Classic Cars Wiki
Classic Cars Wiki

Plymouth Fury fourth generation

The Plymouth Fury is model of automobile which was produced by the Plymouth division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1959 to 1978. The Fury was introduced as a premium-priced model designed to showcase the line, with the intent to draw consumers into showrooms.

The word "fury" is a type of anger, inspired by the Furies, mythological creatures in Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman mythology.

Early history[]

The Fury was a sub-series of the Plymouth Belvedere from 1956 through 1958. It was sold only as an off-white 2-door hardtop coupé with gold anodized aluminum trim in 1956, 1957, and 1958. The Fury had a special interior, bumper wingguards and a 2 × 4-bbl setup engine. The 1957 and 1958 had a 318 ci engine with 295 hp. In 1958 there was an optional engine called Golden Commando with 361 ci and also with 2 × 4-bbl engine it gave 305 hp. A rare option with fuel injection was available but was recalled by the factory. The Golden Commando engine was optional on any Plymouth Plaza, Savoy, Belvedere, Suburban and Fury. This engine was bored to 361ci in 1959 and was available in different setups starting with a single 2-bbl carb.


In 1959, Plymouth introduced the Sport Fury as its top model, and the Fury as its second from the top model to replace the Plymouth Belvedere at the top of the regular Plymouth line-up. In doing so, the Fury range now contained sedans and station wagons as well as a hardtop coupe and sedan, while the Sport Fury series had only a 2-door hardtop and convertible. The Sport Fury was dropped at the end of 1959, but was reintroduced in mid-1962.


1960 was the first year a Fury convertible was offered, the first year for unit-body construction, the first year for Chrysler's ram induction system which increased low-RPM torque, and the first year for Chrysler's new Slant-Six engine. The original 318 and 383 were available (not related to the later 318 and 383), along with a 361. The 225 slant-6 produced 145 hp (108 kW) at 4000 rpm. The 383 produced 330 hp (250 kW).

The Fury remained Plymouth's sales volume model through the early 1960s. The tailfins were completely removed for 1961, leaving the car with unpopular styling. Then Chrysler's president overheard and misunderstood Chevrolet chief Ed Cole saying Chevrolet would not have true full-size cars for 1962.


Chrysler cars including the Fury were downsized for 1962, another unpopular move.

Starting in 1962 and ending in 1969, the Sport Fury was offered as a hardtop coupe or a convertible. On the 1960s television show Leave It to Beaver, Ward Cleaver is seen driving a 1962 Plymouth Fury.


In 1965, Chrysler full-size cars made a comeback and the full-size Plymouth line included three special Furys: the Fury I, Fury II, and Fury III. The Fury I was marketed to police and taxi fleets, or sold to private customers wanting a basic, no-frills full-sized car, while the Fury II and Fury III were progressive upgrades from the Fury I in trim, specifications, and equipment. Many Sport Fury models (as well as Fury III models) came loaded with options such as automatic transmission, power steering, white sidewall tires (along with full wheel covers), stereo radios, vinyl tops and air conditioning.

The overall design changed, with the grille losing chrome but gaining two vertical stacked headlights on each side. All new Furys got a new 119 in (3,000 mm) wheelbase (121 in (3,100 mm) for the wagons) — 1 in (25 mm) longer than before. The 426 "Street Wedge" V8 was introduced, rated at 385 hp (287 kW) but finally street-legal.

From 1966 to 1969, a luxury version of the Fury, called the Plymouth VIP (marketed as the Very Important Plymouth in 1966) was fielded, in response to the Ford LTD, Chevrolet Caprice, and the Ambassador DPL. These models came with standards such as full wheel covers, vinyl tops, luxuriously upholstered interiors with walnut dashboard and door-panel trim, a thicker grade of carpeting, more sound insulation and full courtesy lighting. In addition to options ordered for the Fury III and Sport Fury models, VIPs were often ordered with such items as automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows, and power seats.

In Australia, the full size Dodge Phoenix was based on the Dodge Polara until 1965, when that car became a right-hand drive version of the contemporary Fury. Phoenixes continued in production in Australia until 1973, each based on that year's North American Plymouth Fury.


The 1969 models featured Chrysler's new round-sided "Fuselage" styling. The Fury was again available as a 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible, 4-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, and 4-door station wagon. For 1970, the VIP was discontinued and a 4-door hardtop was added to the Sport Fury range, which also gained a new hardtop coupe. This was available in "GT" trim; 1970-71 Sport Fury GT models were powered by the 440 cu in (7.2 l) engine, which in 1970 could be ordered "6-barrel" carburetion consisting of three 2-barrel carburetors.

For 1972, the Fury was facelifted with a large chrome twin-loop bumper design with a small insignia space between the loops and Hidden headlamps as standard equipment on the Sport Suburban, and the newly introduced Fury Gran Coupe and Gran Sedan, which eventually would become the Plymouth Gran Fury. Later in the year, hidden headlamps became an option on all models.

For 1973, the front end was redesigned again with a new grille and headlamp setup, along with federally mandated 5 mph (8 km/h) bumpers.


1974 was the last for the C-body and full-size Fury as that nameplate would move to Plymouth's intermediate sized car in 1975 though the big car would continue as the Gran Fury. It shared a new bodyshell with other Chrysler Corporation full-sized cars including the Dodge Monaco, Chrysler Newport, Chrysler Town and Country, and Chrysler New Yorker, and the flagship Imperial. Styling was more squared off with lower beltlines and greater use of glass than the fuselage 1969-73 models, with cues more similar to 1971 and later Buicks and 1973-74 Mercurys. The unibody structure with subframe for engine/transmission was retained along with other typical Chrysler Corporation engineering features including torsion bar front suspension and multi-leaf springs in the rear.

Model lineup again included the Fury I, Fury II, Fury III and Gran Fury series, plus the Suburban and Sport Suburban station wagons. Engine offerings included a standard 360 in3 V-8 with two-barrel carburetor on sedans and coupes, a two-barrel 400 in3 V-8 standard on wagons and optional on other models, and four-barrel carbureted 400 and 440 in3 V-8s optional on all models. All 1974 Furys came standard with TorqueFlite automatic transmission, power steering and power front disc brakes.


In 1975, Chrysler moved the Fury nameplate to Plymouth's redesigned mid-size models that had previously been marketed as the Satellite. The "Road Runner" was offered as the top-line model of the redesigned coupe, but was moved to the Plymouth Volare line the following year. The full-sized Plymouth then became known as the Plymouth Gran Fury. The Gran Fury was dropped after 1977, and the mid-sized models were dropped after 1978, replaced in Canada by the rebadged Dodge Diplomat model called the Plymouth Caravelle (not the be confused with the E-body Plymouth Caravelle from 1983 to 1988). There was no 1979 Fury, Gran or otherwise.

Only minor styling changes were made between 1975 and 1978, most notably in 1977 from dual round headlights to a quad stacked square arrangement (see photo). Front turn signals moved from the outboard edges of the grille to cutouts in the front bumper. Tail lights added an amber turn lens in favor of the previous red. The 1975 Fury shared its B-body and unibody structure with the Dodge Coronet and the corporation's new personal-luxury coupes including the Chrysler Cordoba and Dodge Charger SE. Sedans and wagons, which continued with their basic 1971 bodyshells, rode on a 118 in (3,000 mm) wheelbase, while coupes — which were restyled with new and more formal sheetmetal and rooflines — rode on the 115 in (2,900 mm) wheelbase.

Fury was offered in three basic subseries for 1975 in sedans and coupes and two for the station wagon. The sedan was offered in base, Custom and Salon models, with interior/exterior trim ranging from austere to luxurious. The Salon featured plush velour bench seats with recliners and folding armrests and carpeted trunks, along with a spring-loaded hood ornament with the Plymouth logo. In addition to the Road Runner, the Fury coupes were offered in base, Custom and Sport models. The "Sport" was the top-line coupe featuring body pinstriping on the upper door and front and rear fenders, interiors with all-vinyl bucket seats and center cushion and armrest, or optional center console; or split bench seats with armrest, along with plusher shag carpeting on floor and door panels plus lower door carpeting. The wagons were available as either the Fury Suburban or Fury Custom Suburban. Engine offerings included the base 225 in3 Slant Six which was standard on all models except Fury Sport, Road Runner and station wagons, all of which came with the 318 in3 V8 as the base engine which was optional on other models. Optional engines on all models included 360 and 400 in3 V8s with two- or four-barrel carburetor, and the 440 four-barrel was only as a "police" option on four-door sedans. Transmission offerings included a standard three-speed manual or optional TorqueFlite automatic.

The 1976 Fury saw very few appearance changes from the previous year other than the availability of a dual opera window roof on Sport Fury coupes. Engine/transmission offerings were also unchanged except that the 360 two-barrel V-8 was now the standard engine on station wagons along with the TorqueFlite automatic transmission, both items of which were optional on other models.

For 1977, the Fury received a new front end with a chrome vertical bar grille and outline along with stacked rectangular headlights. Model and drivetrain offerings were unchanged from 1976 except that the Slant Six now had two-barrel carburetion replacing the one-barrel pot of previous years and was now standard on the Sport Fury coupe. Of course V-8 engines were still offered including the 318 two-barrel, 360 two- or four-barrel and 400 two- or four-barrel. The 440 four-barrel V-8 was still only offered in four-door models as part of the police package.

The 1978 Fury was now Plymouth's largest car as the C-body Gran Fury was dropped after the 1977. TorqueFlite automatic transmission and power steering were now standard on all Fury models and the same selection of V-8 engines was still available. Very few appearance changes were made from 1977, and this would turn out to be the final year for the Fury (and similar-bodied Dodge Monaco, which it was renamed in 1977 from Coronet, while the big Dodge became the Royal Monaco in 1977 before it was dropped after that one year). The personal-luxury coupes based on the B-body including the Chrysler Cordoba and Dodge Magnum (renamed from Charger in 1978) would soldier on for one more year until they were downsized (and renamed Mirada for the Dodge version) in 1980 to the M-body platform used for the Dodge Diplomat and Chrysler LeBaron.


For 1979, the B-body chassis/unibody structure was recycled for the corporation's R-body full-sized car, which was considerably downsized replacements of the 1974-78 C-body cars. Those R-body cars included the Chrysler Newport, Chrysler New Yorker, and Dodge St. Regis, but no Plymouth version that year. For 1980–1981, Plymouth returned to the big car market with a new Gran Fury that was a virtual twin of the concurrent Chrysler Newport intended mainly for fleet sales and law enforcement duties. For 1982, Dodge Diplomat was rebadged to create yet another Gran Fury. In reality, this was the Canadian-market Plymouth Caravelle sedan which had been available since 1977. This version was available through the 1989 model year, and was sold mainly as a fleet vehicle, and was a popular choice as a police cruiser. Sharing this body with Gran Fury and Diplomat was the Chrysler New Yorker (1982–83), renamed the Chrysler Fifth Avenue (1984–89).

In popular culture[]

  • A red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury was the title character in Stephen King's novel Christine and the subsequent film adaptation. This car was a possessed, sentient being. The cars in the film were actually Modified Belvederes and Savoys.