Monday, October 10, 2016

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1970 Plymouth Satellite

It's still rather interesting to me the way that car companies used to do models using the same body for several different trim levels and nameplates. In 1970 you could walk onto a Plymouth dealer lot and purchase a standard Belvedere, or you could spice it up with a Satellite, Sport Satellite, GTX or Road Runner. The lower Belvedere and Satellite models were available in a full complement of body styles, but the Sport Satellite was limited to hardtop coupe, sedan or station wagon and the GTX was hardtop only and the Road Runner was coupe or convertible. This car appears to be a regular Satellite hardtop. Satellites were offered with a 225 slant six or 318 small block V8, with a two- or four-barrel 383 V8 optional.

Judging by the single exhaust, I'm guessing this Satellite is motivated by one of the tamer engines. It has definitely seen better days yet is still in regular use. It serves as an urban runabout and appears to have done so for many years. The white body is beat up, some trim is missing and rust has taken its toll in all the places that trap moisture. There is a lot of moisture in San Francisco, so much so that the trademark fog has a name (the locals call it Carl). The chrome Keystone Modular wheels have also rusted, but they, along with the white letter tires, lend the car a tougher appearance. It's like a muscle car for an action movie anti-hero.

Photographed August 2015


  1. Jay, Like your write up here on the old Plymouth. I had a '70 Road Runner with a 383 with a two bbl. Rather odd, but that's the way it came. Sadly I blew the motor just coming home from work. No horsing it, just doing 65 mph. While this Satellite has rust, dings and dents, and the springs are clearly beat, it still looks mean, wide and tough. Wish I lived out there, I'd make an offer. Would love to own one of these again.

    1. When I was a little kid my neighbor had a green '69 Road Runner with a 383 and white vinyl top. My dad helped him restore it. Sadly I never had the chance to ride in the car before he sold it. He got just $9000 for it sometime in the '90s and he thought that was pretty good money. I've always loved Road Runners ever since.

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  3. This is my friends car. It is still in use on a daily basis.