Sunroof Coupe: 1973 Plymouth Satellite

It’s far from the most exotic car you’ll see today, but the sheer honesty of a car like this 1973 Plymouth Satellite is also quite captivating. With gently sunburnt paint and a boring-but-predictable 318 under the hood, the Satellite presents as an honest driver with little to hide. The seller exposes its faults here on craigslist, which are just like the car: mild, and easy to live with.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Simon P. for the find. The Satellite is out in the big sky country of Montana, which explains the perfectly aged paint and limited corrosion. The dual exhaust gives this otherwise boring coupe some added attitude, but the hubcaps keep everything down to a muted roar. The seller mentions some interesting options for such a plain-jane coupe, including bucket seats and a sunroof.

Those options are always interesting to me, as one would assume the original purchaser of a car like this wouldn’t be interested in any over-the-top options. Perhaps a vinyl top, but that’s it – speaking of, what do you think happened to the roof that there’s primer gray paint and the sunroof panel is perfectly sunburnt – but nothing else is?

The interior needs some work, as does the engine – but it’s not serious. The seller mentions how the idle is occasionally too low and sometimes it’e perfect; regardless, it settles out nicely once it’s moving down the road. Of course, that’s fitting with the Satellite’s whole demeanor of maintaining an even keel, even when it’s initially unsettled. For $2,500 and with a clean title, this looks like a tidy, entry-level classic that won’t cause much disruption in the garage.

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Comments

  1. NotSure

    I’m thinking that it had a vinyl top and it was stripped off and primered to stop corrosion. It was undoubtedly a beautiful day when this was done and the sunroof had been left open so the guy could listen to his Mac Davis songs playing on the radio. It was only after he’d cleaned up his tools and stowed them that he closed the sunroof and then saw that he missed a “spot”! He meant to get back to it but his mail order bride arrived the next day and she kept him really busy after that…

    Like 14
  2. RICKY MATTHEWS

    I could have bought the road runner version of this car for $800.00. It ran and drove. Had a manual transmission. But i did not. Wish i would have now.

    Like 4
  3. KSwheatfarmer

    Wife had one of these as a school car. After we married her commute included eight miles of gravel road. Under wet weather the starter on its 318 would collect gravel and the next morning refuse to engage,creating panic for her,and a starter R-R ,for me.Tried lots of tricks to try and keep the starter clean but nothing worked. Finally gave it a good trading off,problem solved.Father-in-law was not happy as he had bought it for her in college and it was a “Good car”.I reminded him that I was the one laying under it eating mud trying to keep it going and could take no more.

    Like 11
  4. Will Fox

    This to me, looks like a blank slate of sorts. Vinyl top’s been removed, leaving the option of paint or vinyl again. Solid sheetmetal makes re-doing this alot easier. The interior could be customized, and add a nice paintjob that compliments the lines. This would make a cool resto-mod, and I don’t say that too often about cars here. This in a deep, dark pearl forest green would be cool!

    Like 7
    • TimS Member

      Gosh yes. Maybe imitate the vinyl top with a 2-tone paint color instead.

      Like 3
  5. John D.

    Sunroof!? I think that one is an unusual option for the period. Then I remember driving around in several Dusters with sunroofs. I even left one open over night and had a wet interior the next morning thanks to a passing but brief cloudburst. If I can’t have a convertible, at least give me a sunroof.

    Like 5
  6. Gransedan

    Plain Jane is certainly a relative term. This car is a Sebring Plus, the top trim level. The sunroof is crank operated.

    Like 6
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    It was happenstance that I came in possession of a 71 Satellite. It was yellow with black vinyl roof. Although it was a nice car there was no title so it became a parts supplier for a 67 coronet 500 to be sold at great profit.

  8. angryjonny

    I had a ’74 Satellite Sebring Plus. Green with a white vinyl top and white leather seats, 318 AT. Never should have sold it.

    Like 3
  9. Stevieg Member

    I like this car. I would just restore it back to original looking, even with the vinyl top. Under the hood, find a nice crate 360 for a little more pep, throw some factory road wheels on it & just enjoy it. I would even restore the interior to original, buddy seat and all. But that is just me. I realize someone will paint it Plum Crazy and make it into a Road Runner clone.

    Like 3
  10. Troy s

    I’d keep it gold. I don’t know, wider tires in the back maybe a set of older mags maybe not. Try to keep the interior looking stock, all that with a set of loud mufflers for the hopped up 360 to breath through, ha! Or just dress up the 318, 4 barrel high rise intake play with the timing, etc,etc.
    It is kind of an exotic car nowadays, not for us so much who remember seeing these all the time but for people in their 30’s and 40’s believe it or not. You just don’t see cars like this Satellite every day, anywhere.

    Like 2
  11. Miguel

    I personally have never liked the body style of this car.

    I don’t think I would bother with this one, sun roof not withstanding.

  12. PatrickM

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