If you've been watching the market lately, you already know that clean, well-maintained cars that have never had frame-off restorations are growing in value by the day. It has reached a point now where in many cases, collectors are willing to pay a premium for an original car compared to a flawlessly restored one, all other things being equal. If you're still confused by this phenomenon, perhaps this California-bred 1967 Plymouth Satellite will help you understand. This highly original car, with an untouched chassis, one repaint, and a ton of charm, it is just about as close to the 1967 Satellite experience as you can find today. It's a super-clean, one-owner car with a big block and some interesting options, as you'll see when you review the original fender tag:
CAR: Plymouth Satellite 2 Door Hardtop
ENGINE: 383 cubic inch 4-barrel V8
TRANSMISSION: 3-speed automatic
TIRES: 7.75 x 14 WSW
MODEL YEAR: 1967
BUILD DATE: October 12
AXLE: 3.23 Rear Axle Ratio
INTERIOR: Premium Trim Grade, Vinyl Bucket Seats. White on Black Interior
PAINT: Monotone Red Paint
OTHER: White Horizontal Accent Stripe
15: Light package
E1: Cleaner Air Package
R1: AM Radio
X2: Tinted Windshield Only
b5: Rear Arm Rest w/ Ashtray
g0: California Emissions
h7: Fender Mounted Turn Signal Indicators
Yes, that's right, the car has had one body-on repaint way back in 1988, but they exactly duplicated the original Bright Red finish. It was done before two-stage urethanes were commonplace, so the single stage paint has a lovely patina that looks highly authentic on the 44-year-old car, and if I hadn't just told you, even an expert might be hard-pressed to believe it isn't original paint. That paint hangs on 100% original sheetmetal that has never been hit, rusty, or replaced, and the doors open and close like a new car. Nobody can argue that the Satellite isn't a handsome car, with chiseled features and that dramatic C-pillar, and in red, it looks fast and agile. If you look at the panel gaps, that's how the factory did it—not perfect, but pretty darned good. There's not a trace of filler or amateur work anywhere on the car, and with the boss being a huge fan of these cars, you know he wouldn't have brought it in if it wasn't something special.
Even better, all the trim on the car is unrestored. That means the bumpers have never been tapped or bumped, and the chrome is production grade but completely unblemished. The stainless trim around the wheel arches was removed for the repaint, then reinstalled because it needed no polishing or straightening. The grille is excellent, with no damaged bars and definitely no corrosion. All the glass is original, the lenses are factory-issue, and none of the original badges required replacement when the car was painted, they were just reinstalled once the finish was dry.
With what is perhaps the most complete maintenance history ever compiled on a single car, the engine has never been removed or rebuilt. With little more than routine service over the years, the 383 still rumbles to life like a new car with a single turn of the key, and runs so sweetly that opening it up would be a crime. That sure looks like original corporate turquoise paint on the block, and while it's not perfect, it is beautifully preserved. The original accessories are all present and accounted for, while the air cleaner is the correct dual snorkel unit used on 4-barrel 383s. According to the service records, this car has been maintained to the letter as described in the owner's manual, and recent work includes authentic hoses and clamps and a fresh red cap battery. But you can rest assured that if it is under the hood, it's probably original and 100% functional. Call us and we'll send you the maintenance records, but you'll need a ream of paper in your fax machine to receive them.
Underneath, it's solid and appropriately preserved given that the car has never been apart. Look at the floors—no question this is a magical California car, with no rust or rot anywhere to be found. The transmission is a 727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic, and like the engine, it has never been apart and doesn't leak. In back, the original 8.75-inch rear carries its original 3.23 gears, and the only reason it was opened was to change the lubricant a few years ago. RK Motors Charlotte just installed a dual exhaust system featuring Dynomax mufflers, so the 383 sounds healthy but not obnoxious, and we rebuilt the front end so it tracks like a cruise missile on the highway. The only other non-stock components are the air shocks out back, but that's an easy fix if you don't need them to adjust ride height. It rolls on a set of beautiful road wheels, which were not original equipment, and they're fitted with BFGoodrich Silvertown redline radials instead of the original whitewalls, but I think you'll find the look hard to resist.
Inside, the interior has been lightly restored, but the line between new and original equipment is so blurry that there's just no way to say what has been replaced. The seats are exceptionally nice, but given the condition of the car, I find it hard to believe that the back seat could have been worn enough for the cover to be a replacement, and the front seat matches perfectly, so I'm going with original. The carpets are dark, and there are no stains, bald spots, or pulled threads, but they fit so well, it's hard to say whether they've been replaced. The door panels are most definitely original, with some light patina, but nothing noteworthy. The dashboard, with its basic gauge package, is 100% original and unrestored, and the Music Master AM radio still lives in the dash. The only upgrade is a modern AM/FM/CD stereo head unit in the glove box that operates a CD changer in the trunk via remote control and can be easily removed for shows. In the trunk, you'll discover the original trunk mat and a complete jack assembly, and we have the original spare tire that accompanies the car.
Documentation is the real reason this car is so special. Since we acquired it from the original owner, there's an unbroken chain of information to the day it was purchased, and that gentleman was meticulous with his record-keeping. But for starters, we have the original window sticker, owner's manual, warranty booklet with CertiCard, the California Emissions booklet (this is a California car, remember), the original ownership certificate from 1967 and every one since, as well as the original California black plates which are probably worth a small fortune by themselves. Then there's the maintenance history, which includes details of every service this car has ever received. If the oil was changed, the mileage and date were noted. It is all housed in a massive binder, and the owner did a year-by-year summary of mileage and maintenance from 1972 to 2008. This is one old car that has no gray areas in its past at all, and you'll be blown away by the attention to detail in its records. Amazing.
By now, you should have a better understanding of why original, well-preserved cars are so special to collectors. With no stories, no question marks, and no worries about workmanship, original cars are incredibly honest. When they are backed by the level of detail in the service records, they can be owned and driven with confidence, and there's simply nothing that feels like an original car, no matter how nice the restoration may be. This Satellite is a time capsule—this is exactly how a new 1967 Satellite would have felt in 1967 as you pulled off the dealer's lot. It's tight, precise, and surprisingly well polished, with no squeaks or rattles. With outstanding care and maintenance, it is ready to drive and enjoy today with no additional work, and you'll probably receive a very warm reception every time you show it. Original cars are special because they're only original once. No matter how much money you spend, you just couldn't duplicate this car as it sits today. And that's why collectors seek them out. Call us today!
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$299.00 Dealer Administrative Charge is not included in advertised price. All prices and offers are before state, city and county tax, tag, title and license fees. Out of state buyers are responsible for all state, county, city taxes and fees, as well as title/registration fees in the state that the vehicle will be registered. Dealer not responsible for errors and omissions; all offers subject to change without notice, please confirm listings with dealer.
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