What? This Guy Turned His Charger Super Bee into a Ute!

10 min read

What? This Guy Turned His Charger Super Bee into a Ute!

10 min read

How do you stand out in the sea of Chargers, Cuda’s, and Superbirds at MoParty 2020? One way is to hack the back off your 2007 Super Bee Charger and add a truck bed. The trick, however, is to do it in such a way that passing enthusiasts have no clue if you built it or Dodge did and marooned it in some overseas market.

Tom Childers’ Ute was certainly a hit at MoParty, with no shortage of crowds gathering to gawk at the unique styling. The debate raged heavily whether it was OEM or original.

A Smyth Performance Ute kit was the basis for the build, including all relevant body panels and the truck bed. Installation was performed by Scott Bagshaw of Bagshaw Hot Rod Fabrication,

“People will come up to us and say, ’I had no idea Dodge made one of those,’ and that’s really the greatest compliment we can get,” said Childers.“ You can’t go anywhere in this car without people stopping to take pictures.”

It wasn't on a whim that Childers pursued the Super Bee ute … Super Ute? Ute-er-Bee? He bought his Charger with the express intent of transforming it into the Dodge equivalent of a Holden Maloo– one of the many truck/car mashups known casually in Australian vernacular as a “ute.”

The interior features a new, upholstered bulk head emblazoned with the Super Bee Logo. It and the radio mark the only changes to the interior.

“I wanted a Holden ute, but I couldn’t afford one,” said Childers. “It’s so expensive to get one over here and make it legal to drive. I only drove this car for 2 days before it went under the knife.”

With a little help from a Smyth Performance Ute kit, and Bagshaw Hot Rod Fabrication, Childer’s dream went from myth to metal.

“We live in Mooresville North Carolina,” said Childers. “It’s race city USA where all the NASCAR teams are. There’s just too much talent there for me to try and do [the car] by myself.

Childers instead enlisted the help of Scott Bagshaw, a former employee of Hendricks Motorsports. It took Bagshaw a mere 70 hours of labor to convert the charger from a sedan into a ute, though he felt another one would only take 50 hours. The process eliminated the rear doors and replaced the rear seat and trunk with a pickup box.

“You cut away all bodywork from the B-pillar back,” said Childers. “The suspension, electrical, and drivetrain all remain the same, but it’s 450lbs lighter than it was from the factory. It’s got a little more zip now.”

The bed is bigger than expected and completely useable. It also pulls 450lbs of weight out of the Charger.

The Smyth kit includes new body panels that install over the rear quarter panel and attach via bolts and rivets so no welding or fabrication is required. The rear windshield is sourced from a Chevy Colorado, the tailgate from a Ford Ranger, and a Dodge Caravan gave up its rear taillights to the project. After the conversion was finished, the ute was sent to Brother’s Custom Garage in Mooresville, North Carolina for paint.

Childers originally commissioned the car for HOT ROD Power Tour 2020, but with that canceled, he’s set his sights on the 2021 event. In the meantime, he’ll continue to collect odometer miles and curious glances from thoroughly tricked traffic goers.


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