Curbside Capsule: 1972 Plymouth Fury III Two-door Hardtop – Plastic Surgery Never Helps An Already-Beautiful Fuselage

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This 1972 Plymouth Fury III caught my eye a couple days ago on my way to a meeting downtown, so when my path brought me by again, I simply had to stop. From this angle, the car carries its 3,790 lbs of (dry) weight quite well, if you can look past the plastic “augmentation” on the hood and trunk…

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Image courtesy fuselage.de

The Fury was redesigned yet again for 1972, which saw a sleeker interpretation of fuselage styling. Instead of a Fury GT or Sport Fury, one could now order a Broughamy Fury Gran Coupe or Sedan, both of which featured hidden headlights (initially) not available on lesser trim levels such as our subject car.

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In fact, this Fury III appears to be pretty lightly optioned, with manual window cranks, and unless I’m missing something, I don’t even see a radio on the dash. I suspect it has the base 318 cu. in. (5.2l) engine under the hood, rather than one of the larger options (360, 400 or 440 cu. in.).

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Image courtesy fuselage.de

While small cars were all the rage in 1972 (think Pinto, Vega, etc.), the Fury was aimed at folks who still wanted a “standard size” car. Given that Fury rode on a 120″ wheelbase and was a whopping 217.2″ (5.5m) long, I’d love to see what Plymouth felt was “full size” in this era!

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In fact, it was this specific “plus size” view that caught my eye—what an incredible expanse of sheet metal lies between the normal B-pillar location and rear bumper. And yet, the car actually looks nicely balanced for all that.

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1972 would also be the last year for beautifully integrated bumpers, as federal regulations would drive nearly all manufacturers to adopt “battering ram” 5mph bumpers the next year.

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While I’ve never been a huge fan of full-size cars, I do feel Plymouth (Dodge/Chrysler) had some really nice-looking ones in the very late 1960s through about this model year. While the plastic surgery and cheap, flashy “shoes” on this example don’t really do anything for me personally, they aren’t enough to hide what I feel is a beautifully-executed design.