Travis writes: Like a lot of people I was going to eventually build another car, eventually. I was waiting for the right car to come along, get the kids through school, get a shop ready, have enough money saved...all the right reasons to wait. Then in March, 2006 I ended up having bypass surgery and decided it might be time. You can imagine how disappointed I was when I realized I wasnt going to live forever and that time might be an issue. In April, six weeks out of intensive care, I was on my way to Missouri with a borrowed trailer to pick up the Satellite. Like most, it looked a lot better in the photos; but the gentleman I bought it from was straight up about the condition of the car and I knew what I was getting into. There was a time when I built a car a year but that was a long time ago when they were in better shape and I was too.
|Cars from my past made a big impact on me and when Chrysler brought out that hardtop roofline in 1964 I thought it was an absolutely brilliant design. I knew at some point I would have to have one and when it was time start looking I was on the hunt for a 1964 Dodge or 1965 Plymouth. The Plymouth showed up first. I was determined to perform a pure restoration right down to the 14 inch wheels and hubcaps; but when I picked the Mopar up I realized the fender tag was missing (I forgot to ask), I wasnt that fond of the original color, the motor was a 1962 383 2 barrel that wasnt even bolted in and, come to think of it, I had never not modified any of the twenty or so hobby cars Id owned in the past. Sounded like permission to go off the reservation to me.|
|The Satellite was built over a seven-plus year period at home except for the paint, exterior metal work and front seat upholstery. The body had the usual problem areas and the front floorboards, lower front fenders and lower quarter panels had to replaced. The exterior metal work and paint was completed by my good friends at Damichi Motors in Hammond, La. The main body color is Orion Silver, House of Color and while it is amazing in the sunlight, it takes on a life of its own under the lights at night.|
|Front suspension is made up of 1" torsion bars, 11/16" tie rods, tubular upper control arms, reinforced lower, adjustable strut rods and gas shocks. The rear has new leaf springs with 1 additional leaf added, gas shocks, 21" Cal-Tracs (best thing on the car) and reinforced spring mounts. All suspension uses poly bushings and I tied the frames. The tires are 235/60/15 front and 275/60/15 rear. (My alter ego tires are Diamondback red line Michelins front 225/70/15 and 28" MT radial slicks on steel wheels on the rear.) Power goes through a four-speed transmission into a 4:10 rear end. The car hooks extremely hard and I havent even tried the radial slicks yet.|
|The engine is a 1972 440, 60 over and compression ends up about 10.6 to 1. The engine has a 1971 6 pack crank and rods running a hydraulic Purple Shaft cam, Mancini chromoly pushrods and shaft with Mopar rockers. The heads are 440 Source Stealth aluminum and while I plan to pocket port and intake match them in the future, the thing is so strong I may just leave it alone. It pulls like a freight train.|
A couple of words for those just starting out on your journey with a 1962 to 1965 Mopar. Take your budget and triple it, better yet toss it out altogether. Thank your supportive spouse every day for not asking how much things cost or questioning how much time they spend alone because you are out in garage. And most important, stay after it, one day the Mopar suddenly comes together and it will be worth it. Good luck!