Marc Borza’s 442,000-mile 1967 Plymouth Satellite

1968 Plymouth Satellite

marcThis car came with a 383 2-barrel engine, which was rebuilt at 210,000 miles as a 4-barrel with a change of intake, heads, and cam. My father bought her new in December of 1967 at Cunningham Chrysler Plymouth in El Cajon, CA. I took her in 1981. She supplied daily transportation until July 2001, when I retired her from daily duty. She needed a lot of work and the personal situation with family prevented me from spending the money she needed. That changed in 2007 when the suspension work started.

The original 383 block was finally removed at 441,000 miles and replaced with 1970 440 block bored and stroked to 500 cubes by Soledad Performance in Lemon Grove, CA.

It’s currently on its third transmission, most recently replaced along with the 500 cid engine. The car was repainted in 1986, and the interior was redone in 1993 with seat covers, carpeting, and headliner by Legendary Auto Interiors.

I pulled my Satellite files out and found all the receipts going back to March 1970, the DMV registration cards going back to 1969 (they didn't specify date ranges back then, so I assume it's 1968-69), the loan receipt, and purchase date (December 4, 1967), my original manual, and of course the ready-to-crumble window sticker.

I have box of photo albums to get to and find a photo or two of her new in front of the house. So many stories....I learned to drive in her. Funny how the first time I removed the seats and found candy wrappers from my brother and I, but alas, no build sheet.

There is also the sale receipt for the DMV when my father, John Borza, sold the car to me for $500, although it looks like $5 in the letter.

Satellite car reciepts

There is the window sticker.

window sticker

I am looking for the original photos of the car in front of the house. I scanned it once, but it was on a early scanner so the size is small. I can't find the original, so the included scan is all I have for now.

1968 Plymouth Satellite car in 1967

I scanned some photos of Elizabeth and I enjoying the sunrise from Mt. Laguna east of San Diego. The view looks over the desert to the east and you can see the southern tip of the Salton Sea.

Satellite sunrise

The 400000 mile photos are from Father's Day 1998. I timed it so my father could drive it during the odometer rollover, and I was able to take a picture of all zeroes. The photos are near Del Mar, CA. One shows myself, my daughter Murial (7 at the time, she's 18 now), and my father John Borza.

400,000 mile rollover

Fathers Day

400,000 mile Plymouth Satellite cars

The 500 cid photos are the current engine installed in June of 2008 by Soledad Performance of Lemon Grove, CA.

500 cid engine

It's a 1970 440 block bored and stroked to 500 cubes. Edelbrock carb, MSD ignition, Doug Thorley headers and Flowmasters.

500 cid 440 engine

All suspension and steering components have been replaced. The car now has front and rear anti-sway bars with a Wilwood front disc brake conversion.

car

Since she has a rough look, I thought I'd be honest about the look so had decals made "Work In Progress" and "Under Reconstruction."

The interior was redone once in 1993 with seat covers, carpeting and roof liner by Legendary Auto Interiors. It needs to be done again, and I have the same bits again including front door panels.

She needs bodywork and pain....I have replacement tail light lenses from Larsons.

Our family (including my brother Michael) went on a road trip to Pennsylvania in 1974. I've taken her on a trip to San Francisco, and a week of camping at Sequoia National Park and Yosemite Valley.

The original license plates were stolen in 1991...so we went with DLYRUNR (Daily Runner) until 1999, when I changed the plates to LST HGWY (Lost Highway). The original plates are now available again, so I may return her to the original plate.

The original 383 was rebuilt in 1993.

original 383

I'm sure she would have more than 500,000 miles by now if I'd kept driving her, but real life entered the picture (divorce and rising gas prices) and I retired her from daily duty in 2001.

She sat for a few years but came back to life in 2008.

Sadly, both my parents, John and Lucienne Borza, passed away in 2001 from health issues, and my step-daughter Deora Bodley died on 9/11 on Flight 93. She loved being driven to school in the Satellite.

When the car is repainted, I'm thinking of having some kind of Flight 93 memorial as a theme for the car. While my practical father may think I'm nuts for holding on to the car this long, it is a part of the family and a strong connection to a lot of memories. I think he's happy about it.

Satellite loan paper

Now that the drivetrain and suspension/steering/brakes have been done, she really needs a makeover. She needs the interior redone again, plus bodywork and paint. She's not her prettiest now....but she's got teeth and a roar!

My parents passed away in 2001, and "Elizabeth" is a strong emotional tie to a lot of great family memories including the Sunday drive for ice cream, and a cross country trip to Pennsylvania. I'll keep her as long as I am able to.

Also see The 200,000 Mile Club, our history of the Plymouth Satellite, and...

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