History of the 1965-1970 Plymouth Satellite
The Plymouth Satellite was introduced as an up-market variant of the Belvedere in 1965, a niche market, like the similar Sport Fury and VIP in the Fury line. Only available as a two-door hardtop and a convertible, the Satellite carried a 318-cid, 230-hp V-8 as base equipment, while optional engines included 361-cid and 383-cid V-8s, all the way up to a stonking 426-cid Hemi V-8, with 425 hp on hand. Four speed transmissions were offered, though few buyers ticked that box.
The Satellite was revised with a much sharper profile in 1966 and sales responded favorably. Chrysler introduced the 425 hp “Street Hemi,” with 817 went in to Satellite hardtops, (503 with four-speeds) and 27 into Satellite convertibles. The luxury Satellite was slightly face-lifted in 1967, with only two Street Hemis being installed in Satellite hardtops and one in a Satellite convertible.
The Satellite was extensively redesigned in 1968 to what is most commonly recognized as the Road Runner – a sculpted and sparely trimmed two door hardtop. The Satellite now offered a full line, as the Plymouth Belvedere name was being phased out. The Satellite could be ordered as a four-door sedan, two-door hardtop, a convertible, and six- and nine-passenger wagons. A new Sport Satellite line was available in hardtop and convertible guises.
The 1969 Satellite and Sport Satellite both offered five models: a four-door sedan, a two-door hardtop, a convertible, and six- and nine-passenger wagons, though the following year the Sport Satellite lost its convertibles. In all, eight engines were available for the entire Belvedere lineup, though not in all models. They ranged from the 225-cid slant-six, through V-8s of 318 cid, 340 cid, 383 cid, 440 cid, and the 426 Street Hemi.
A Plymouth Satellite with one of the larger power plants is fun to drive, but a complete paper trail is essential for the fire-breathing cars. Production numbers were incredibly strong throughout this generation, so trim and spares are easy to source, as are original and non-rusty examples.