426-Powered Funny Car: 1972 Plymouth Satellite

The world of old funny cars is as rich and varied as the sponsor stickers that once graced every inch of its body. While many were made, few exist today in the same form they had when ripping down a quarter mile strip – but this one does. This 1972 Plymouth Satellite / Road Runner was a garage find discovery, left there in the early 80s with the longtime owner and drag racer fell ill and eventually passed away. The car today remains a time capsule, with loads of period details and high-performance modifications suitable for a dragster. The Plymouth is a project, but a worthy one. Find it here on eBay with bids to $14K and the reserve unmet.

The seller notes he had originally thought he might use the car for its overbuilt drivetrain and then send it down the road as a rolling chassis and body. The Plymouth is powered by a factory 426 cast iron Hemi engine and a short tail shaft 727 transmission. It was initially raced with a Hilborn Injection intake system, and later swapped out in favor of a blower. The owner proceeded to rebuild the engine to lower compression specs in order to suit the blower, but while the rebuild was completed, the blower was never installed – and the car didn’t run again. The seller notes you can still see the tops of the brand-new pistons looking down the spark plug holes.

There’s some great automobilia that comes with the Plymouth, like this period racing jacket and helmet. The seller doesn’t elaborate much on these details, other than noting the original builder’s son didn’t want much to do with the car, hence why he ended up with it. The listing notes that the engine and transmission were poised to be swapped into one of the seller’s project cars, but he scuttled that plan upon seeing how original this period drag car remained. Certainly, if you’re finding the driver’s racing jacket still with the car, it’s evidence that the builder did indeed put down his tools, turn out the lights, and close the door for years to come.

The seller is open to members of the drag racing community contacting him to provide any details they can about the car or its history. The only clues beyond what the seller learned from the former owner’s son is that the chassis was built by M & S Welding in southern California, and that there’s a badge welded to the cage that spells out “63 SEMA.” The Plymouth was apparently most visible on drag strips in Las Vegas and along the West Coast from the late 70s and into the early 80s. It’s always hard to assign a value to a car like this that may not have any real historical significance, but it’s hard to ignore the cool factor of a genuine drag car. How would you restore this one – or would you?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. dirtyharry

    A series of safety enhancements for Top Fuel, Funny Car, Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car implemented this year. These include a burst-panel-activated safety shutoff system, which releases parachutes automatically when the manifold burst panel breaks; the use of a cable around the main element of the rear wing to automatically deploy the chutes if the wing breaks; improved oil catch-can systems; use of the Eject helmet removal system; and fireproof tubing around brake lines. Making this a racer again isn’t very likely, it just costs too much.

    This really is more of a museum piece than anything else, but I still want it.

    Like 13
    • Howard A Member

      I believe the burst panels and chute deployment came in 2011.

      Like 2
  2. doug edwards

    Trailer it to car shows? What else could you do with it?

    Like 1
  3. jerry z

    Someone buy it and make a “Soapy Sales” replica! Make it a cacklefest exibition car.

    Like 6
  4. Bob Roller

    The idea was to get the car to maximum speed and then hit an unmoveable
    object and launch the body over the finish line with or without the driver: (:>)o

    • John

      Wow.

      Like 2
  5. martinsane

    Very cool time capsule and sparks many memories from my youth as my dad took me to the races regularly in the early to mid 70s.

    I am sure the current owner, even thouthe aforementioned “son” has no interest in the car, certainly knows who his father was (specifically his name for one) and could be a resource of other nuggets as he was there for Pete’s sake…

    Like 1
  6. bowmade

    Shade Tree Mechanic it to a quasi street legal status and drive it expecting collect tickets like John Milner. You’d have to add a glove box though.

  7. chrlsful@aol.com

    dude did not die of a weak heart that’s for sure !
    Son may have 1 tho.
    Lets get some info on it, yeah, may B a museum at one of the tracks?

    Like 1
  8. Howard A Member

    As sponsors and interest wane, we might come full circle and these will be viable drag racers again. Hobby racers, as nobody will be able to afford to race the big boys. It’s basically a Schumacher/Force show anyway today. The “little” guys never win, and with a budget of 8+ million dollars, MINIMUM, per season, and sponsors backing out of their obligations, the fun stops there. Besides, it’s just a matter of time before EPA shuts it down altogether.
    This car? Just a toy, as legal requirements would make it unwise to pursue any competition, to be honest, sadly this is not worth a lot today. Shame, at one time, it was one wild ride.

    Like 2

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