The Plymouth Satellite is an automobile introduced in 1965 as the top model in Plymouth's mid-size Belvedere line. The Satellite remained the top of the line model until the 1967 model year, where it became the mid-price model with the GTX taking its place as the top model. The Fury name was moved to Plymouth's mid-size models for 1975, at which time the Satellite name disappeared. The Satellite was built on Chrysler's mid-size "B" platform.
First Generation (1965-1967)
When a new, larger Plymouth Fury was introduced for 1965 on Chrysler's full-size C platform, the Plymouth Belvedere name was moved to Plymouth's "new" mid-size line for 1965, in what was really a continuation of Plymouth's full-size 1962–1964 models. The Belvedere Satellite was the top trim model in the series, above the Belvedere I and II. It was only available as a two-door hardtop or convertible. Offered with bucket seats and center console as standard, the Satellite was available exclusively with V8 engines. For 1965, the standard engine was the 273 c.i.d., and optional choices were the 318, and 361, 383 and 426 "Commando" engines. This 426 had the wedge combustion chamber design, and is not the 426 "Hemi" offered in 1966. The front end was simple: a single headlight on each side, and a grille divided into four thin rectangles laid horizontally. The concurrent Fury was given a "stacked" dual headlight design.
The 1965 Satellite 2-door hardtop had a production run of 23,341. In standard trim the 2-door hardtop weighed 3,220 lb (1,460 kg) and cost $2,612. The convertible saw a production figure of 1,860 weighing 3,325 lb (1,508 kg) and costing $2,827 in standard trim.
In 1966, along with a redesigning, the Satellite was available with the newly optional "Street Hemi" engine, which had two 4-barrel carburetors, and 10.25:1 compression. This engine was rated at 425 hp (317 kW) at 5,000 rpm and 490 lbft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The other V8 engine options for 1966 remained the standard 180 hp (130 kW) 273, plus the popular 318 at 230 hp (170 kW) and the 265 hp (198 kW) Commando 361 and Commando 383 at 325 hp (242 kW), down from the 330 hp (250 kW) it had on tap in 1965.
The 1967 Satellite did not see any sheet metal changes from 1966, but there were several trim changes. A new grille featured dual side-by-side headlights, a change in the rear trunk finish panel and taillights included multiple horizontal ribs. New horizontal aluminum trim at the lower body crease with silver paint below gave all 1967 Satellites essentially a two-tone paint scheme. For 1966 and 1967, the interior vinyl seats and door panels were treated to a unique 'Western Scroll' design which mimicked tooled leather in appearance. This was the 'premium' interior shared with the GTX in 1967. For 1966 and 1967 the Satellite was again offered only in 2-door hardtop and convertible form and was powered exclusively by V8 engines. The 361 was eliminated for 1967 models, but a 2-barrel 383 at 270 hp (200 kW) was continued with the most powerful Satellite offering for 1967 being a 383 4-barrel rated at 325 hp (242 kW). Production figures for 1966 were 35,399 hardtops and 2,759 convertibles.
Along with a significant restyling and a higher trim Sport Satellite model was introduced in 1968, at which time the Belvedere name was relegated to the low-trim base models. 1968 was also the first year that the Satellite line was expanded beyond the 2-door hardtop and convertible, when a 4-door sedan and station wagon were offered. The 1968 body continued through 1970, with a minor front and rear restyling for 1970, which was the last year for the Belvedere name. 1968 was also the first year for the Plymouth Roadrunner which shared the same body as the Satellite and Belvedere models.
A significant restyling was done for 1971 as the Satellite adopted new "fuselage" styled bodies, with different wheelbases, grilles, and sheet metal for two- and four-door models. Sedans were available in base, Custom and Brougham trim, while two doors were called Satellite (a base coupe with rear windows that did not roll down), Satellite Sebring and Satellite Sebring Plus. Station wagons came in base, Custom or wood-trimmed Regent models. Two-door models had an unusual loop-type front bumper (a period styling trend), and this body was the basis for the related GTX and Roadrunner models.
Two-door models received a more conventional front end and squared up sheet metal and rear side windows for 1973, while the sedans and wagons adopted large 5 mph (8.0 km/h) bumpers for 1974. The Satellite name was dropped after 1974, after which Plymouth's intermediate offerings on the B-body chassis took the Plymouth Fury name.
- A Plymouth Satellite is mentioned in the B-52's song "Planet Claire".