Edi­tors’ pick DARE TO BE DIF­FER­ENT

With sum­mer just around the cor­ner, here’s a truly unique op­por­tu­nity to buy a 1966 Ply­mouth Belvedere Satel­lite con­vert­ible

New Zealand Classic Car - - Editor's Pick -

The Satel­lite was the top trim model within the mid­size Belvedere lineup, and only avail­able as a two-door hard­top or con­vert­ible. The 1966 Satel­lite fea­tured a range of V8 en­gines, from the 4.47-litre (273ci) to the mighty 6.98-litre (426) Hemi V8 en­gine, and could be op­tioned with ei­ther an au­to­matic (727) or four-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion.

For 1966, the Belvedere body’s style marked the first time that El­wood En­gel (Chrysler’s chief stylist) had been given a free reign to de­sign a fresh model based on the 1962 plat­form, and there­fore con­sign Vir­gil Exner’s un­pop­u­lar de­sign for that model year to the bin. As a re­sult, the ’66 mod­els dis­played En­gel’s trade­mark long, straight lines run­ning un­in­ter­rupted from front to back. The Satel­lite in­te­rior also fea­tured front bucket seats and a cen­tre con­sole. The vinyl trim was em­bossed to look like western-style tooled leather.

The out­stand­ing ex­am­ple fea­tured here was built dur­ing the clas­sic mus­cle car era — well be­fore Ralph Nader’s book, Un­safe at Any Speed, and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists had any no­table ef­fect on car man­u­fac­ture. This car was as­sem­bled in the Louisville plant and fea­tures the 6.27-litre (383ci) Com­mando 242kw (325bhp) V8 en­gine and four-speed trans­mis­sion.

The orig­i­nal Cer­ti­card shows it was sold new in Spokane, Wash­ing­ton state, and some old re­ceipts in­di­cate that the car was prob­a­bly re­stored in Bri­tish Columbia some­time dur­ing 2001–2002.

The Ply­mouth was first reg­is­tered in New Zealand dur­ing 2009 and was pur­chased by its cur­rent (Ti­maru-based) owner in Fe­bru­ary 2011.

When it ar­rived in Ti­maru, it was dis­cov­ered that the gear­box bear­ings needed re­plac­ing, so the first thing to do was to get the car on a hoist to re­move the gear­box and de­ter­mine what was re­quired to get the job done prop­erly. The nec­es­sary parts were sourced through a Mopar en­thu­si­ast in the North Is­land, and, while the car was on the hoist, sev­eral ad­di­tional items need­ing at­ten­tion were also iden­ti­fied. As a re­sult, it was never pressed into use as an ev­ery­day driver, and, af­ter its owner dis­cov­ered the ben­e­fits of pur­chas­ing on­line, more new parts were or­dered from the US.

To­day, the Satel­lite steers and stops as it should, and, in ad­di­tion to power disc brakes, a front sway bar, and mod­i­fied power-steer­ing box, the car is also fit­ted with Mag­num 500 15-inch wheels, Cooper tyres, a Mopar Per­for­mance elec­tronic ig­ni­tion, an Edel­brock car­bu­ret­tor, a new petrol tank, elec­tric fuel pump, and new ex­haust sys­tem —among many other im­prove­ments — mak­ing this beauty ready for an­other owner to en­joy.

The car will be sold reg­is­tered and war­ranted. Many new sus­pen­sion and other parts for fur­ther im­prove­ments are also avail­able.

The ask­ing price is $49K. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Mor­ris Greene: ph. 03 683 1508.

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