1961 Plymouth Fury

2-Door Hardtop Sedan
Designer: Exner
In 1960, Plymouth introduced its new 'Unibody' car. For 1961, the cars were given a reskin 'below-the-beltline.' Gone were the tailfins, which had been around since 1956. In the front was the new Plymouth 'face,' with its pinched aluminum grille. The top-of-the-line car was the Fury, with its flamboyant styling, racy 'Sky-Hi' rear window, and airy hardtop roofline. In the back was a wide rear deck and 'rocket-pod' tail lamps. Inside there was 'space-age' styling, with asymmetrical 'Command Bench' seating, semi-square 'Aero-Wheel' and 'TeleView' ribbon speedometer.

This Plymouth Fury is powered by a 318 cubic-inch V8 engine delivering 230 horsepower. It is painted in Emerald Green and has a pushbutton-controlled Torque-Flite automatic transmission.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Designer: Exner
After the all-new unibody 1960 Plymouth stumbled in the marketplace, Chrysler's design team performed a quick below-the-beltline re-skin for 1961. Tail fins, a signature feature since 1956, disappeared. But now the controversy shifted to the front of the car. The Plymouth 'face', with its pinched aluminum grille and sweeping character line around the headlamps, appeared extreme to many. Sales dropped, and styling was again blamed.

But make no mistake- the top-line Fury remained a flamboyant, 'look at me' car in 1961. The clean sides and wide rear deck were highly praised design elements, although the 'rocket-pod' tail lamps had an add-on appearance. And the Fury interior was space-age all the way, with asymmetrical Command Bench seating, semi-square Aero-Wheel and 'TeleView' ribbon speedometer.

This Fury convertible is finished in Carnival Red, and is equipped with the 230 horsepower, 318 cubic-inch V8, pushbutton-controlled Torque-Flite automatic transmission, and Plymouth's acclaimed Torsion-Aire front suspension. This well-preserved example is unrestored and has been in the family of the current owner since new.
The Plymouth Fury was introduced in 1956 and continued in production as a model and/or series until 1989. Plymouth had been using the name Fury as the high-performance version of its standard vehicle and in 1956 made its own model designation. The initial desire of the Fury was to highlight the abilities of the Plymouth division and to create a stunning automobile that would capture the attention of consumers and bring that crowd into their showrooms. The styling was typical of the era with the most notable feature being the tail-fins which grew in size during the 1959 model year. It was a popular favorite with many police forces because of its reliability and performance.

In 1959 Plymouth introduced a performance and luxury package called the Sport Fury which featured a larger engine, performance upgrades and a transmission that could handle the extra torque. This was the only year that it was offered.

1960 marked the beginning of the second generation Fury which continued until 1964. The Fury now sat atop a unit-body construction with bolted-on subfame which improved rigidity. The tail fins were removed and the styling was updated to give it a modern appeal. The base engine was a slant six power-plant capable of producing over 145 horsepower. A 318 or 383 cubic-inch eight cylinder in various configurations could be purchased as optional equipment.

Styling and mechanical changes continued in 1961. The Fury was given a new grille which gave it the impression of a 'frowning face'. Performance was increased with the 375 horsepower, 413 cubic-inch engine. A limited edition turbocharged engine was offered in 1962. A new unitized body and chassis construction was implemented which greatly decreased the overall weight while still maintaining rigidity and interior room. Weight was further reduced with the adaptation of the TorqueFlite transmission replacing the cast-iron, two-speed PowerFlite. The 383 engine was no longer offered but a 413 8-cylinder engine became available half-way through the year.

For 1963, the grille and rear once again received styling updates. The reliability was reinforced by the company with the introduction of a five-year or fifty-thousand mile warranty. Not much changed the following year. A limited amount of 426 Wedge 'Super Stock' engines were planted into the engine bays with the purpose of being raced and not legal on the streets.

1965 brought the third generation of the Fury. The sedans sat atop a 119 inch wheelbase while the wagons were given a 121 inch platform. A street legal, 426 'Street Wedge' was now available, promising nearly 400 horsepower. This year also began the Fury I, Fury II, and Fury III naming scheme. In 1966 the VIP name was added to the Fury model line-up. The VIP was an economical, luxury sedan with aluminum taillight panels, wood-grained inserts, and special badging and colors. A popular option on the VIP was the vinyl roof. Luxury could be found on the interior, with its soft carpet, padded dash, individual rearing lamps, walnut grain trim, fold-down armrests, and more. Under the hood was a 318 eight-cylinder engine as standard. The VIP name was short-lived, enduring until 1969 when the decision was made to cease production.

The 1965 Fury had changed aesthetically with horizontal bars on the grille and rearranged rear taillights. The interior had undergone very mild changes. The most drastic change was on the Sport Fury which was given a new console, replacing the console that had been introduced in 1964. The Hurst shifter was no longer offered; rather, a willowy Inland unit with reverse lockout button was offered as optional equipment.

In 1966, a Silver Special edition was offered which featured silver metallic paint with blue upholstery. Window moldings, whitewall, and wheel-covers were included.

The Fury grew slightly in size in 1967. The body panels were all-new but the grille and headlights were carried over from the previous body-style. The 225 slant-six engine was standard and a 318, 383, and 440 were offered in various configuration. Offered as a two and four door, convertible, sedan, wagon, hardtop, and convertible, there were nearly twenty-five different configurations to select from.

1968 continued the styling changes with it's horizontally split grille, updated rear and a slight dip in the body-line which mimicked the front vent windows.

The fourth generation began in 1969. The wheelbase of the vehicle increased offering more interior room for the passengers. The boxy-appearance of third generation Fury was abandoned with a slight shift toward curvy appearance. Concealed headlamps were added in 1970.

In 1972 Plymouth added the Gran Fury sedan and coupe, equipped with a 383 cubic-inch engine bored out to 400 cid. Two separate blackened grilles with the word 'Fury' in the middle helped distinguish these models.

Styling changes continued in 1973 which saw many improvements to its exterior design. For 1974, the Fury sat atop a new C-body platform which was larger in size to its predecessor. A new grille and bumper made its way onto the standard Fury.

The fifth series of the Fury was introduced in 1975. Plymouth once again restyled the Fury and placed it atop a smaller, redesigned C-body chassis.

The Fury line was dropped in 1979 but a year later, in 1980, Plymouth revitalized the Gran Fury name. It shared a platform and similar body design to the Chrysler Newport and Dodge St. Regis, and was available only as a four-door sedan. Sales were never strong and the Fury name was once again abandoned in 1981.

A smaller version was introduced in 1982 and stayed in production until 1989. Minor aesthetic and mechanical changes were applied during this time, but it basically stayed unchanged.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2009
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