While the 426 HEMI torch was eventually passed to brighter and flashier Mopars of the late 60s and early 70s, the mid-60s B bodies were the original fire breathers. With their knife-edge lines and emphasis on comfort, they mixed style and substance in ways seldom seen since. This 1966 Plymouth Satellite was a car you never wanted to see at a stoplight, but always wanted to see in your garage. One of just 503 produced with the lethal combination of a 426 HEMI and an A833 4-speed, the rare hue and options sheet further narrow the car down to a true 1 of 1. Treated to a comprehensive restoration that used original and NOS pieces almost exclusively, this Satellite presents as new in every way imaginable. Supported by both Daimler Chrysler historical documents and a report from Galen Govier, you can trust what you see as well. If you’ve laid low waiting for the perfect HEMI Satellite, the wait is over!
We’ll get started by decoding the VIN:
H: 426 HEMI V8
7: St. Louis, MO
236XXX: Sequence number
And fender tag highlights:
314: Scheduled for production on April 14, 1966
02129: Shipping order number
R: Plymouth – 116-inch
23: Two-door hardtop
P4R: Red all-vinyl bucket seats
QQ1:Dark Red Metallic roof and body paint
A7: 426ci HEMI V8
B3:Two four-barrel carburetors
C3:4-speed manual transmission
R1:2-watt AM radio
u1: Sold car
When the car left the St. Louis assembly line, it headed northeast to Johnson Motor Sales in Lenoxville, PA. Just a year later it was registered in Binghamton, NY and, by 1971, had crossed the country for a fresh start in the San Fernando Valley. That time spent in Los Angeles gave the car a considerable advantage when it came time for restoration work in the early 2000s. The body needed little more than replacement trunk floor drop offs to be whole again. From there, efforts focused on blocking the body into a perfect canvas for a sleek new coat of Dark Red Metallic paint. The paintwork is beyond reproach, casting mirror-like reflections from every imaginable angle. Fitment is equally impressive with narrow and even shut lines supporting the car’s strong initial impression.
This Satellite is a gentleman’s muscle car in every sense, hiding its performance capabilities behind a facade of hard lines. At the front, a pristine stainless grille makes room for a pair of large round parking lights and even larger headlamps beneath crisp lettering that spells “Plymouth” across the lip of the hood. Below, a mirror-like chrome bumper runs the width of the front end, pausing only for the center-mounted license plate recess. A small hood ornament leads into the sleek flat hood while, further back, the greenhouse is filled with crystal clear glass. The side profile is outlined by a trim strip that runs the length of car above the beltline, mirrored by showroom-fresh rocker trim and bright wheel well molding below. More practically flawless trim outlines the vent window and underscores the tapered C-pillar while a combination of crisp badges, chrome door handles, and chrome mirrors fill in the profile. The quarters are capped by unique taillights that wrap around, framing the stainless deck lid above a second show-ready bumper.
Of course, the star of the show is the 426ci HEMI V8 wedged between the fenders. The foundation is a 2468330-2 HEMI block with a 1.18.66 date code. It was too early for VIN stamps but the date code aligns well with the build date and the engine is believed to be original to the car. Chrysler did a lot to tone down these engines for the street and all those signature pieces are here and in full working order. Up top, a chrome-lidded air cleaner assembly with a discrete “426 HEMI” decal tops a pair of Carter four-barrels mounted to a correct 2780543 dual quad intake. At either side, cast iron heads topped with black wrinkle finish valve covers and chrome breathers keep the stock look going. The front of the engine turns a vintage alternator alongside a factory steering pump while the water pump and fan pair with a 26-inch radiator to keep the engine cool. Turn the key and a fresh red cap battery sends fire to a reproduction ignition coil while a dual-point distributor channels that spark through fresh Chrysler Corporation wires. Exhaust is handled by stock cast iron exhaust manifolds that send spent gases out through a dual exhaust system with and H-pipe and Flowmaster mufflers. Thanks to fresh paint, correct hardware, and expert detailing, the bay presents as new in every way.
Shine a line underneath this B-body to find a clean undercarriage restored to the same high standards as the rest of the car. There’s no undercoating here – the floors are finished in the same sleek red as the body above, setting a bright stage for all the new hardware and lines below. Behind the 426, an A833 18-spline four-speed transmission offers authoritative shifts. It’s not the original unit but it is correct for the car and a rebuild by T&R Drive Train in Tarzana, California ensures it’s in place for the long haul. Out back, a Dana 60 makes the most of HEMI torque thanks to posi and 4.10 gears. The torsion bar front and leaf spring rear suspension have been completely restored, featuring correct staggered leaf springs and new shocks all around. When the road curves, factory power steering makes the most of driver input while manual drum brakes stay true to factory form. At the corners, 14-inch steel wheels with full stainless colors meet the road through 7.75-14 BF Goodrich Silvertown blue line tires that provide an interesting contrast with the Dark Red Metallic paint.
Aside from building legendary power plants, Chrysler of the mid-60s also excelled at creating luxurious and stylish interiors. Like the exterior, the cabin of this Satellite is dressed in a unique shade of red. Front row seating is provided by a pair of vinyl-wrapped buckets, divided by a stylish stainless-trimmed center console that offers storage space along with room for the Hurst shifter and optional console-mounted tachometer. The dash shape brings the exterior’s sharp lines inside, filling them with horizontal factory gauges that monitor temperature, fuel, speed, and alternator output. Controls for the lights and wipers sit to the left of the speedometer while heater controls fill in the space to the right. Entertainment is provided by a tagged Chrysler Solid State radio which, like the rest of the interior, looks pristine. Overhead, a taut headliner stretches across the roof, anchored by fresh chrome trim at the sides and matching visors up front. Both vinyl seats and door panels alike feature a Western Scroll design, adding an unusual detail to the aesthetic. Under the deck lid, a nicely restored trunk space offers a full-size spare, roadside tools, and all the right decals to finish off the car’s authentic presentation.
This Mopar rarity is supported by Daimler Chrysler paperwork that spells out both its VIN and fender tag in detail. There is also a copy of the IBM punch card, two registrations from 1967 and 1971 respectively, and a Galen Govier report to further underscore the car’s options.
Restored to near perfection and ready to claim more trophies, this restored and documented 1966 Plymouth Satellite is a Mopar you definitely want on your side. With its correct 426 HEMI, slick-shifting 4-speed, and host of unique attributes, this B-body operates in the sweet spot between fun and collectability. If you’re ready to take your Mopar collection to the next level, jump into this Satellite’s orbit today!