Mike Creglow of Welch, Minnesota, the owner of this super clean '65 Plymouth Satellite, had a revelation one day. He knew that he wanted to build his '65 into a show-quality race car and had been working toward that goal for seven years when he realized that, at the rate he was going, he was going to run out of time before he got it done.
Like most of us, he planned on building the car himself because he wanted to make sure it got done the way he wanted it. But the demands of his job and life in general were just not allowing him to spend the time on it that was necessary if he was going to get it completed while he was still young enough to enjoy it, so he started looking for some professional help to finish the project.
After an extensive search, Mike settled on Muscle Car Restorations (MCR) in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, which is less than two hours away from his house. He was not only looking for a great restoration shop, but also for one that had plenty of experience building race cars.
The restoration part proved to be the harder of the two tasks because of the limited availability of parts for this car. A donor car had to be found to supply the rear quarters and a trunk floor. The car was also chemically dipped so it would be completely clean before the serious resto work got underway.
Though Mike never intended this to be a street car, he nevertheless wanted it restored with all its original street-legal equipment and trim (some of the trim parts took nine months to locate). Even the white-over-dark-turquoise color scheme that Mike used was available in 1965. If he ever changes his mind, his Satellite can be licensed for street use.
Mike's 400 low-deck now pumps...
Mike's 400 low-deck now pumps 500 inches through Holley and Indy parts. He has idled it around a few shows, but it really prefers WOT.
Of course you can't plan to run in the 10s without some chassis mods, so in addition to adding a 10-point NHRA-certified cage and tying the front and rear frames together, MCR mini-tubbed the rear and moved the Super Stock leaf springs inboard 3 inches. They also nudged them forward an inch for better weight transfer. A 10-gallon fuel cell and two 100-pound-capacity weight boxes are in the trunk.
Lofgren Auto Specialties of Cedar, Minnesota, handled the engine and drivetrain. They started with a 400 low-deck block and stroked it to 500 inches; then dropped on a pair of ported Indy heads and intake, all under a Holley Dominator. Since this is mainly a race car, the 12.5:1 compression ratio is right at home. The transmission is a full race-prepped 727 with a 5,000-rpm stall converter, and the slightly narrowed Dana 60 carries 4.56 gears.
The Satellite's first time out rewarded Mike with a best time of 10.74 at 127 mph. As the driver and car got better acquainted with each other over the next few outings, the best time dropped to 10.32. He thinks there might be another tenth or two in it yet, but more importantly, he is out enjoying his car instead of still working on it. For Mike, racing is way more fun than turning wrenches. Although as any of you who have spent any time at the track will confirm, he will still have plenty of chances to do that.
'65 Plymouth Satellite
- Engine: Mike started with a 400 low-deck block stroked to 500 ci. A Holley Dominator sits on top of a ported Indy intake and a pair of ported Indy heads. Compression ratio is a race only 12.5:1.
- Transmission: Mike releases the trans-brake on his fully race-prepped 727 at 5,000 rpm. Using the word launch to describe what happens next is not really an exaggeration.
- Rearend: Narrowed Dana 60 with 4.56 gears and Moser girdle.
- Performance: First time out netted a 10.74 at 127 mph. Mike is still dialing things in a bit and has since seen a 10.32. He's aiming at flat 10s; we think he'll make it.
- Suspension: Front is stock except for the adjustable shocks. The Super Stock rear springs were moved inboard 3 inches and forward 1 inch.
- Brakes: The stock drum brakes are used all the way around. Mike says they release cleaner than disc brakes and get his Satellite out of the hole a little quicker. They won't hold the car at the line, which is the reason for the trans-brake.
- Wheels: 15-inch Americans up front. Widened steel wheels are mounted on the back.
- Rubber: 7.60x15 Moroso Drag specials cover the American wheels. M/T drag slicks grab on for dear life out back.
- Body: With the obvious exception of that huge hoodscoop and the nearly imperceptible mini-tubs, the body is factory stock right down to all the original trim parts.
- Paint: In keeping with the show car restoration part of this project, the white-over-dark-turquoise paint scheme was used because it was an available choice for this car in 1965.
- Interior: While it's pretty hard to ignore a 10-point NHRA-certified cage, Corbeau racing buckets, Pro Comp gauges, and a Cheetah SCS shifter, Mike nevertheless wanted an interior as stock appearing as possible. The trunk on the other hand, while beautifully finished, is anything but stock. It's filled with a 10-gallon fuel cell, an Aeromotive fuel pump, a couple of 100-pound capacity weight boxes, and, of course, the battery.
You would never notice it...
You would never notice it if we didn't tell you, but the rearend of Mike's Plymouth has been moved forward an inch for better weight transfer. Yes, that little bit does make a big difference in the way this car hooks up.
Except for the necessary racing...
Except for the necessary racing equipment, Mike tried to keep the interior as clean and as stock looking as possible. It actually smells like a new car at least until you fire it up.
There's plenty going on in...
There's plenty going on in the trunk with a relocated battery, a pair of 100-pound capacity weight boxes, and a 10-gallon fuel cell. Do those wheelwells look tubbed to you?