Jim Degen and his buddy found this '67 Satellite resting at a body shop in Clearwater, Florida, back in 1997, with shaved door handles, 120 louvers in the hood-and the crowning touch-foot-tall letters on the rear quarter-panels proclaiming "Back in Black," an obvious tribute to the rock band AC/DC. As if that wasn't enough, the letters start out purple and fade to pink. Jim purchased this "jewel" with his friend, but eventually bought him out and put the car out of sight to avoid any embarrassment. Jim knew he had the solid foundation for a great set of wheels, so he began the process of resurrecting this once proud car.
In 1998, Jim began tackling his new project by restoring the interior to its former stock glory and replacing all the factory weatherstripping. The car had left the assembly line with a 273 tucked under the hood, but Jim felt the miniscule small-block wasn't enough. In 1999, he met Dan Crane of Mopars by Crane of Bradenton, Florida, and decided to commission Dan and his able team to give the Satellite a drivetrain upgrade, starting with a vintage '72 400 low-deck big-block out of a Newport. The 400 was stock, but freshly rebuilt. A 727 was refurbished and fitted with a shift-improvement kit, while the rearend was fitted with a 3.55 Sure Grip in place of the original 3.23 gearset. Dan and his son Scott then added a set of factory discs to the front end and an ADDCO sway bar. New rear leaf springs and a repro fuel tank round out the back of the car. Jim then added American Racing wheels shod with 235/60R15 front and 245/60R15 rear BFGoodrich Radial T/As.
Jim drove his Satellite around after the heart transplant, enjoying the newfound power before deciding to take care of the "unusual" outward appearance. Tackley Auto Body of Clearwater, Florida, was chosen to perform the plastic surgery, starting with media blasting, reinstalling the missing door handles, swapping on an unmolested hood, ironing out the wrinkles, and finally spraying on the Midnight Black basecoat and several coats of clear. A new vinyl top was installed, and the Satellite was fit for public consumption once again. After some time, Jim felt as though his big-block could use a bit more oomph, so he and his buddy swapped out the stock cam for a hydraulic Isky stick of a more radical demeanor, sporting 280 degrees of advertised duration and .480-inch lift. An Edelbrock manifold and new Holley 750 were added on top, and then a set of 3.90 gears were swapped for the 3.55s to offer even better stoplight-to-stoplight acceleration. Jim hasn't taken his B-Body to the track yet, but is planning to in the near future. He saved his Satellite from a life of ridicule, preserving it for generations to come. Oh, and Jim, we're glad you removed the graphics despite our love for AC/DC.