The colour chart on eBay which you linked to covers many Plymouth models (Plaza, Belvedere, Fury, & Savoy, as the seller indicates in the title). The ’55-’56 Plymouths were already big; significantly bigger and heavier than the Chevys. For what this is worth: My Father said his new ’56 Chevy was quite the let down in ride comfort and curvy road handling when compared to the ’52 Ford he traded in on the Chevy. The interior and glass were additional hurdles that he needed to overcome. If the 300C went from 0-90 in 10.2 seconds, it was even hotter than I thought! The performance specs given in the chart below are apparently for the manual-equipped version, although they also drove a TF version too. The new Ford GT uses torsion bar suspension, I remember my CR-X and some Porsches did too. That prompted a switch to plan B, which meant that he would build a clone. "I told him that I'd take them, I'll take it all. Not a unique situation. But it teamed up just fine with the push-button controlled TorqueFlite, thanks to its torque converter that allowed the engine to quickly spool up into its power band on takeoff. The torque converter’s stall ratio effectively doubled its first gear ratio of 2.45:1, or almost 5.0:1 total, whereas the manual’s first gear ratio was 2.50:1. https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/qotd/qotd-what-made-you-a-curbivore/, Curbside Classic: 1982 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency – I Love Clouds, Curbside Classic: 1975 Reliant Kitten – Out of the Blue. And, yeah, to this day, Chrysler has never fully recovered from the horrendous quality of those ‘Suddenly, It’s 1960!” Forward Look cars. Everything else that was on that car was sold off along with any unusable parts that were obtained from Picard. This recreation is about as close as anyone will ever get to an actual Christine from the movie. Instead of mounting the axle at the middle of each leaf spring (which was common at the time) Chrysler mounted the axle 2/3 of the way towards the front of each spring, and also mounted both springs outboard of the frame rails. The 59 Cadillac or the 57 Chevy always seems to get credit as the epitome of 1950’s American style, but the 1957 Mopars, especially the Desotos, have always seemed like the most beautiful, over the top cars to me. As a result of the popularity of the film, it has spawned many Christine clones, yet only a handful can lay claim to actually being used in the movie. The early ’57 grille has open slots; in the late design, the slots are bisected. 1957 Plymouth Fury Convertible. For 1956, 1957, and 1958 model years the Plymouth Fury was only available in one colour, and all of them came with the gold trim. True, one …could…order HD suspension on the ’57 Chevy. That's when I fell in love with the car.". The Plymouth was wider for 57, but not longer. When it came time to put it all together, he leaned heavily on his buddy "Fury" Jim Rawa. Somehow I suspect that any nagging initial quality control issues from 1957 have long since been corrected on the surviving models by 2020? And for good reasons, as it quickly proved itself to be as fast or faster in the hands of most drivers. I love, love, love these cars. I missed (or had forgotten) the Fury/Adventurer/D500/300C link but an interesting insight. And don’t get into an accident its ugly steering wheel didnt collapse and dashboard hard. Also, the “senior car’s body” was just the same as the Plymouth, with a bit of wheelbase stretch. So what I’m pondering is whether these civilian performance sedans were just the icing on the cake of Chrysler’s desire to own the Law Enforcement market, or if the performance sedan development made it easy to meet Police specs. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Looking for a 1957 Plymouth Fury for sale ? CC-1413095 . That car stayed with him for two years until someone came along and offered him stupid money for it. The remaining cars, or what was left of them, ended up at Bill and Ed's Auto Wrecking in Fontana, California after the movie wrapped up. As a consequence, it made little torque below its peak, and bogged down on first gear take-offs. Meaning, these numbers are not strict apples-to-apples comparisons, as that’s hard to come by. Rental agencies simply didn’t rent twin 4 barrel carb vehicles. 1/4 mile time for the 283/283 version was achieved in a Hemmings test in 1976; it may have had better tires than in 1957, and rear axle ratios undoubtedly play into the equation in a significant way. A Bel Air coupe weighed 317 lbs less than the Fury coupe. The bumpers, for example, were the ones that were on the car that was set on fire in the movie. Otherwise all the ’57s except the Imperial used the same basic body. With only 7,438 Furys built for ‘57, it’s hard to believe that Hertz had many, if any to rent. The bulk of that horde of parts ended up in the hands of Drew Picard, who was planning on building a Christine recreation using the salvaged movie car parts. Also, the 58 had a busier, more intricate wheel cover design than the classic look of the 57’s that were used on so many customized cars in those years. Like the rest of the hardware to be installed, it was given a full rebuild. The 300 was one of the cars that made me a Curbivore https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/qotd/qotd-what-made-you-a-curbivore/. The end goal was to have as much of the "Christine blood" on his car as possible. Another one was sent to a radio station in Simi Valley, California as part of a nationwide promotion that was awarded on New Year's Eve. Now, if you want to find something REALLY rare, how ’bout a currently-existing ’57 Plymouth with the EARLY-STYLE GRILLE (shown below). Ironically, it was the rush to ramp-up production to get as many cars as possible to the dealerships which led directly to poor assembly. There is also a smoke machine that allows smoke to fill the interior, and exterior, as well as a front seat that will move forward toward the steering wheel - a feature Caldwell had disabled due to its potential danger. He didn’t keep the job long (as a chemist, it was the only non-semiconductor job I think he had after college) and though my Mother and sister flew out to his next job in El Monte, Ca (he worked on solar cells…for a short time (1959-1960)) he ended up driving the Plymouth cross country (he was bringing some dangerous chemicals needed for the job with him in the car packed in dry ice, which he ran out of. His fascination with cars, and horror movies, started when he was a young lad. Since that unveiling, Joe has traveled extensively with the car and can often be found at Mopar events, Terror Con, and Comic Con shows with some of the original cast from the movie. The Fury targeted a different buyer, offering a more sophisticated package more akin to the Gran Turismo cars from Europe. It was through his contacts with these clubs that his clone ended up taking a decidedly different direction. One was sent to MTV to be raffled off. Best place to get one was hertz at the time. When the remnants of the cars ended up in the junkyard back in 1983, there were a few individuals that got wind that the yard was loaded up with mangled Plymouths. But there’s no doubt that a properly equipped ’57 Chevy was unbeatable in a straight line. SCI came to the conclusion that the Fury’s engine was specifically designed around the automatic, rather unusual for the times. GM put similar pressure on its UK subsidiary Vauxhall to get the F-type Victor on the market before it was properly developed. There is chrome where paint should have been applied, but it is all legit, right down to the zip ties holding things in place. A total of 24 cars were purchased for use during filming, with most being '57 and '58 Savoys and Belvederes, and one Fury. Having lost the ambition to follow through on the build, in 2011 he was the one who eventually called Caldwell to ask if he was interested in the parts. Already in the second paragraph, the Fury’s best quality is stated in no uncertain terms: “The Fury corners with a smooth agility that formerly has been obtainable only on outright sports cars, usually the kind that are sprung like a park bench…The Fury is the best-handling, best-riding Detroit sedan we’ve ever driven.” This was attributed to the 25% stiffer springs and shocks all-round as well as the superior geometry of its front suspension. Images from this BAT ad, and lots more great ones there too. Needless to say, all the cars were picked clean and three partially-complete damaged cars were pulled before everything else was crushed. Lot ov them said they weren’t all that great. Caldwell had Roque Pimentel in Long Island, NY handle the aluminum and stainless, while the chrome hardware was shipped to Librandi's Plating in Middletown, Pennsylvania. However, she had so much trouble with it that she traded it for a 1959 Chevy Bel Air and swore off Mopar forever. Learn how your comment data is processed. SCI did say that “Acceleration on the road with the Torqu-Flite equipped Fury can be startling at times…”. Copyright 2011 - 2020 Curbside Classics. Of course that didn’t exactly come cheap; its $2925 base price was some 25% more than a Belvedere hardtop coupe. That alone made it the bargain of the bunch and arguably America’s best all-round performance car at the time. How did the non-Fury Plymouth models (Savoy, Belvedere, Plaza) compare to the non-HD suspension Chevys? At this point you might be wondering what the story is on the Plymouth that you're looking at. SCI did not spare further superlatives for its assessment of the Fury’s handling: It’s very difficult to adjust to the fact that there is a big Detroit sedan that can easily out-corner many bona-fide sports cars…it tracks effortless in the direction it’s aimed”. And when Chrysler launched Torsion-Aire, they made clear the rear spring geometry was part of the package. For 1958, the Fury’s colour was “Buckskin Beige”. The best answer to that is sort of. One wonders what would have happened if the build quality hadn’t been so awful. In 2011 he found his donor car in Arizona. The car had no interior, the windows were tinted black, and it had been cobbled together with parts from other cars used in the movie. After it was given away, all traces of it disappeared to this day. The Plymouth Fury didn’t make its public debut until December 3, 1956. He notes, "A lot of stuff was burnt. The Chrysler Torsion bar suspension was a pretty major leap from the norm at the time, and even though it may have been softer feeling, it’s actual behavior was (I presume) more favorable. Oops! That’s the 58 with the exclamation point taillights mentioned by Rudiger above. Just as he was starting the transformation on the Savoy, one phone call got him closer to an actual movie flavored car. ), We all know that ’57 Plymouths have a terrible survival rate (especially compared to the ’57 Chevy!). He hadn’t met my Mother yet, but her Dad had a ’51 Chrysler Windsor, with the (same) flathead 6 but a semi-automatic transmission. After many years of storage, the intact car he owned was dismantled and its parts either sold or scrapped. See Vauxpedia. The poly was not an inherently deep-breathing engine, so the engineers had to give it a rather radical cam along with dual four barrel carbs and other performance tweaks to wake it up and deliver 290 (gross) hp. But the evidence strongly suggests that the ’57 Chrysler suspension was intrinsically better,. The vision was to emulate as much of movie car's evil attributes as possible. In his mind, that pile of cash was his ticket to one of the movie cars. These cars were originally scheduled to debut for the 1958 model year, but the Chrysler brass decided to move them ahead one year. If that brings a specific car to mind, then you're probably thinking about the demonic 1958 Plymouth Fury used in Christine, John Carpenter's cult-classic horror movie based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. 1978 PLYMOUTH E86 440 BIG BLOCK POLICE CAR This is a TRUE not cloned E86 Plymouth Fury State Troope ... $19,995. The plan was to assemble his car using the bolt-on sheet metal, drive train, and trim from the junked movie cars. Yes. In posing the question as to whether the Fury was the best performance car of its time, it can only be considered so in the terms defined in this test, which emphasized its all-round capabilities. Now that’s not something you expect to read in a review. The torque peak came at 4,000 rpm, which is exceptionally high for a normally rather lazy engine like this. That car ended up in the hands of Scott Edminster and was relocated to New Hampshire until 2004, after which it was sold at Barrett-Jackson to Ron Pratt. Like the first Fury, the car was designed as a high-performance, personal luxury car much in the vein of the Chrysler 300s and was available only in eggshell white with gold accents. “At 115 we can state that the Fury feels just as secure as at much lower speeds, and this can be said of few cars”. My cousins had a 57 Belvedere and it was fortunate that they also owned a body shop and could keep up with the rust and poor assembly issues. In 1956, the new Dodge D-500, DeSoto Adventurer and Plymouth Fury all got roughly the same treatment: high output engine, heavy duty drive line and suspension components along with unique trim and other goodies to define these factory “specials”. I talked to folks who had these cars. The ten stop fade test from 60 told a more critical story: By the fifth stop, there was a 42% loss of braking power and only about an inch of pedal was left.” But they recuperated fairly fast, and overall were better than average for the times. But I’ve added a note. According to the articles I’ve read there, State Highway Patrols, most notably Michigan and California, required their patrol cars to meet or exceed *exceptionally* high specifications. The Forward Look Chryslers are beautiful cars, especially IMO the Chrysler and DeSoto models, and as has been discussed here so often, definitely caught style leader GM off guard. Use our search to find it. That’s what I would expect as well, stiff suspensions tend to be used in performance handling packages to mitigate geometry challenges that roll, dive, or don’t camber gain right(limiting compliance so it won’t reach these points). Plenty of good words for the Fury in summation, “including some virtues that its competition are unable to match”. "He called and asked if I knew anyone that wanted the parts," Joe explains. ’57 Fury coupe: 3595. I prefer the ’58 Plymouth grille and quad headlights, but like the ‘tower’ taillights of the ’57 much better than the 1958 car’s ‘exclamation point’ version. Still the better car for curvy road travel? There was no easy fix for the poor state of the pieces from the movie cars. For Joe Caldwell, it is the culmination of that 12-year-old boys' desire to one day own such a car. He has an extensive archive of behind-the-scenes movie photos, a large amount of emails from everyone involved in the production of the film, and a copy of the salvage yard's ledger with the serial numbers of the junked cars. Your email address will not be published. It has, however gone on to be one of the most iconic horror and car films ever produced. One could order HD suspension on the ’57 Chevy. There’s little doubt that a properly equipped ’57 Chevy would be able to outrun a Fury on a curvy section of highway too, or on a road race. Were the same year Fords any better or any worse than the Chevy and Plymouth? 382 cu. The Fury was of course the cheapest of the fab four, and yet it was also the quickest from 0-60. Straight line acceleration isn’t everything, at least to those 7,438 buyers of Furys. Great car. Stiffer can get you around a curve faster but it doesn’t solve all problems. After a close inspection, the engine that he went with was actually the one that the bulldozer drove over in the final scene of the movie. The build quality was poor. My aunt bought a new 1957 Plymouth Savoy sedan with the ancient flathead 6 and an automatic, presumably the PowerFlite. The exception is the wagon, which used the senior cars’ wagon body. The hot 1957 Plymouth Fury. Vauxhall never truly outlived that PR disaster. There simply wasn’t enough time to work out various fit-and-finish details and body sealing issues, so some were addressed as the model year progressed. The performance stats given in the table above are from various vintage sources. When it came time to redo the drive train, he had a few donors to choose from. The ’57, however, lost a little bit due to springs that were tweaked again to be a tad softer, after complaints that the ’56 rode too harshly. It would be interesting to me to compare the Fury’s handling to a ’56 Chevy. 762,231 were produced–if ~700 remain, that’s 1/10th of 1%–and I bet many of them are low-production Furys like this one. While King's novel was a huge success, the movie didn't get the same kind of love. More than just a straight up restoration, this car was a puzzle with many pieces that all merged from various sources. The Fury had a healthy top speed; some 115 mph as tested with a one-mile approach. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 1978 Plymouth Fury. These Plymouths were such gorgeous cars when they debuted. To ensure their cars met these specs, Plymouths were fitted with the strongest parts from the big Chrysler parts bin – engines, suspensions, and brakes. All Rights Reserved. Unfortunately these cars rusted like crazy – as a kid I remember that within a year or two on the salted roads of northern Indiana they looked really bad. What’s interesting (and a bit unexpected) is that the new 318 CID “poly” engine was tuned in such a way that it was not well-suited to be teamed up with the manual transmission. Caldwell wanted the bottom of the car to look as nice as the top, so everything was massaged and sealed in a custom red Glasurit basecoat and clear topcoat. Just like GM in ’59, in which case Cadillac did too. Finally, in an effort to improve productivity and lower its labor costs, the corporation demanded more work for the same level of pay from the line workers. You guessed right. The money spent on these pieces alone was staggering. It opened on December 9th, 1983 to lackluster reviews and poor attendance at the box office. Under the hood, the only concern with authenticity came down to visually replicating the engine that was filmed in the "show me scene." Just like with the 300C, the combination of a downshift and the opening of the second carb resulted in “suddenly you’re moving out with a tremendous rush“. My Dad’s first new car when he graduated from College was a prior year (’56) Plymouth Plaza, stripper, with the flathead 6 and manual. I love this gold/white color combo on the Fury coupe. LOL!! Martin Sanchez purchased the last survivor, which is currently on display at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, California. From the Standard Encyclopedia of American Cars: ’57 Bel Air coupe: 3278 lbs We have thousands of listings and a variety of research tools to help you find the perfect car or truck In terms of acceleration, the ’57 Chevy easily walks away from it. The strong demand for the cars early in the model year didn’t help matters. All four were tested by SCI (300C review here), and all were deemed to be the best handling American cars, which only makes sense as they shared much of their underpinnings. This 1958 Plymouth Fury was built from a pile of parts and several cars used in the actual movie to create the ultimate Christine tribute. Jim was also responsible for the rebuild of the transmission, rear, and instrument cluster. 1968 Plymouth Fury III With A V8 383 Cubic Inch Super Commando Big Block That Runs Great With Tons ... $13,995. Along the way, the obstacles that he faced were extensive.
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