Members Rides & Letters
A Survivor-My 1967 Plymouth Satellite
By Frank Wemple
No doubt most members of Mopars In Motion appreciate how rare it is to find a ’67 Plymouth Satellite in totally stock condition and this was one reason I bought this car. Another reason was that I came to appreciate superior Chrysler engineering when I attended college in a small town in central Missouri from 1964 to 1968 and became well acquainted with the local Chrysler-Plymouth dealer and his family. They actually became my family away from home and I spent a good deal of time at their dealership (more time than I should have spent away from studying!). I bought a new ’67 Barracuda from them and after I returned from Vietnam they were kind enough to sell me a new ’71 Barracuda at cost.
|Then in June of 2011, I came across this 1967 Satellite
that was being sold by a dealer in North Carolina. After studying the pictures
on the dealer’s web site and reading the description several times, I knew
this was exactly what I had been looking for! I called the dealer the next
day only to discover that three or four people had called ahead of me and
at least one of them was almost certainly going to take the car. However,
nobody had put down any money, so I decided to put down a credit card deposit
and take a chance. I was quite apprehensive as this was the only car I
ever bought without having looked at it, but I was afraid (and probably
rightfully so) that if I went down to look at the car, someone would get
in ahead of me with money. It turned out that I wasn’t the least bit disappointed
as the car was exactly as the dealer described it.
This car was originally ordered by Coast Chrysler Plymouth in Manhattan Beach, California, in late 1966. It came with a 383 V-8 with a four barrel carburetor, the most powerful engine available in a Plymouth B Body car other than a GTX. Other options included the heavy duty 727 Torqueflite automatic transmission, a console and floor shifter, power steering, a Plymouth Transaudio radio and several other options.
After acquiring the Satellite from Mike’s son and daughter following his death, the North Carolina dealer replaced the seat covers and door panels with authentic Legendary Auto Interiors exact reproductions and replaced the original wheels and deluxe wheel covers with chrome road wheels which were an option but were not originally on this car. I have been told by a couple of knowledgeable people that this car can be used as a guide for someone who wants to determine exactly how Plymouth originally made a 1967 Satellite. I was very pleased when I attended a local Mopar meet and overheard a guy remarking to his friend, “When have you ever seen an unmodified ’67 Satellite with a 383?” A rare automobile indeed.
||Driving this car is certainly fun and even with Ethanol gas the performance is truly impressive. While these cars were not designed for sports car handling, the torsion bar front suspension and rear leaf springs in the rear result in better cornering than most American cars of the period. One drawback is that the power steering is exceedingly light with virtually no road feel, but that’s what people liked, or were at least used to, back then. While manual steering would provide more road feel, it would be slower and undoubtedly rather heavy with that big 383 engine sitting up front. Despite these minor flaws, however, the car is really fun to drive and I don’t need much of an excuse to take it out for a spin.|
Why joining MIM is like getting an infection. I joined MIM the spring of 2010. At first I thought it would be fun to go to a few cruise nights and a few car shows but after attending a few events something strange started to happen. The more I talked to people and looked at their cars; I started to see my own car in a different light. How could I make my car nicer? Can I get it to shine a bit brighter? Is it all original? Do I have all the possible documentation on the car? Before I knew I had caught the “bug”.
In 2010 I may have caught the “bug” but during 2011 it became a full blown “infection”. I couldn’t wait for the start of the cruise nights and for the first show. I was always checking to see who else had a show in the area. I attended my first AACA show in 2011 (3rd place modern), my first national show in St. Johnsbury VT, WPC (2nd place modern), ? (http://www.chryslerclub.org/meetinfo.htm) and my first Mark’s Classic Cruise. It seemed every week or two there was an event I wanted to attend. Before I knew it, it was October and I was at my first SuperCar Shootout in Lebanon Valley and the season was over.
Ralph, Sharleen and the MIM board of directors, thanks for promoting and spreading this love of MOPARS and I hope the 2012 season will spread the “infection” and more people catch the “bug”.
Martin Kapalczynski 1987 Dodge Diplomat
Why Join Mopars In Motion
A letter to the club from Sean Secondo
Dear Mopars In Motion, Why join Mopars In Motion? Why would a Ford man join your club? Especially a long time loyal Ford owner and Carroll Shelby fan? A man whose hobby is a Ford SVT Shelby GT500 Cobra Mustang and a Ford Edge as a daily driver? A man whose girlfriend just bought a brand-new Mustang GT 5.0? And the only Mopar in his life was a Chrysler New Yorker 5th Avenue that he tried talking their dad into NOT buying when he was a kid? (He should have listened!) A man who, when born, was taken home from the hospital in his mom's 1967 Firebird and later growing up excited to ride in her 1968 Pontiac Grand Prix 428? A man who was almost a Pontiac man (whew!) but received a "Mustang" electric rider toy car for his 1st birthday and have been into Mustangs ever since? And to continue his affection for these cars, grew up living near a Ford dealership and classic Mustang parts and accessories store?
Well, that man is me. I've been cruising the Berlin Turnpike for years. Started hanging out at Roy Rogers every Friday and Saturday night in with my 1972 Mustang Sportsroof. It was there when I first met Ralph Barbagallo in 1989. He had his '67 GTX. It sported a stock Hemi engine and mine had a 351C. We were about equal in a quick drag race. I immediately took a liking to him and respected his choice in American muscle and so did he. Now, that's not to say I didn't get any pot-shots against the Mopar brand and he didn't get any against my ride and Fords but we always laughed after and continued our friendship and enjoyment of cruising and showing off our cars. Fast-forward to the present. We still cruise the 'Pike and Ralph has started his own organized cruise down the street at Burger-King and more importantly, the SuperCar Races, SuperCar Shootout and became President of the Mopars In Motion club. I attended my first Mopars In Motion car show in 2011 and attend most of the cruises, some of the SuperCar Shootouts and the last winter’s Mopars In Motion party.
From what I have seen, the camaraderie among the Mopar crowd is very pleasant and refreshing. The car show and party was top-notch and full of class. Everyone respects one another and is always ready to lend a helping hand or give advice. If I had some extra money and space, I would love to own a classic '70 'Cuda or a brand-new Challenger. I joined your club for all these reasons; but most of all, I joined because it helps promote, maintain and preserve our American Musclecar hobby. Of which, your club is the model of all modern American car clubs. I highly respect your club and your president, Ralph Barbagallo. Without him, none of this would be possible. So, thank you Mopars In Motion club and my friend, Ralph. I proudly display my 'MIM' window cling on my GT500!
Sincerely, Sean Secondo