The 1974 Plymouth Satellite
By Mark Weisseg
By 1974 the tumble weeds had begun to roll through car dealerships. The horsepower wars were now over. Crickets sounds echo off the walls. The cars that were once mid size have now grown again or have been eliminated completely. It hurt and it hurt bad.
The car companies were now in a corner trying very hard to keep sales going after the death knell was pronounced. So, in the case of Plymouth they tried to get your interest with the Satellite again. Not a new name but a new body. Bigger, bulkier, and with more options. Yes you could have bragging rights again and spring for a big block 440 engine. But once you got behind the wheel and stabbed the gas pedal a frown would come across your face.
Just a few years earlier a 440 would have blown you back into your seat. Today, not so much at all. But guys and gals jacked up the back ends with air shocks and thrush mufflers to get that lovin’ feeling again. As we walked around the car we saw the front fenders were as long as a VW Beetle and the trunk and hood seemed to have enough steel in them to build a compact car. For those of us who were lucky enough to drive the real hot rods it was a big let down.
Gas stations still had regular gasoline as well as the unleaded fuel for now. The cars looked nice but they certainly did not have the same feeling as once before. But, we could do nothing about this and we were ready to live with our new lives. You must remember as well plenty of places were still selling bias ply tires too. Naysayers were still badmouthing the radical radial tires. Seems funny today but it’s a fact.
So, someone found this old ’74 Satellite and has decided to do some sort of restoration. I don’t think there is any need to go full throttle on this as the value curves are still at the bottom. These cars like so many other cars in the early 1970’s just have never caught on as a big collector car. And they will not either. There was nothing extra special about a ’74 unless you yourself have a special bond with that car. So, if you want to own one or restore one please don’t throw the bank account at it. You lost back then and you will lose today. Sorry.
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