(Curbside shots by CC Cohort That Guy 1960)
It’s not hard to imagine why the Chrysler designers were hard at work on the 1969 fuselage full size cars when this Fury III was new. As crisp and appealing as it is in many ways, it was hopelessly out of date compared to GM, which had already unleashed its second generation of Coke-bottle designs in 1967. And even Ford got on the curvaceous bandwagon in 1967, albeit with more reserve than the long and flowing fastback GM coupes. Meanwhile, this Fury seems stuck in 1963. Things were happening so quickly then, that four years might have been an eternity, like the difference between the “Meet The Beatles” and “Sgt. Pepper”.
Elwood Engel’s tenure as Chrysler’s styling head began in 1961, and he brought the slab-sided look that he helped pioneer with his 1961 Continental along with him. That resulted in some memorable cars, but was clearly running against the grain of GM’s design dominance, and as such, the arbiter of popular taste. Meanwhile, this Fury still has the stacked headlights that Pontiac introduced with great success in 1963 and was about to toss aside.
The Fury’s roof line was new and fresh in 1964, when it first appeared, but now looked decidedly dated. There was already a new semi-fastback “Fast Top” available on the VIP and Sport Fury for 1967, an attempt to keep up with the Mitchells. But the regular Fury III still wore this hat, for the next-to-last time. By 1968, the Fast Tops were undoubtedly more common, but this style hardtop was still available for those who just had to have one. And for 1969, the straight edges had all been confiscated, only to be dug out of the closet again for the K cars.
I guess to put this into real perspective, you don’t have to transplant yourself back to ’67; the design is fresh and pleasing, but if you stack this up against a ’67 Impala Sport Coupe/SS Coupe, then the point may be well made. Of course, if one equipped said Fury III coupe with the Golden Commando 440, the Impalas and Galaxies with their hottest engines would probably be seeing the tailights of the Fury . . . .
I don’t know, I still think this car looks better than the GM full-size models of 1967. It looks lean and somewhat aerodynamic. The GM cars were starting to look Baroque with lumps and bulges that served no purpose but “styling”.
I didn’t recall the ‘hips’ on the Fury III — in my minds’ eye is was flat and straight. I rather like it- it doesn’t seem that bloated to me here.
Count me as another fan of the crisp early 1960s look. For those of us who liked the look of cars coming out of GM in 1962-64, these Mopars gave us more of the (sort of) same.
I will say that this hardtop roof is one of my least favorite of that period. The fastback was a much more cohesive style. There has always been something about the proportions of this roof that was off to my eye. With virtually ever other body style, I can find no fault. This one I am not so enthusiastic about.
When you got inside of these cars, it was 1963 there too with lots of chrome plated diecastings. Trivia time – 1967 was the last Plymouth with a real diecast chrome plated horn ring (half ring, actually). The 68 model got a dull argent finish on the ring and on several other interior parts. With 1967 being the first year of the modern LA block 318, this may have been the best all-around Plymouth of the decade if you found a typically-equipped (read as small V8) one.
When I first saw the Corvair this morning, I became resigned to the fact that this was going to be PN’s day in the sun. But now it’s mine too! A year or two ago I was perusing Ebay and came across a turbine bronze 67 Sport Fury ragtop with white interior. My oh my did I ever want that car.
Oh, I don’t think the 67-68s were dated. To the contrary, the 69s jumped the shark. The tragedy of post-WWII Detroit is that “me tooism” became so pronounced that even once iconoclastic AMC succumbed to groupthink.
I guess it might look dated compared to the GM offerings of 67.
My personal perspective though is this Engel styling is still WAY more pleasing than the soon to follow fusalage look.
It may have looked dated when it was made, but I’d take this Fury over almost any fuselage-bodied Mopar.
No, I don’t blame you guys. The ’65-’68 “slab” c-bodies were more solidly built than the fusey cars, according to pretty much everyone. (Not that I’ve had the privilege of comparing them.) You just need to retrofit ’73 front discs and electronic ignition.
I would love a ’66 two-door hardtop, mellow 383-2v, Magnums and whitewalls, in dark red or turquoise, white interior…anyway, great to see the feature car being maintained in mostly unmodded fashion.
I said “almost” any fusey. 🙂 The ’70 Sport Fury, 300 Hurst and ’72-’73 Imperial are my favorite fuselage bodies.
My 68 had the Fast Top, but I think the featured car’s HT roofline was available in 68. I can recall seeing an identical Fury III like mine with the regular HT roof. My car was a mint green metallic with the black vinyl roof and cloth and vinyl 2 tone green interior. It had the 318, and it was my first “good” car. Bought in 1973, from a Chrysler dealer, $ 960 was the drive out price.
The dash definitely was 60’s cool. Toggle type switches for everything, in an aluminum trim. It had a temp gauge and an ammeter. I’m not sure if it had an oil pressure gauge. It had only an AM Radio with rear speaker. (Still were a lot of AM music stations in those days.) For a car that was considered back lot material in 1973, it looked and drove great, only problem was the usual Mopar stalling. When I bought it, I really wanted a fuselage 69 or newer. The dealer had 2 1970’s, but they had well over 100K on the clock and were priced at $ 1095. They still looked good, but the 68 had 74K on it. I made the right choice with the 68. I drove it 3 trouble free years, sold it for $ 550, and bought the new 76 Royal Monaco.
I blew it again; just checked, and you’re right: this old-style roof was still available in 1968. I will amend the text. I wonder how many still came that way?
Here’s the pic from oldcarsbrochures. The text is “maybe these hardtops will be the stars of ’68” Maybe.
The feature car was OK, but looking at the ad makes me say, “I want my Fury back.”
I’m glad I still have the Royal Monaco. I never would have guessed I’d still have it after 36 years. Drove it yesterday. Still a treat.
You guys are both right. The ’68 could be had with non-fast top c-pillar, but it had less of that early-’60s reverse-taper effect. Look at Paul’s ad and you’ll see that the front and back edges of the pillar are almost parallel.
I don’t believe anyone could beat Chrysler for crisp lines in those days. My 1964 Impala above was linear, the 1965-66 models were very svelte, but I agree with Bill above on the ’67 Chevys – taking the curves a bit too far – yet I wouldn’t have kicked one out of our driveway!
I ignored Ford until the 1968 Torino, but until then, after Chevy, Chrysler was it in the styling and Hemi departments!
I see what you’re saying, Paul…and in terms of 1967 marketing priorities, you’re absolutely right…but today, I’d take this car in a heartbeat. Nice piece!
The straight edges returned a bit earlier at Chrysler if we include the B-bodies Monaco/Fury formely Coronet/Satellite who morphed into R-bodies Newport/New Yorker/St.Regis for ’79.
“The fastback was a much more cohesive style.”
Can’t say I agree, JP. The fast top looks like a Barracuda roof, meant for a smaller, more sculpted lower body – kind of a baseball cap on a three-piece suit.
My guess is that Paul likes how the fastback roof breaks-up the long, straight back fender when viewed in a side profile. I think I prefer the non-fastback roof; I’m not a fan of the large triangular C-pillar.
Actually, I’m not a fan of that “fastback” roof at all. It looks very much like the afterthought it obviously was.
I rather like this Fury, for what it is. I was just pointing out that it was falling behind compared to the competition.
I should have prefaced my comments about Fuselage styling by stating the obvious which is there are no bad Imperial designs 😉
The mid-sized Coronet and Belvedere 2Dr hardtops had the same crisp styling through 1967 that this Fury has—-loved the look of all of them. The full-sized Dodge Polaras and Monacos only carried this roofline through the ’66 model year, if I’m not mistaken—they went whole-hog with the semi-fastback look in ’67-’68.
To jpcavanaugh: some 68’s came with a chromed horn ring similar to the 67’s. I don’t know if it was just early production to use up surplus or what, but my father owned a ’68 Fury III with the old style ring. I remember this specifically because I thought all models from this year had the argent/colored keyed center button, but this one didn’t and I have seen quite a few other so equipped.
Additionally, when equipped with the extremely rare adjustable steering wheel (TIlt-A-Scope) the steering wheel and column was the same as that used in ’66 and ’67.
The tilt-o-scope column was different in 1966 and not interchangeable with 1967+ columns. 1967 was the first year that collapsible steering columns were mandated.
You are right, BigOldChryslers on the federally mandated changes regarding collapsible steering columns – I should have been clearer on that. What I meant was the steering wheel with the “collar” and telescoping mechanism visually appeared to be pretty much the same as the previous two years.
Gotcha. Yes, I agree.
Pretty car in retrospect. At the time, my loyalty and appreciation went to GM but after going on 40 some odd years, this design has a new and fresh look to it. And with apologies to Cragar, is there a better looking wheel then American Racing’s Torque Thrust? They have a way of taking a great looking car and making it look tough, cool and sexy all at the same time!
Remember these cars well. My Dad had a 67 Fury 2 4 door sedan when I first started driving a beautiful Turquoise color. Car served us well though kind of a let down since it did not have AC and we lived in Nashville, TN and Mobile, AL when we had it. It served us well and the man he sold it to in 73 when he got a new Impala kept it first rate the last time I saw it years ago. It did not rust out around the back window like most GM cars did. Always thought the car had a little more classy look than the Belair or Ford Custom 500 that year. You could look at it long enough and see an Imperial.My College roomate had a 68 Fury 3 Fastback with the 383, how I remember going home with him on the weekend up to Ft Worth from near San Antonio with the CB blairing running 90 plus mph. Oh the days of my youth. Thanks for the memories.
I never cared for the “fast top” styling. To me this car still looks really good, although that rear overhang seems preposterously long.
I’ll go along with everyone that I like this better than Chevy. Probably Ford had the best looking 66. Had a friend with this year (or67) Fury. 426. Low lo gas mileage. If I had my pick of the litter I think the 68-69 Coronet and Belvedere were the best looking of the era. Road runners make me particularly lustful but I actually owned a 69 Coronet 440. I think that styling was pretty timeless.
A 67 or 68 Fury with a 426 Hemi? There was never a factory-built Mopar C-body with a Hemi (aside from an Engineering test mule or two) and it’s pretty challenging to shoehorn a Hemi into a C-body. Kudos to your friend if he pulled it off.
I still have a ‘426’ Plymouth hood ornament I got off an early to mid 60’s Fury four door sedan. The car had evidently been parked for many years prior, was engineless & about to be crushed at the scrapyard: I wish I had gotten the VIN off of it. It didn’t appear to have been modified at any point.
Were some 426 engines NOT Hemis? I always wondered..
Sure; the 426 Wedge was available in in 1963 through 1965, both in 365 hp form, and a 415/425 hi-po version, the famous Max Wedge. The 425 hp version had the famous ram intake, with two four barrels. It was basically a bored 413. In 1963 and 1964, ispecially lightened versions were the terrors of the strips. And they almost all had the Torqueflite, since Chrysler had no four speed at the time.
Thanks for the information Paul! So the hood ornament was probably correct then 🙂
Memories become junk.
It certainly looked like this and I think it was the Plymouth equivalent of the Dodge Coronet. It definitely was a Hemi and it was too new to butcher trying to make something hotter. It’s going to live on in my memory as a Hemi powered Fury and as a 66 or 67.
This is a gorgeous vehicle. This is one of the most fluid executions of the stacked headlight designs I’ve seen. That long trunk and bar-o-taillights are just beautiful. The side profile shot is my favorite. Just look how nice the bumpers are integrated into the fenders. Aesthetically perfect but probably not very robust in the “oops” department.
Even as a kid, I never saw many of these on the road though.
Comparing this squared up Fury to… this? No comparison. Yeah, it is clean and the proportions are OK, but very tame and “straight” in an era where smooth and sleek were coming on strong.
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I have a 67 fastback and after seeing this fasttop I think I would trade mine for it. I love the cleanness of the Coronet/Satellite roofline, even though the Fury fasttop COULD have been a shallower angle like the others. I never thought about the carry over from the 63 (that stiletto thing was awesome).
I don’t care, I love this angular period and it looks better than a Galaxie or the curvy Impala. Matter of taste to be sure.
Again, its a matter of taste, and though this is the best Riviera of that era, I still like the earlier Rivieras better.
Basically some of us prefer the era when fins were merely sight lines and angles were prevalent instead of “hips”. And before styles got plumped up again.
Even as a die-hard fan of boxy Mopars (owner of a ’68 4-door Satellite and ’69 Valiant), I can’t get remotely excited about this ’67 Fury. It’s one of the worst hodgepodges I’ve ever seen.
Honestly, it looks like George Barris was tasked to put together a normal looking car using front and rear ends sourced from GM, a 5-year-old roof clip from Chrysler, and bodysides that so obviously ape Engel’s own quarter panel kick off the ’61 Lincoln that when I first saw a photo of a ’67s quarter in the weeds, I thought someone had done some Bondo magic on a ’66.
In fact, the quarter kickups ruin the car more than anything else – at least on the fasttop – with that squared off rear window running a close second.
It’s unbelievable how much better and more cohesive the ’67 looks as a fastback, and even then, the roof-to-C-pillar arch has an unsightly kink in it, as if someone couldn’t get the die stamping machine to do what they wanted. What’s more surprising is that the smaller A-body Barracuda pulls off the same look far more gracefully.