1968 family hauler 440 Six-Pack Powered Seats 8 hauls ButtThere are a handful of people out there that feel wagons are the only way to go. Let's face it, what other vehicle can haul eight people, a cooler of beer, and still have room for hauling parts? Other than a minivan, the choices are limited.
Larry Weiner (pronounced whiner) of Bonsall, California, found this car sitting neglected in a residential area and knew he had to have it.
Rumor has it that Herb, a long-time Mopar enthusiast, purchased this wagon new in 1968. Living in suburban Chicago with his wife and five children, a wagon was the vehicle that best suited his needs, although it wasn't much fun to drive. But he never lost his enthusiasm for the red-hot performance cars he owned during his youth, and he dreamed about having a vehicle with the kind of performance that he once enjoyed.
In 1969, with the release of the Road Runner 440 Six Pack, Herb couldn't wait any longer. he called Mr. Norm's Grand Spaulding Dodge in downtown Chicago-headquarters for ultimate performance Mopars-and asked if there was a way his nearly-new Plymouth could be enhanced with the same 440 Six Pack that made the just-released Road Runner and Super Bee renowned street and dragstrip terrors. Herb was assured that his B-Body wagon was a fraternal twin to the Road Runner and could be fitted with the full complement of parts needed. In fact, the swap was nothing more than a bolt-in, and all the parts for the conversion, including the 440 engine, were in stock. Without hesitation, he took the wagon to Mr. Norm's, and a week later, he again took delivery of his Plymouth wagon-one quite unlike any other.
A year later, Herb's brother-in-law from California flew into town for a visit. Herb took him for a ride in the wild wagon, and his brother-in-law fell in love with the car. Long story short, he made Herb an offer he couldn't refuse, and the wagon headed west on Route 66 to Southern California.
Once there, the car was further enhanced with a factory Six Pack lift-off hood, something not practical in Chicago. The automatic transmission was converted to a four-speed manual, and the interior was upgraded with buckets and a console from a GTX.
Behind the Oasis Wheels' replicated-Hurst...
Behind the Oasis Wheels' replicated-Hurst wheels is the Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation binders. The wheels are 18-inches large; the brake rotors are almost as large.
Nothing really looks out of...
Nothing really looks out of place in the interior until you notice the console-mounted shifter.
Fast forward to 2006 when Larry found the Plymouth wagon sitting in a backyard in suburban Southern California, where it had been for nearly a decade. While some of the go-fast goodies were missing, and the car was somewhat neglected, it was rust-free, completely intact, and ready to be restored to its former greatness.
The 440-powered Six Pack wagon has been carefully restored to maintain its timeless original appearance. Larry made only the most subtle visual changes, creating a vehicle that is loaded with "treats." this phantom GTX wagon is teeming with numerous detail improvements that mark it as a vehicle not only true to the era from which it came, but also one that incorporates many of the latest automotive technological improvements, making it as contemporary and relevant today as when it was first built.
A prime example is the paint. While the color is reminiscent of the original B-5 Blue, the brilliant B-5 Super Blue (Sherwin-Williams automotive finishes' Planet color) hue is a modern interpretation of the original that takes advantage of the latest in paint technology. The subtle enhancements continue with the period-correct Six Pack lift-off hood from Year One that hints at the potent Mopar mill lurking just beneath it. Other items are the classic GTX dual side-accent stripes and emblems.
The interior echos the theme running throughout the Plymouth. the bucket seats have been covered with soft, supple, Katzkin hand-sewn white leather with stitching that remains true to the original pattern. A stock console frames a Hurst Competition Plus shifter that takes up the empty space between the seats. Contrasting with the white leather, B-5 Super Blue covers all the interior surfaces, resulting in a harmony of classic-inspired textures and colors. Auto Custom Carpets provided the original-style loop carpeting in blue, lending continuity to the theme. Adding interest and detail to the interior is a complete GTX dashboard and instrument panel that replaces the mundane stock dash and cluster.
True to the way it all began in 1969, the Plymouth still sports the 440 Six Pack engine with a trio of Holley carbs perched on an Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold. To keep the engine cool, a Chrysler four-core radiator was installed. The Chrysler 440 engine was built by Van Gordon Racing and generates 465 hp at 5,500 rpm. Backing up the engine is a reliable Hays clutch that transmits the power to a genuine A833 four-speed manual transmission armed with a Hurst Competition Plus shifter. And to ensure easy, low-rpm, long-distance cruising, the wagon is equipped with a Gear Vendors overdrive. A Sure Grip-equipped Chrysler 8-3/4 differential puts the power to the pavement.
Exiting the hot gases are Chrysler high-performance exhaust manifolds, a custom-made and installed dual-exhaust system by Warner's Performance, and Spin Tec mufflers. The sound is thunderous as hot exhaust gases exit the dual, rectangular-shaped, quad exhaust tips; two exiting at the sides of the rear quarter-panels.
The stance of this wagon makes no bones about its purpose. Sitting slightly lower than stock, it stands tall and imposing compared to today's low-slung cars.
Hurst-style wheels from Oasis Alloy Wheels are wrapped with Pirelli P-Zero ultra-high-performance radial tires to lay the rubber down at launch. Further enhancing handling and stability are rebushed sway bars, heavy-duty 440 torsion bars, and a completely refreshed suspension system, both front and rear, that features Eaton Detroit leaf springs and Edelbrock IAS Performer shock absorbers.
Slowing the wagon down from high-speed runs are SSBC high-performance disc brakes that feature 14-inch slotted and vented discs, with three-piston calipers.
Further enhancing the ground-pounding performance is the timeless styling that leaves no question as to what year and brand of vehicle it is, unlike today's generic, appliance-like, front-wheel-drive cars. This Plymouth wagon beckons you to pack your bags, fill up a large cooler with your favorite refreshments, and get ready to go cruising in style.
Fast Facts: '68 Sport Satellite Wagon
Larry Weiner • Bonsall, CA
Engine: Larry began with a standard bore 440 block, and then gave it to Van Gordon Racing in Upland, California, where they opened it .040 inches and filled the holes with Speed Pro 9.8:1 pistons mounted to stock Chrysler rods and crankshaft. it sounds like a simple build, but it works. The Comp hydraulic cam features .470 inch of lift, and the duration comes in at a mild 224 degrees at .050 inch. That's just enough for a mild street cruiser. Finishing it off is the Six Pack intake and stock exhaust manifolds.
Transmission: if you plan on bangin' gears, it doesn't matter what body style you have, an 833 is a must. This one uses an 11-inch clutch and a Competition Plus shifter.
Rearend: A Chrysler 8-3/4 Sure Grip with street-friendly 3.23 gears make for a nice drive.
Horsepower and Performance: Does it really matter? It's a wagon, not a race car. It has some horsepower and performs like it should.
Suspension: Up front, the torsion bars lower the car 3 inches, while lowering springs and blocks drop the rear almost 4 inches.
Brakes: Stainless Steel Brakes' four-wheel disc brakes bring the hefty hauler to a stop.
This is probably the only...
This is probably the only known Mr. Norm-installed 440 Six pack in a wagon. It's been rebuilt relatively stock, but still hauls the mail . . . so to speak.
Wheels: Giving the appearance of a modern driver, the Oasis wheels measure 18x7 inches up front and 18x8-inches on the rear.
Rubber: not so standard 235/50/18 and 255/55/18 comprise the wagon's rubbers.
Body: All we can say is big, with a fiberglass hood.
Paint: all that sheetmetal is covered with Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes hue of B-5 Blue, applied by Mike Face Custom Painting in San Bernardino, California.
Interior: The seats are recovered in Pearl White leather by Katzkin Leather, and the headliner is custom-made by Katzkin. When it came time for the door panels, Katzkin also supplied pearl White vinyl to match the leather on the seats. The door panels are sewn in a pattern that resembles GTX door panels.