Mike Kreseski from Brandon, Florida, tells us that he is a subscriber to Mopar Muscle, and always enjoys the Hidden Treasures article. Mike's story sounded cool, so we thought that we would let him tell it in his words:
I never thought I would be writing, and when I read Hidden Treasures, I wonder how these barn finds keep popping up. My brother Dan and I have been into Mopars since we were teens. My dad always had everything from a '62 Chrysler 300 with the 413 and two fours, to Max Wedge cars.
When we were in our early teens, dad told my brother and I to pick a car (it had to be a Mopar), and he would show us how to work on it, and he would pay for any tools or parts we needed. We had to do all of the work ourselves with his supervision. Dan chose a '73 Challenger, and I found a '69 Road Runner. Dan and I still have both of these cars.
We picked up many cars in the '80s, everything from a Superbird to a '71 Cuda, but the one car we could never find was a Hemi car—at a reasonable price. I remember dad going to look at Hemi cars, but something would always happen. When Dan and I reached our 20s, we grew away from cars. We kept all of the parts, but it seemed like there was always something going on. Dad passed in 2010, and Dan and I were left with never fulfilling our dream.
One day I was looking online, and spotted a '66 Hemi Satellite survivor. I went to show Dan the listing, but it was gone. A few weeks later it appeared again, and I called my brother to tell him. I went over to Dan's house, and we called the number. Don, the owner, had bought it from a childhood friend who owned it since 1977. In 1982 the starter was removed, but never put back in. The rebuilt starter was found in the trunk.
The Satellite was bought new from Zumwalt Chrysler Plymouth in Santa Rosa, California, in 1966, and then was traded in at Apache Chevrolet in 1971. The owner of Apache Chevrolet would have work done at Gray's Auto Upholstery in Santa Rosa. The owner of the dealership knew Mr. Gray well, and when the Satellite came in on trade, he gave it to him. I spoke with Mr. Gray and he bragged about how much he paid for the car. He asked me, "Do you know what I paid for it?" I said, "No." He said, "Nothing," and laughed out loud. He said he loved the car, but didn't drive it much, as it would eat clutches. He said it would jump off of the ground when he stomped it in First gear.
I asked if he remembered how Richard (Don's childhood friend), got the car. He told me that Richard's family owned a wrecker service, and he would stop by from time to time to deliver a car. One day, Richard backed the wrecker into a car that was covered in the parking lot. He went in to tell Mr. Gray he hit the car, and Mr. Gray told him it was his car but he didn't drive it much. Richard told Mr. Gray that he wanted it, so Mr. Gray tossed out a number thinking there is no way Richard could afford it. Later that day Richard showed up with a check and the car was his.
Richard eventually sold the car to Don in 2012. Don had a '66 Hemi Charger that he was restoring, so he decided to sell the Satellite, and Dan and I were just lucky to call the same day he relisted it, as the first offer fell through.
The old Satellite still has its original plug wires, and there is no rust on the body. The carpet was removed by Don, as a few mice decided to make it home. It was nice to finally fulfill dad's dream of getting a Hemi car; we just wish he was here to share it.