Unique, creative and successful are just some of the key words to describe a Canadian Championship winning car from 2020……

We remain big fans of “outside the box” thinking in drag racing and Rodney Gomes’ machine most certainly “ticks all of those boxes”.  

Gomes, who lives in the far southwest Ontario community of Harrow, produced a season championship title at Grand Bend Motorplex this season driving a rather amazing Mopar car — an ultra unique ’70 Super Bee.   Gomes prevailed for what was Grand Bend Motorplex’s ultimate season title for within it’s highly successful “Thunder Series” for ET Bracket racing — winning both the track points championship for “Mod” eliminator and also the season’s end overall “Race of Champions” shootout.

Racing this ultra unique ’70 Super Bee – Ontario’s Rodney Gomes was the “top dog” for Grand Bend Motorplex’s “Thunder Series” during 2020.

Rodney’s Super Bee does have an interesting history and is also the latest chapter within his family’s deep Mopar drag racing brand background.

“I bought this car from my late father Rick Gomes back when I was 15 or so,” he reflected.  “It was really rough and I had initially planed to build it into a Street Car like my father had.  Four years ago I met Brad Gibbs.  He needed some work done on his “Brad Built” race shop (a new steel roof) and we ended up doing a trade for some chassis labour for that work.  After that we became pretty good friends and that’s basically where things evolved from.”

Despite it’s somewhat excessive length and weight — this Super Bee runs in the low 9-secs zone!

Before this Super Bee Rodney did race a ’73 model Barracuda for about six seasons.  But prior to that he was inspired by both his father’s and Uncle’s history  competing with Mopar cars.  That line included another ’70 Super Bee, a ’73 Roadrunner and a Chrysler classic model ’71 Duster  (“Cherry Bomb”) — which was built by Rick Gomes and is still raced by his Uncle (Art) today.

“Since being a boy — truly this model is my dream car,” Rodney added.  “It’s a bit unorthodox for sure — being 19.5 feet long and scaling a 3300 lbs — but it really is pretty cool going into the low 9’s in a 20-foot car!  It’s very stable and consistent.”

This Super Bee is powered by a 542 CID Big Block Mopar Wedge motor which will built by Brad Gibbs and features head work by AP Performance.  With a single 4-barrel carburetor, that motor program is rated at about 920 HP.

The race car was new to the scene early in 2020.   It gathered a lot of attention and turned heads at both Detroit’s Autorama Car Show and then racing it’s first time out at an event at SGMP (South Georgia Motorsports Park) winning some rounds impressively, before Rodney’s season focus shifted back home at Grand Bend Motorplex.

Rodney does point the majority of credit for this race car to Brad Gibbs’ versatile expertise — including the chassis, engine program, rear end assembly as well as body prep and tin work. The body paint was done by Arron Etue (JH Restoration in Windsor) the chassis paint by Mark Dimilo (Dimilo Autobody – Leamington).  The wiring was by a close personal friend (and fellow racer) Ryan Elford, while the transmission is another excellent component by highly reputed John Hutchison of Hutch’s Transmission (London ON).

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler