They say that half the fun while looking for that perfect car is in the chase; and this particular one rang true for Dan Frazzini of Colorado. Dan is a huge Mopar fanatic and you may remember the double feature we did on his 1968 Charger and 1970 ‘Cuda last year. “I am a ‘Mopar or No Car’ kinda guy. My daily driver is a 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 and my first muscle car was a 1971 Dodge Challenger with a 408 stroker. I sold that car a few years ago to get my 1970 ‘Cuda and I also have a 1968 Charger with a 505 stroker and 4-speed,” says Dan.
Dan continues to say, “I had the ‘go fast’ cars but I have always wanted a Mopar convertible. I was really looking for a nice stock appearing B Body convertible to cruise around in during the warm Colorado summers. Having gone through a couple of restorations, I was not looking for another project car but one that was already restored. I knew I could not afford a GTX and a nice Road Runner would be stretching my budget, but I continued to search nonetheless.”
Early last spring, Dan was cruising eBay when he came across an auction for a beautiful 1969 Plymouth Sport Satellite convertible. “One thing that attracted me the most to this car was the original stock appearance; matching every detail on its fender tag. It was a gorgeous B5 Blue with white interior and B7 Blue trim. Just over 800 Sport Satellite convertibles were made in 1969, so I knew of the rarity of this car. I was also glad to see that this one was not made into a GTX or Road Runner clone, but left just as if it rolled off the factory floor with a 2-barrel 318 engine and a 904 transmission,” says Dan.
“The auction still had a couple of days to go and the price was not out of my budget; well not yet anyways. I noticed in the description that the owner listed his phone number and the area code was in Southern Colorado. I thought I would give him a call to find out more about the car and its background.” As it turns out, the seller was a really nice guy that had several muscle cars in his collection. He had owned the Sport Satellite for about 20 years and put less than 1000 miles on it; just keeping it as part of his collection. He said he had not done anything to the car because it did not need anything; it was perfect as-is. Dan asked him if he showed up with a trailer and cash; would he sell it to him outside of the eBay auction? The owner agreed. Dan quickly called another Mopar buddy of his and told him to load up the trailer; they were going to get a convertible!
“We headed south a couple of hours outside of Denver where we met the owner. He told us the car was in a bunker, which immediately made me wonder if I had made a big mistake. He gave us directions to this old WWII Army Munitions facility that was heavily protected by armed guards, barbed wire fence and 24 hour surveillance. The guards greet you at the barbed wire gate, all fully dressed out in body armor carrying AK-47’s. They are constantly driving around in trucks just making sure you are where you are supposed to be. Going to this base was like stepping back in time to the 1940’s. It was wild to see the old signs marking each building with the specific type of munitions, and the train rails running right up to them,” says Dan.
He continues, “This place was in the middle of nowhere and they would load up the trains with weapons and head out to California to load the boats for battle in the Pacific. The housing facility and mess hall were perfectly preserved too. The barracks, brick storage buildings, rail lines and all painted wooden signs were still there. Honestly, it would be a perfect spot to shoot a 40’s era movie. There are dozens of arched bunkers covered with dirt and native grass so you can’t see them from the air. Each bunker was made out of 18″ thick concrete with some open to public storage and others still containing munitions and mustard gas; which is the reason for all the armed security.”
Once they finally got to the bunker where the car was stored, the owner opened up the solid heavy blast doors to reveal a couple of various classic cars, some furniture and even a big screen TV stored away in the cold dark building. In the very back of the building, Dan quickly spotted the outline of a B-body convertible. “There was absolutely zero dust inside because of the blast doors and there was no power so we depended on the late afternoon sunlight. The owner walked to the back of bunker, hopped into the Satellite and the car fired up on the first try. Once the car got out into the sunlight, it was even more brilliant in person. The B5 Blue paint was striking and the body was laser straight,” shares Dan.
Once they got the car outside, Dan and his buddy checked over the whole car. The Satellite’s rust-free original sheet metal was in amazing shape with perfect gaps on the doors, hood and trunk. All of the trim, grille, bumpers, headlights, taillights, wheel well moldings and glass were in exceptional condition. The interior had white bucket seats with a buddy seat, B7 Blue trim, a factory AM/FM radio and stock dash that was all beautifully restored as well. The white power top with a real glass window not only looked great, but operated flawlessly.
Dan says, “After looking it over, I could not wait to take it for a test drive around the base. The two barrel 318 engine with the 904 automatic transmission just purred along; making it the perfect top down cruiser. It had dual exhaust, power steering, manual brakes and new 15×7 Magnum 500 wheels. I was very happy that it was exactly how the owner described it. Everything worked as it should; including the radio. When we brought the car back from the test drive, I started to negotiate with the owner. I got a laugh because my buddy was already prepping the trailer to load the car because he knew we were not leaving without it!” Once Dan and the owner quickly came to an agreement on the price, Dan handed over the cash, the title was signed and the two loaded up the Satellite for the drive back home.
In closing, Dan says “Since I bought it, I’ve had to do very little to it; mostly just change gaskets, fluids, spark plugs and reset the timing. My kids love cruising around with the top down; especially to school. I spent most of the summer enjoying the sunshine feeling lucky that I found such a beautiful classic convertible just a couple hours away.”