If yesterday’s Duster post showed a cheerful side of ’70s American autodom, this ’76 Fury coupe shows the less savory reality facing Plymouth. Unlike the dramatic 1958 model featured in Stephen King’s Christine, there was nothing overtly menacing about the 1975-1978 Fury coupe.
Luxury was in, but against cars like the Chevy Monte Carlo, Chevelle Laguna and Ford Elite, the Fury didn’t put enough glamor on display. The Chrysler Cordoba, which shared the Fury coupe’s basic body, managed to cater to the personal luxury audience effectively, but the Fury was the most basic mid-sized two-door out there, except for maybe the Matador coupe. The car’s primary selling point was price and warranty coverage, along with extra incentives. Even from the beginning of the B-body’s 1971 redesign, many four-doors wound up being sold for police and fleet duty, while the rather unadorned aesthetic did little to attract private buyers to the Satellite coupe as the muscle car era waned. Thus, with some extra lipstick did the new Fury coupe replace the Satellite for 1975, even though the car was much the same underneath.
That meant increasingly softened suspension, negating any real handling advantage the car was once known for–at least versus the improved cars from GM, along with a wide variety of de-smogged engines. The good news was that, even with the Road Runner gone, a 400 CID V8 with dual exhausts and four-barrel carb was available, with about 230 horsepower, but it’s unlikely many Fury buyers sprang for that option, especially after 1973-1974.
Chrysler was, by now, entering some of its worst years, before securing loans in 1980. The bigger cars were not selling and the A-bodies were about to be replaced by disastrously underdeveloped new cars. This ad is a good example of what Chrysler was (not) selling while their ship was sinking. Do you think models like the Fury deserved to fail?