After sitting in storage since 1966, the car is once again in the daylight.
Our story begins on June 10, 1964. That's the date my father got the call about the Plymouth he had ordered from Farraro Motors in Parsippany, New Jersey. There had been many phone calls and conversations in order for my father to get this very hard to obtain white '64 Hemi Plymouth Savoy. It finally arrived at the dealership early one summer night on the back of a car transport. no fan fare, no big racer's open house-it just arrived.
At the time I was just six years old, and my father asked me if I wanted to go see his new Plymouth with the "space age" engine. I immediately said yes. We drove to the dealership in my father's '64 Chevelle SS convertible, powered by a 327 and a four-speed.
Arriving at the dealership, we saw the trailer with two four-door cars, a station wagon, and this plain Jane grandma's car on it. I asked my dad where the car was because I didn't see a convertible or anything comparable to his SS. He said, "There it is," and pointed to the post car on the back of the trailer with wheels that didn't even match. yep, the grandma car was my father's new car. At the time, I was devastated that he would buy such an uncool car. in 1964, if someone had a post car with no chrome, he or she was either old or had no style. Needless to say, I was disgusted at the thought of being driven to school in that, and I told my dad that I was just going to sit in the Malibu.
I grew even more upset as I sat in the Malibu on that summer night watching my dad try to start the Hemi while it spat and sputtered through the single exhaust. I heard the valvetrain tricking away, and he could hardly keep the engine running. But the car was finally driven home, and my father got it ready to race. He named the car Satellite because of the "space age" engine and the lightweight package. He changed the exhaust and camshaft, added 7-inch-wide slicks, a tachometer, some other gauges, and it was off to the races. It was then I finally started to like this car.
My dad match raced the car and only lost one out of the sixty he participated in. Win after win, the match race money was good. The only car that beat my father's was the Mickey Thompson-owned, Butch Leal-driven '64 Thunderbolt.
The Satellite participated in only one national event, but it was disqualified for a polished ring gear, even though the rule book never actually said that was not allowed. The car was running 11.01 at the time, and the National Record was 11.09. After that, my father never ran a national event again. He raced the car for about two years until NHRA factored the car out. He said he wasn't going to cut up or beat his car to death just to race.
In 1966, he put the Hemi away, and it was not seen again . . . until now. After my father's passing, my brother Wade moved the car to his house and is caring for it at this time. The Satellite is truly a regional piece of racing history and a real find for the hobby.
Realizing the car is too valuable, financially and sentimentally, to race, we decided to show it-not as a gussied-up show queen, but as my father raced it. Since I work at Moroso Motorsports Park, I thought it would be a great idea to have my family bring the car to a show there. I suggested this concept to the new Moroso Motorsports Park staff, and they approved it immediately.
The four events showcased at the car show will be: classic car show, inaugural drag race, noted racing celebrities, and factory-backed, vintage race cars. My brother is planning to bring the Satellite to the November '08 car show-its first public appearance in 42 years.
Now that Moroso Motorsports Park is, hopefully, putting together the largest collection of factory race cars of all types, we will all be able to see these very limited-production cars. It will be a tribute to my dad, who had the insight to buy one of these super stock 426 Hemi aluminum Plymouth Savoys in 1964 with the "space age" engine.
Timeslips show everything from a 10.91 to a 12.19.
Memorial Classic Car Show
Moroso Motorsports Park
November 8 & 9, 2008
- 1 of 55 made
- Approximately number 46th shipped
- White with red interior
- First Plymouth named Satellite
- Later model with Holley carburetors
- Rare bubble windshield
- Aluminum bumper changed to lightweight steel
- Original paint
- Confirmed by serial number to be an authentic lightweight by Darrel Davis
- 55 extra parts were produced for these cars, not to mention bodies in white