Fuselage-body 1971–74 Plymouth Satellites are ready to lift off
Mopar B-bodies have long been among the hottest muscle cars to roll out of Detroit. From 1968–1970, the Plymouth Satellite, GTX, and Road Runner, as well as the Dodge Charger, Coronet, and Super Bee (so named after its B-body platform) brought big-block power and fantastic styling to bear on an enthusiastic market. Decades later it’s still those ’68–70 Mopars that demand some of the highest prices at auction, especially when they came with the legendary 426 Hemi.
However, the “fuselage” styling of the 1971 B-bodies seems to have polarized muscle car fans both in the ’70s and today. The long hoods and short decklids give Plymouth’s 1971–1974 Satellite a decidedly sporty look and its sister car, the Dodge Charger, looks downright sinister. While deep-pocketed collectors have kept the 440-equipped Plymouth Road Runner and GTX out of reach for a large segment of the market, the less muscular Satellite has been relatively ignored by fans of early ’70s cars. (We’ve seen before that a trim level and badge can carry much weight in a market segment.) However, the Satellite’s time in shadow may finally be at an end.
Though values on the 1971 Satellite have been steady for the past three years, with a #3 (Good) car valued at $13,000, the #2 (Excellent) and #1 (Concours) are finally beginning to rise. This uptick has been a long time coming; our insurance quoting data shows that, as Baby Boomers started to lose interest in these Satellites ten years ago, Generation X came in strong to replace that demand. We’re currently seeing that Gen Xers comprise just more than 40 percent of quoted on these ’71–74 Satellites, with Millenials showing interest as well. The strong representation of younger buyers always bodes well for the stability of future values.
Based on that strong quoting activity, the 1971–74 Plymouth Satellite has a Hagerty Vehicle Rating of 68, up from a previous rating of 40, illustrating that, according to Hagerty data, these Satellites are outpacing the average market. Given its nearly identical styling to the more powerful B-body brethren, the Satellite could follow a similar trajectory of the Road Runner and GTX as new buyers come into the market and want a taste of early ’70s muscle for a more affordable price. It’s the same reason that previously-ignored cars are gaining traction.
The Hagerty Vehicle Rating takes auction and private sales results, insurance quoting activity, and the number of new policies purchased into consideration, to sort hundreds of car models and compare them to the collector car market as a whole. Our valuation team then assigns a score from 1-to-100, with a 50 denoting a car that’s perfectly following the overall market trend. Popular cars that are gaining interest and value will score higher, those with flagging interest or sale prices score lower. A vehicle’s position on the list isn’t a sign of future collectability, it’s more of a pulse of the current market.
Don’t expect Satellites to reach the same levels of collectability as their flashier, 440-powered platform mates—trim levels and engine options still matter. Be warned, however, that a new market may appear for these sleeper cars that were previously only appreciated by hardcore Mopar fans.