Runner-Up Autocross
1970 Plymouth Satellite

Going through the list of makes and models that were invited to the 2013 MCOTY, the one that truly stands out as odd is Kevin Wesley's 1970 Satellite. Not only because it's one of the few Mopars involved in autocross, but it's also a big B-Body, and on top of that it's a freakin' four-door! There's no way that's a good contender, right?

Wrong. Quickly gaining notoriety as the "Autocross Taxi," Wesley's Satellite is an amazingly well sorted performer that bested many more typical two-door muscle cars in all three events. All those raised eyebrows were exactly what Wesley wanted from the beginning.

The goal was to build a fun car that was inexpensive, reliable, and truly family friendly, but without giving up cornering capability. The obvious answer for three of those four criteria was a crew cab of some sort, but could one be made to handle? Well, if you're clever and pick a platform that has solid support for its two-door brethren your odds are pretty good. Again, a Mopar would not have been our first thought since they are often neglected by the aftermarket performance suspension world, but the B-Body actually has a good option in the form of Hotchkis' Total Vehicle System (TVS) that provides a tuned and balanced system that is plug-and-play. "It's all bolt-on, zero fabrication was required. I have no fab skills, so it had to be bolt-on," Wesley told us.

Bolt-on is quick and easy, and to that point the entire project was put together in six weeks total. The secret to that unbelievably short time line was not only keeping it simple, but starting with a good car and skipping the paint and body. "I really hate washing and waxing my cars, so a vinyl wrap really fits my personality," Wesley explained. We're really warming up to that idea too; it minimizes maintenance and time and materials required. Plus, it's easy to change down the road to a completely different color. Wesley says he hit all his goals too; the family loves it, it's been extremely reliable so far, and he surprised everyone at MCOTY with a Second-place finish in the autocross.

1970 Plymouth Satellite
Kevin Wesley
Lansing, MI

Type: 451ci low-deck Chrysler Wedge by Engine Technology
Rotating assembly: forged Chrysler crank with Chrysler rods and 11:1 Wiseco pistons
Cylinder heads: Bulldog Racing
Camshaft: COMP Cams .547-/.547-inch lift, 242/242 degrees duration at .050
Valvetrain: Ferrea valves with COMP Cams springs and Hughes rockers
Induction: Holley Street Dominator intake with Quick Fuel 750-cfm carb
Exhaust: Hedman headers with Flowmaster exhaust
Ignition: MSD ignition

Transmission: RS600 five-speed manual with Ram single-disc clutch and aluminum flywheel
Rearend: 8.75-inch Chrysler with 3.73 gears and Eaton Truetrac diff

Front suspension: Hotchkis TVS system with Firm Feel springs and Hotchkis shocks
Rear suspension: Hotchkis rear springs and shock
Steering: Firm Feel Stage 2 with 1975 A-Body spindles
Brakes: AR Engineering with Viper calipers up front, Dr. Diff Cobra kit in the rear
Chassis: Hotchkis subframe connectors
Wheels & tires: 18x10 Weld RTS with 275/35 and 295/40 Falken RT615k

¼-mile Drag (best): 12.771 at 113.34 mph
⅛-mile Speed-Stop (avg.): 9.3637 seconds
Autocross (avg.): 48.473 seconds
Overall score: 96.231