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Eastern Passage man is plum crazy about his Dodge Superbee

Brian Durdle with his purple 1970 Dodge Superbee.
Brian Durdle with his purple 1970 Dodge Superbee. -ERIC WYNNE - The Chronicle Herald

As a young boy heading to school in New Waterford, Brian Durdle would walk by his neighbour’s house every day and dream of the car he would like to have of his own. Peter Deveaux had a Plum Crazy 1970 Dodge Super Bee two-door muscle car sitting in his driveway.

Seeing that seared a memory, said Durdle.

“I think that was probably the biggest impression for wanting a purple one. I always loved that car.”

Fast-forward several years to when Durdle andhis wife, Shannon, decided to make that childhood wish come true. In 2007, they started looking for the car of their dreams.

“We’ve owned quite a few ’70s over the years; this is probably the seventh or eigth one.”

They’ve owned a couple of classic Dodge station wagons, a four-door and a hardtop.

“But we always wanted a Plum Crazy purple one,” said Durdle.

Still on the hunt, the Eastern Passage couple came across a 1970 Dodge Coronet in Saskatchewan that had been sitting for 22 years. The 440 model had the original engine, body panels in great shape and 53,000 miles (85,295 kilometres) on the odometer. It was exactly what the couple was looking for.

“It was a really solid car, and to this day it still retains all original body panels,” said Durdle.

“We went about having the car restored.”

It took about two years of work to get it to the showroom-ready state it is now.

“We basically built what you would have ordered in late ’69 for the ’70 model year. It has a bigblock, four-speed (transmission), (painted) Plum Crazy purple (with a) white top, white stripe and white interior.”

Durdle has also completely outfitted his garage, a hangout spot for himself, his friends and his teenage son, covering it with all things Dodge and Mopar. From the second he opens the garage door, you can see the extent of the knickknacks, signs, posters and model cars everywhere. There is a revolving Dodge garage sign, classic Mopar posters and even a copy of the 1976 Farrah Fawcett swimsuit picture.

According to Dodge pamphlets printed in 1970, the Coronet was “very big for the price.” In the day, the car was $3,048 for the base model. The Super Bee, which had more features and a bigger motor, listed for $3,271.

Back on the road, the couple likes to ride in their Plum Crazy car and hit a few car shows and Mopar events in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It’s a nice break from the stresses of everyday life, Durdle said.

“She likes to ride shotgun so we get out and spend some time together.”

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