Plymouth Fury 2. Generation 383 Convertible 1961

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Fury 2. Generation 383 Convertible 1961





The 1960 models from the Chrysler Corporation were the penultimate expression of the “Forward Look” championed by the company’s legendary design chief Virgil Exner. From the early part of the fifties, Exner had worked closely with the leading Italian coachbuilders to create show cars that incorporated both classic era and jet aircraft themes. He was able to take elements of those cars and bring them into his work to give Chrysler’s production vehicles a distinct and dramatic look. This was reflected in all of the ranges, from the luxurious Imperial through to the Chrysler, Dodge and even the “popular priced” Plymouth designs which emerged throughout the period from 1955 through 1961.

The Plymouth line showed all the attributes of what Exner sought to achieve, with the graceful sweep of the leading edge of the hood down around the front wheel arch recalling the open fenders of cars of the thirties and the tall rearward placed fins giving the cars a real look of a jet fighter. Chrome was used sparingly, but dramatically to accent the long, clean lines of the car. A level of detail in trim was used which today would be unimaginable in a “low priced” car and includes the “floating” speedometer unit on the dashboard and luxurious woven fabrics for the seats.

The new “uni-body” construction of the 1960 Plymouth did away with the separate frame previously used and had the benefits of lighter weight, higher structural rigidity and improved noise isolation. The torsion bar suspension used on the 1960 Plymouth also gave it a smoother ride and better cornering capability than the competition, especially useful for the higher-powered variants. For 1960, customers could choose between three levels in the Plymouth line. A vast array of comfort, convenience and performance options were available to tailor each car exactly to the buyer’s tastes and budget. On the power side, the inexpensive Savoy was offered with a 381 cubic inch V8, the more deluxe Belvedere a 361 cubic inch unit and the top-of-the-line Fury boasted a 383 cubic inch engine. The 383 came in two states of tune, with the “Cross Ram” induction manifold option offering 330-horsepower as its most potent variation. The Fury added to its appeal with up-market elements such as front bucket seats that swiveled out to ease entry and exit and an available four bucket seat interior to give it the look and feel of a true luxury grand touring car. The futuristic “Aero” steering wheel, a large, squared-off multi-piece design was another component that lent the Fury the look of a show car.

The international market was becoming more and more important to Chrysler in the late fifties and as part of their effort to develop it further, it purchased a minority interest in Chrysler of Mexico in 1959.

A direct connection to this event can be seen in this particular car from the Wayne Davis collection. The 1960 Plymouth Fury Convertible on offer was not only sold in Mexico, but was believed to have been on display at the Mexico International Auto Show.

1960 was the first year for unit-body construction, the first year for Chrysler's ram induction system, and the first year for Chrysler's new Slant-Six engine. The original 318 and 383 were available, along with a 361. The 225 slant-6 produced 145hp (108 kW) at 4000 rpm. The 383 produced 330hp (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.

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