Not A Road Runner: 1969 Plymouth Satellite

Between 1965 and 1974, the Satellite (or Sport Satellite) was the top trim level of Plymouth’s B-bodied intermediate that also served as the Belvedere and Road Runner. The best-selling era of the Satellite was during the redesign period of 1968-70 which also produced a hot property over at Dodge, the Charger. This 1969 Satellite convertible is a rare survivor as just 1,137 were built (plus another 818 as the Sport Satellite). It runs fine, but still needs some mechanical work and a cosmetic makeover will be required. Located in Foxboro, Massachusetts, this Mopar project is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $4,350 with an unmet reserve. Keep tips like this coming, T.J.!

This Satellite has a VIN, cowl tag, and build sheet that all confirm it’s an unmolested example from the Plymouth heydays of the late 1960s. From the seller’s perspective, it appears to be original, “down to the carburetor, air cleaner, interior, body panels…” and so forth. It runs well enough although the carburetor seems to be finicky and may require a rebuild. The powerplant is Chrysler’s tried-and-true 318 cubic-V8, paired with a column-shifted 3-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The brakes are going to need some attention as they’re “spongy” even after new wheel cylinders were installed (master cylinder maybe?).

Rust is something of a problem with this Plymouth, such as with the fenders and lower quarter panels and the driver’s side rear frame rail has a couple of holes. The trunk is solid and we’re guessing there’s no reason to be concerned about the floors. Though well worn, the paint could be original, which was a popular color, Ivy Green Metallic. The convertible top could be passable except for the rear window, which is long gone. But the power mechanism still works, which is a plus. You’re going to have to redo the front beach seat anyway, so you might as well recover the rear while you’re at it.

The seller toys with the notion that this could be a great car to clone as a Road Runner convertible. But that wasn’t as rare as the Satellite convertible when knew at 1,890 copies built (they were only offered in ’69 and ’70). So, for rarity’s sake (and originality) and the fact this car is not in bad shape, I wouldn’t go that route. You could always show up at Mopar events and brag about how your car is the less plentiful one. And gets better gas mileage!

Comments

  1. Rixx56 Member

    I agree, Russ; leave it a Satellite. Beautiful car.
    One I’d love to own!

    Like 13
  2. Dave

    Sorry to disagree; but it’s a perfect clone car, or at least take it further as a dressed up satellite, a hood, mags, duals. Good info about rarity of satellite convertible.

    Like 3
  3. Rico

    Actually I was all set to bid on it but then I saw where it was: the northeast rust belt.
    My brother and I buy and sell cars, quite a number in fact, and we’ve both learned that the best cars and trucks come from southern Nevada, western Arizona and California, south of San Francisco. Sometimes we’ll find a nice one out of South west Utah.
    Rust is just too expensive to repair.
    Whoever gets this one, good luck with it.

    Like 3
    • Chuck Dickinson

      Apparently, Rico, you never checked out cars from the Pacific NW. THOSE are the best in the country, by far. No salt use, no triple-digit summers to burn the interiors up, or smoggy LA air to screw up chrome plating. Unless the car had been from a coastal area, or parked under trees for 30 years, you absolutely will not find better cars ANYWHERE.

      Like 2
      • Rico

        People believe that about southeastern cars, too.
        I’ll agree that some are a gem, but most aren’t.
        The Pacific Northwest is soggy, witness the only rainforest north of theTropic of Cancer. Constant rain means rust. Snow means rust, and that’s the long and the short of it.
        SLC is considered the high desert, like southern Nevada, SLC has a lot of snowfall in the winter, not to mention a SALT LAKE.
        I almost bought a Blazer from SLC and it was terrorized by oxidation, but it looked great.
        Now, I’m sure that they have more nice cars than say western NY,, where I was born but left almost 50 years ago, but they have some very nice cars there, too.
        I’ve learned over the years that I’ll deal with the burned paint and interiors because a paint job is cheaper than a replacement quarter panel or a new frame.
        My oldest brother, God rest his soul, brought a 356 B out here from the Boston area. It even made the drive from Boston to Las Vegas by itself with no break downs.
        The theory was that those cars must not have a lot of rust because the vehicle inspection back then said that if there was visible rust and you couldn’t cover it with a silver dollar, it didn’t pass. His car looked great, but once we got it on the lift, it was toast.
        Like I said, I’ll stick with Southern Nevada, Western Arizona and California south of San Francisco, you can have the rest, like this “not a road runner”.

  4. rod

    I’m in the final phase of doing a 69 sport satellite that everyone wants me to clone too. No way. Only 401 of mine built in this configuration. Lots of rust repaired but it’s an act of love for Mopars.

  5. T. Mann Member

    Today I talked with a classic car dealer who I have personally known for 20 years. One subject we talked about this exact car.
    He sent his man to inspect it.
    One frame rail is gone!
    Body damage and bondo everywhere.
    This rust bucket is too expensive to repair.
    Stay far away from this one!!!

    PS: good Mopar write up, looks like you did research Russ :-)

    Like 8
  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I gotta give the seller credit for showing the frame rail rot. No real mention of it in the seller’s write-up, but the pictures tell the story.

    Like 2
  7. George Birth

    Any kind of frame rot is going to be expensive to repair correctly. Flippers don’t care, a cheap paint job and move it and any problems on to next buyer. Preform a thorough before bidding or buying. Save a lot of buyer remorse.

  8. Jasper

    Fix the rotted out frame rail and leave as it is. There is something so perfect about this one…as it sits…even the crooked rear plate. A ‘69 Satellite convertible beater as seen in 1981.

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