Road Runner Aspirations: 1969 Plymouth 383 Satellite

Well, it’s not a Road Runner but it has Road Runner leanings. This 1969 Plymouth Satellite has a mish-mash of Road Runner and Satellite trim and underhood motivation more closely representative of the former. It’s not a clone and there is no attempt to represent it as such, it’s just an unassuming barn resident, with sporting intentions, from Newnan, Georgia. This Plymouth Satellite is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $13,000, OBO. Thanks to Russ D. for this tip!

Plymouth’s upscale intermediate, the Satellite, could be optioned in ’69 with performance components that essentially comprised the Road Runner. The biggest difference being the engine where the Satellite employed the “Super-Commando” 383 CI V8 and the Road Runner utilized the five horsepower higher “Road Runner” 383 CI V8. The Satellite was festooned with additional external trim, whereas the Road Runner want for the plainer, Belvedere “trimless” look.

One of the most notable differences between the Satellite and the Road Runner is the hood. The Road Runner employed a “performance hood” with two upward-facing scoops that could be incorporated into the “Air Grabber” which was designed to force air into the Road Runner’s carburetor. This Satellite is replete with a Road Runner hood but it is not evident if it is equipped with the Air Grabber components. The body and underside of this Satellite look pretty solid. The paint is faded and burned off of the horizontal surfaces but there is no sign of rust-through. This is really encouraging as the vehicles with the most extensive rust conditions that I have covered here on Barn Finds are usually Plymouths and Dodges of this era. It appears that this Plymouth may have been adorned with a vinyl roof covering at one time but it’s now gone and the underlying steel will be better for it. The exterior has a decidedly age/road-worn look about it but it is entirely presentable still. The chrome slotted wheels, with new white-letter tires, continue the late ’60’s/early ’70s vibe.

Under the hood is a 383 CI V8 engine that is advertised as a “Road Runner” engine, but the listed horsepower is 330, not the Road Runner’s 335. More than likely, this Satellite would have been equipped, originally, with a Super Commando 330 HP, 383 CI V8 engine but there is no way to know for certain absent the non disclosed VIN. The seller claims that there is a new fuel/system, brake system, and Edelbrock carburetor that has been installed on this 175K mile example. There is no mention of this Plymouth’s running capability. Attached to the back of the engine is an A-727, TorqueFlite, three-speed automatic transmission.

The interior of this Plymouth is showing its mileage and age, but not terribly so. The driver’s bench seat needs to be reupholstered and the steering wheel is missing some chunks around the dial but there is nothing else obviously wrong that a good, deep cleaning wouldn’t fix.  The only noted addition is what appears to be a “Sun” tachometer either suspended from the dash overhang or attached to the steering column.

There are several options here that one could pursue. You could go full Road Runner replication or reverse and maintain the original Satellite presence. And of course, you could just continue with the inbetweener status of this Satellite/Road Runner hybrid. What do you think, what would be your preference?

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Comments

  1. TimM

    A solid looking car with all the parts there for 13K!!! Might be the buy of the week for someone to get a great looking car at a decent price!! I would bet that it will be bought and cloned though!!

    Like 5
  2. George Mattar

    Am I out of touch with the current market for late 60s Mopars? $13,000 for this 51 likely rusted heap. I would rather put that toward a C2 Corvette. I had 68 Satellite in 1979. I paid $600 from the original owner. All kinds of problems and the car was 11 years old. B5 Blue. 318 auto. Rusted quarters. Door split at the corner. Seat torn Just like this one. Who buys these cars? You never see them on the road. Ever. Today it was 70 and sunny. Hoping he wife for a 75 mile ride in our 73 Corvette that I bought $10,000. Sat in garage for 25 years. No accidents. No rust Bird cage or frame. Yes I had to do brakes, suspension and exhaust. Runs perfect. T tops out and 4 speed is my therapy.

    Like 2
    • Chris M.

      Opinions. We’ve all got them George.

      Like 13
    • Mr.BZ

      Most of the C2s I have seen for sale for the last 20 years have been in terrible shape, driven so hard and abused, with bad fiberglass repairs and resale values near the low end of the spectrum. These 68-73 Mopars at least have the current reputation for high resale values, something the average C2 still has not achieved. To each, his own.

      Like 4
      • Mr.BZ

        ….sorry, I was referring to C3s (like Georges), not C2s.

        Like 2
      • Terry King

        Mopars have always been cheap rust buckets. But now in muscle car mania anything goes. C2’s are not cheap. You’ll never get one in any condition for 13000. This mopar is worth the money. But it’s not for me. I just missed a rust free ’68 396 for 7000. I’m still stinging from that.

        Like 2
    • bone

      You bought a beat up 11 year old car for $600.00 and you’re complaining it wasn’t a good car ?

      Like 3
  3. Troy s

    Always thought the Super Commando stood for four hundred forty cubic inches, not the 383. Not that it matters as this looks like a blast. Keeping it un-refined and noisy with shiny mags, what teen agers and gear heads usually drove, that’s my preference.

    Like 2
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Troy:

      I thought the same thing but the ’69 Plymouth sales brochure bestows both the 383 and 440 CI engines with the moniker “Super Commando”. The Road Runner engine (which I always thought was called a “Magnum”) is just referenced as a Road Runner 383.

      JO

      Like 2
      • Troy s

        That’s the thing about all this, there’s no end to the learning! Whenever I heard 383 Magnum or 440 Magnum I always thought that was a Dodge title for basically the same engine, super commando or the Chrysler tag 440 TNT, or the six barrel Plymouth/six pack Dodge. Great stuff!

      • stillrunners Stillrunners Member

        273 Commando – 383 Commando – 440 Commando in the Plymouth line….the 340 – just had 340 4 barrel on the air cleaner….Magnum is a later designation…… correct me if I’m wrong……….Dodge did have a little difference on the 273 HP air cleaner – it said 273 Charger……..

  4. pugsy

    The metal looks to be in excellent condition, unlike earlier comments of rust heap.

    Like 1
  5. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    TNT was more for the Chrysler line of 440’s on the air cleaner……..

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