First Time Restoration: 1965 Plymouth Satellite
Ah the first restoration project, this is the project that we remember the most. We remember how excited we were the day we bought our new musclecar home. How we couldn’t sleep at night because we kept thinking about when she was finished, she was gonna be the fastest thing on the road. We also remember the agony, the rage and the frustration that the project bought us, but at the same time we remember the rewards such as the feeling of accomplishment and the bragging rights of having the nicest car on the road.
Ron Wynsma of Michigan recently underwent his first restoration project; a 1965 Plymouth Satellite that he nicked named “Project Pigeon Poop.” While this may not be a spectacular name like Eleanor, he named it so because the car was covered in pigeon poop after it sat inside of a barn for 15 years.
When Ron purchased the Satellite from his Son-n Law Andre’s brother, it was nothing more than a roller that stood on a set of vintage Formula 1 super stock tires. Despite sitting for 15 years covered in poop the roller was in surprisingly decent shape. After he bought it home, he wasted no time beginning his project. With the help of his Son-in Law Andre, he immediately had the car sand blasted and prepped for paint. The two of them rented a paint booth for a weekend and sprayed the car with a fresh coat of R-M Diamond red paint. After the first coats of paint where applied, Ron then wet sanded the body of his Plymouth and sprayed on the clear coat.
After the Jubilant red paint job was finished, Ron began reinstalling the trim and as well as the heater box and the glass. This completed the body work and it was time for Ron to began to working on the heart of his B Body, it’s 440 RB engine.
They stripped the 440 apart, took the block, cleaned all of it’s passages and gave it a bore of .030 over. Then it was flipped over so they could work on the bottom end. This meant installing a new crankshaft and a bundle of forged Speed Pro pistons. The crankshaft combined with the bore gave Ron an extra 57 cubic inches of displacement.
To finish it off bigger performance cylinder heads were added, these combined with the other parts gave the engine a compression ratio of 10:1. After it was completed they again stripped the motor apart and sprayed the block with light blue paint.
Ron and Andre then found a 1978 727 Torquefilte to use as the transmission which Andre rebuilt. Thee rebuild is stronger than a stock rebuild but it is not quite to racing transmission strength. They installed the motor from the bottom of the car with no problem however, they ran into the a little agony with the transmission.
Ron planned on using the factory console for the car however, it requires a 63-65 transmission cable and the 78’s cable would not work. While searching for a new console they stumbled across Imperial Services and discovered that they make an adapter kit for later transmissions.
They put the motor and transmission in place which meant the car was complete. A few finishing touches were added, these include a set of Rocket Racing Fuel Wheels which are wrapped in Michelin tires and a shaker hood which covers the motor.
Our jaws dropped when we saw the pictures of the finished Satellite. Usually most first projects ended up looking a little rough or a ratty. However, Ron’s looks perfect as if he as restored a car a thousand times. What else amazes us is the fact that he completed in one year. His Plymouth Satellite looks staggering in it’s red paint job. With it’s shaker hood, white letter Super Stock tires and it;s 440 this car looks like a 1970’s drag car. It looks like it should be rolling down Lions Drag strip in circa 1972.