the quarter mile in 13.6 seconds. He's taken it to tracks in Gainesville and Adele, Ga. But these days the Super Bee enjoys a gentler life. Stump primarily limits its use to cruise-ins and car shows. Last Saturday he joined the Clay County Cruzers at Big Dawgs Family Sports Restaurant at 1330 Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park for the group's monthly cruise-in.
Stump's Super Bee marks the end of an era. Dodge dropped the Super Bee name the next year as muscle cars began their decline in terms of performance and sales as the energy crisis settled in. But you can't keep a good muscle car down.
Dodge brought back the Super Bee in 2007. As with the original, it was a special edition. For 2012, the Super Bee made the leap to the current generation Charger SRT 8, featuring a monster 6.4-liter Hemi that could smoke through its rear tires to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and make it through the quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds, according to Motor Trend. It came packed with 470 horsepower and was painted Stinger Yellow, thrilling a new generation of muscle car fans.
MORE FROM FIRST COAST GEARS
1958 Edsel Ranger among the highlights at Main St. Cruise
Rare Alfa Romeo on display at First Coast Car Council cruise-in
Corvette has a strong following along the First Coast
Chevrolet unveils 2014 Corvette Stingray
Sweet ride: An American IronHorse from Arlington
More aggressive VW Beetle R-Line debuts for 2013
Local car shows: What's coming in 2013
December Historic Springfield Main Street Cruise
GMC celebrates 111 years of pickup trucks
Next-gen Camaro will be built in U.S., New Mustang and Barracuda also coming in 2015
GM shows off 2014 Silverado & Sierra
December Main St. cruise
Calendar Worthy Invitational Car Show
Cars & Coffee gets new home, Big George car show
Wife searches for 2 years to find the perfect Corvette for her husband
72 Corvettes kick off Turkey Run
Chevy will sell a real life Hot Wheels Camaro
A Fiero lover gets a second change to own his favorite
'Motor Trend' names Tesla Model S as Car of the Year
A whale of a convertible comes out to play at River City Marketplace
'Devilish' Dart defies Dodge's '73 name change decision
Main Street Cruise: Georgia/Florida edition
Sibling Rivalry Car Show
Exotics at Cars for out Troops Show included a Gozilla-sized showing of GT-Rs
The almost unbelievable true-story of an all original barn-find '64 Fairlane
Chevrolet announces debut of next-generation Corvette
Cadillac's electric plug-in hybrid ELR coupe to be built in Detroit
Isles of Faith UMC car show & festival
Classics on display to benefit Ronald McDonald House
2013 Beetle convertible makes its debut
Bill Ulrich's Corvair Spyder convertible is a pristine example of America's flirtation with air-cooled engines
'68 Lincoln Continental still cruises with style
Southside Businessmen's Club Car & Bike Show at Hooters
Next generation Beetle convertible makes its debut
Cadillacs don't get much rarer than these two
10th Annual Ponte Vedra Car Show | Slideshow
'Car star' from 'The Vampire Diaries' makes an appearance
The Shelby GT500 Super Snake adds more venom for 2013
Living the dream: 5 racing Porsches delivered in Jacksonville
Battle of the police cruisers
Ferraris and football
Wings 'N' Wheels
Future classics dominate Cars & Coffee
One Westside family's journey with a 1957 Bel Air
$100,000 1960 Chevy Biscayne Sedan Delivery, the ultimate "grocery getter"
New classic car festival planned for Fernandina Beach
Porsches were the stars at People's Choice Concours
Cruisers return to Main Street in Springfield
A one-off Camry wagon coupe and customized Ford Thunderbird make for an eclectic mix
Fruit Cove cruise-in