Once all the hardware was fitted to the B-Body, off it all came for paint, but not just any paintjob or a re-do of the original acrylic enamel. Steve called on one of the top body and paint men in the West. "The paint was done by Freddy Valdez," says Steve of Freddy's work, which included smoothing the sheetmetal. Steve adds, "More than one person has told me that's the finest paintjob that they've ever seen. I was at a show with it one time, and a guy walked up and said, 'Who painted this? It had to be so-and-so or Freddy Valdez.' I said, 'Yeah, that was Freddy Valdez,' and he said, 'Nobody else paints like that!'"

Inside, the reproduction bucket-seat interior, featuring seat covers, door panels and other cabin items by Legendary Auto Interiors, was installed by Henry Toro at The Upholsterers in Riverside. Henry also stitched the interior side panels' custom vinyl trim, as well as the cloth convertible top and custom top boot.

The result, after a three-year build, is a '66 Plymouth that's worth taking a good look at-as well as a good look at yourself in that mirror-like sheetmetal. What's it like to drive? "The best way to describe it is it doesn't do anything ill," says Steve. "Everything it does is very predictable. It tracks incredibly well. You get on it around a corner, the rear end doesn't try to come around-it drifts out perfectly. It's very, very easy to drive." But that's not all. Steve says with a big laugh, "It's remarkable how well it corners and how well balanced it is."

If this inspires you to seek out a potential Mopar project via the classic-car ads, Steve has these words of caution: "If something has undercoating, be very, very careful. Go and look at the car-investigate it in person. Don't take somebody's word for it."

Steve adds, "Dare to be different. Anybody can build a Chevelle, Camaro, or Mustang. Use some imagination!"

Fast Facts

'66 Plymouth Satellite convertible

Owned by: Steve Sommers, Riverside, California

Mopar Power

  • Engine: Greg Bolton built the 426 Hemi with Mopar aluminum heads, Eagle crankshaft, Keith Black pistons, Manley rods, Comp Cams solid-lifter camshaft, Edelbrock intake with two 600-cfm Holley four-barrels and Dick Landy Industries rockers. PSM fabricated a custom oil pan and modified the stock pickup to work with it.
  • Transmission: A Bob Mazzolini-built 727 with a Gear Vendors Under/Overdrive and a B&M QuikSilver shifter (using an OEM '66 Satellite console shifter handle).
  • Rearend: Dana 60 by Strange Engineering, with 3.73 gears and a True Trac limited-slip differential.

Sure Grip

  • Suspension: (Front) No Limits' tubular A-arms, two-inch drop spindles, QA1 coilover shocks, and a Speedway Engineering anti-sway bar (Rear) Custom four-link suspension with QA1 coilovers and a Speedway Engineering anti-sway bar
  • Brakes: Wilwood discs all around, with four-piston calipers and 10-inch rotors.
  • Wheels and Tires: High-tech Toyo Proxes T-1S tires wear Boyd Coddington Wheels' Classic IIs, 17x8 inches in front, 18x10 inches in rear.

High Impact

  • Body: What was left of the original '66 B-Body convertible unibody was repaired, smoothed of all trim, and prepped for paint by Freddy Valdez in Santa Ana, California. De-trimmed '66 Belvedere I taillights replaced the stock Satellite ones, while stock-size halogen headlights replaced the OEM sealed beams Bumpers and door handles were re-chromed by Steve Jones in Murietta, California, who also plated the front control arms, hood hinges, and X-bone in black nickel.
  • Paint: House of Kolor's BC25 Black basecoat, with a HOK clearcoat.
  • Interior: Stock-look interior features door panels and seat covers by Legendary (installed by Henry Toro at The Upholsterers, Riverside, CA) and Painless Wiring behind the dash.