This car started life as a '74 Satellite Sebring. I stumbled across it while surfing Craigslist one Saturday morning in December 2008. The pictures showed weeds growing through its engine compartment, but overall it looked solid. I always liked the lines of the '74 Satellite/Road Runners and decided to swing by and have a look.
A gentleman named Joe had it in his downtown backyard, apparently for a number of years. Interestingly, the car had never been out of Las Vegas. The paperwork in the glove box confirmed it was purchased at Las Vegas Dodge in 1974. Although it was rough, all the pieces were there and a deal was struck. With the help from my good friend and neighbor, Mike Collins, we trailored the project back to Henderson.
The car was stripped down, the interior gutted, and the entire driveline was removed. The suspension was upgraded using a kit from PST. A low-mile '00 Dodge Dakota R/T (5.9 magnum) motor was installed with a rebuilt 727 automatic transmission. The rear end was swapped out for an 8.75-inch with 3.91 gears. Also installed were new steering, brakes, a fuel tank, TTI headers, 2.5-inch exhaust by Best Muffler, carpet, upholstery, a dash and a Griffin aluminum radiator to allow cruising in the Vegas heat. The ride is even more comfortable thanks to an R-134 air-conditioning system conversion done with custom hoses from Nevada House of Hose.
As any Mopar guy will tell you, the main difference between a Satellite and a Road Runner is the hood. As usual, Craigslist came to the rescue and I located a '73 Road Runner parts car in Southern California. The owner insisted I buy the entire car, so it was also towed to the house (much to the delight of my neighbors). Luckily I swapped the hood that night, and the very next day the car was resold and gone, thanks again to Craigslist.
Once everything was bolted down and the car was road tested, it was dropped off at A Same Day Paint in Henderson for its satin black finish. With the body and paint done, all that was left was to apply the gloss black reflective stripes and add a set of 18- and 20-inch Boss wheels.
The car was completed in fewer than two years at an overall cost of just under $10,000. It drives like a new car and gets lots of looks and thumbs-up from folks when I'm cruising in it.