Many of the movie's stunt cars had no interior, and the glass was painted black to hide that fact, so there weren't many useable parts in the mix. The article references “little old ladies from Pasadena”. Your email address will not be published. Cast with relatively unknown actors, and what King described as a "forgotten car," it cemented the '58 Plymouth Fury forever on the automotive landscape with a huge worldwide following. The Fury’s torsion bars and rear springs were also adjusted for a lower ride height, and wider 6″ rims contributed too. It started with the superb Chrysler 300 in 1955, an incomparable car at the time with the firm suspension and beefy brakes to go along with its 300 hp hemi to make it a genuine high speed tourer in the best European tradition. He would eventually buy one of the other cars pulled from the yard as a parts donor, along with additional parts that were salvaged by a few of the individuals in that circle. Was it in the movie, and also rescued from the junkyard? It has, however gone on to be one of the most iconic horror and car films ever produced. 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. Fisher took over the body design with little experience of monocoque construction, the thing was rushed into production before various quality issues were worked out, and the rust traps designed into the thing were largely responsible for the catastrophic rust reputation the car acquired both in the UK and in its overseas markets. It all kicked off with the donor shell being sent to Brighton Collision in Brooklyn, New York for its rotisserie restoration. GM put similar pressure on its UK subsidiary Vauxhall to get the F-type Victor on the market before it was properly developed. The corporation was also under increasing financial strain – remember that it had just completely revamped its line-up for 1955 – so various corners were cut during the development of these cars. When I sat between my parents in what passed for a child safety seat back then that mirror blocked my view! More than just a straight up restoration, this car was a puzzle with many pieces that all merged from various sources. 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. Rental agencies simply didn’t rent twin 4 barrel carb vehicles. He recalls, "As a kid, I went in with the expectation of seeing a great horror movie, and not realizing that the Plymouth was going to be the star of the movie. It’s almost as if Chrysler wanted to force buyers into the TorqueFlite. 1978 PLYMOUTH E86 440 BIG BLOCK POLICE CAR This is a TRUE not cloned E86 Plymouth Fury State Troope ... $19,995. Copyright 2011 - 2020 Curbside Classics. He explains, "I took a car that I was a fan of but not in love with, and I sold it to buy a car that I was not only a fan of, but also one that I always wanted." Vauxhall never truly outlived that PR disaster. 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. One could order HD suspension on the ’57 Chevy. The corporation expected the dealer body to correct the problems. Joe ended up buying numerous pallets of parts along with a rusty '57 Savoy. He took the Plymouth from NE Pennsylvania (he worked for Sylvania out of school) to Marblehead, Ma, where he and my Mother lived right after they married, and my sister and I were driven from the Beverly hospital in it. Broken suspension parts. The Plymouth was soon traded for the first of two AMC Rambler wagons, both automatic…we drove the first one back east when he got his job at Westinghouse Semiconductor near Pittsburgh. That’s the 58 with the exclamation point taillights mentioned by Rudiger above. 1957 Plymouth Fury Convertible. Images from this BAT ad, and lots more great ones there too. See Vauxpedia. As a consequence, it made little torque below its peak, and bogged down on first gear take-offs. What was unique about the Fury (and the D-500, Adventurer and 300C) is they came as a complete package, or at least mostly so (power steering and brakes were still optional on the Fury). In the trunk, he had Carthom Upholstery in New Rochelle, New York finish the trunk in red leather, which included the installation of a 40-inch plasma TV, that plays the movie at shows, and a massive JL Audio sound system installed by Audio Etc in New Rochelle, New York that pumps out music with speakers hidden in all four wheel wells. 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. As the car came together, one of the biggest challenges was the vast amount of chrome and stainless steel trim needed for the restoration. According to an interview with a Mopar stylist (don’t remember who), the slots were to mimic the 1955 GM Lasalle Motorama show car. I like the grille/headlight treatment better than that of the other Mopar cars of that year though the front license plate spoils the look a bit. 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. To ensure their cars met these specs, Plymouths were fitted with the strongest parts from the big Chrysler parts bin – engines, suspensions, and brakes. Same body, but different greenhouses and roofs on the sedans. The early ’57 grille has open slots; in the late design, the slots are bisected. A total of 24 cars were purchased for use during filming, with most being '57 and '58 Savoys and Belvederes, and one Fury. 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 told him that I'd take them, I'll take it all. LOL!! It was the only Plymouth he was ever to own…though he had two Dodges in a row in the 80’s, they were the last MOPAR cars he was to own. That car stayed with him for two years until someone came along and offered him stupid money for it. 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 early ’57 grille has open slots; in the late design, the slots are bisected. Spent my early childhood in a 57 Plymouth Savoy 4 door hardtop (I guess Savoy was one trim lower than Fury?). SCI went as far as to recommend anyone buying a manual transmission Fury to invest in an aftermarket camshaft that delivers more power over a wider range of engine speeds. I didn't even ask how much?" In 2011 he found his donor car in Arizona. A Bel Air coupe weighed 317 lbs less than the Fury coupe. I missed (or had forgotten) the Fury/Adventurer/D500/300C link but an interesting insight. He notes, "A lot of stuff was burnt. They needed to be straightened and re-chromed. The best answer to that is sort of. Aaron Kahlenberg shot the vintage photos that you see when he went looking for a tail panel for his Plymouth. Your email address will not be published. Still the better car for curvy road travel? 1968 Plymouth Fury III With A V8 383 Cubic Inch Super Commando Big Block That Runs Great With Tons ... $13,995. An attendee at last year’s Coffee & Chrome drove up in an almost identical car to this one, excepting that it had the (awful) continental kit, and slightly different wheel covers. 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. Straight line acceleration isn’t everything, at least to those 7,438 buyers of Furys. Stiffer can get you around a curve faster but it doesn’t solve all problems. But one had to spec it that way, as the hard core street racers, drag racers and stock racers did. Cheap they weren’t, but unique at the time they were. The ’57 dual headlights were borne from the uncertainty of not knowing which states were going to allow quad headlights. Along the way, the obstacles that he faced were extensive. It was a cool-looking car in red with a white roof and those pushbuttons for the transmission. And few cars look better with a continental kit; this is not one of them. Mark VanCleve purchased one of the damaged cars at a swap meet in Pomona, California with the intention of putting it back together. What's not to love about an automobile that fixes itself and can dispense some justice to your enemies? You guessed right. 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. The Fury was of course the cheapest of the fab four, and yet it was also the quickest from 0-60. Cars were being shipped from the factory regardless of condition. “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”. Here’s a comparison of a few key performance stats of the four 1957 performance cars: Note that the Fury had a manual transmission and the rest all had TorqueFlite. 1968 Plymouth Fury. The “golden glow” of memory fades away…..again! The performance specs given in the chart below are apparently for the manual-equipped version, although they also drove a TF version too. Note: there is no intrinsic advantage of a torsion bar over a coil spring; it’s all in the geometry and tuning. CC-1411591 . His fascination with cars, and horror movies, started when he was a young lad. The Fury had a healthy top speed; some 115 mph as tested with a one-mile approach. I talked to folks who had these cars. hemi, with only 1157 miles on this engine. Lot ov them said they weren’t all that great. 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. When the film was originally planned, $500,000 was set aside and ads were placed nationwide looking for suitable candidates. All Rights Reserved. The plan was to assemble his car using the bolt-on sheet metal, drive train, and trim from the junked movie cars. I remember the push button transmission and in particular the dash mounted mirror. Great car. 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. Learn how your comment data is processed. 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). By far the best selling of the Chrysler fab four, but hardly big numbers. It was a low mileage, rust free '58 Plymouth Savoy decked out in white with pink coves that had been parked under a carport since 1974. The yards deal at the time was 100 bucks for a pickup's worth of parts. That's it!" Push button automatic transmission. There is chrome where paint should have been applied, but it is all legit, right down to the zip ties holding things in place. 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. What’s interesting is how the New Challenger repeated an almost exact duplicate type of headlight treatment but, this time, it’s done simply to mimic the quad headlights of the original Challenger, and foglights now reside where the turn signals were on the original E-body. 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. This 1958 Plymouth Fury is the Ultimate Christine Tribute Car.