In September 2020, I bought a 1973 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus for $4,500 on Craigslist having only seen it in pictures. This is risky… for all I knew, the pics weren’t recent or weren’t even the car I would get! My biggest fear as is often the class when buying older cars is rust. That’s easy to hide in pictures with some filler and primer.
I picked this car because it’s the same body used in the highly collectable Plymouth Roadrunner and Plymouth GTX muscle cars, the Chrysler B body.
The car arrived on a flatbed. It started right up, although there was a noticeable puff of white smoke (oil) from the tailpipe on startup. It immediately went away though, so not a huge deal. I am planning on eventually rebuilding the motor anyway. Once she was in my driveway, I took a weak magnet (think flexible refrigerator magnet) and was ecstatic to find no rust at all other than a bit of surface rust in the usual places such as where the window trim meets the body. In fact, I couldn’t find any body damage at all! Not even a door ding. Given that the previous owner worked in an auto body shop, it seems he’d done a lot of the work for me to prep the body for final paint. Awesome! He even left a nice 3/8” torque wrench in the trunk, although I later found out that that was left in error.
Since the previous owner left the plates on the car (kids, don’t do that), I jumped in to see how she drives. Steers, stops, moves in all gears. Great! The steering is a slop-fest, the brakes need bleeding, but the de-tuned Chrysler 318LA (5.2L) motor feels like it has most if not all of its original 170-ish horsepower. Not bad!
Next up: cleaning up the grime on the motor and deciding how to attack the steering slop.