(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 As crisp and appealing as it is in many ways, it was hopelessly out of date compared to GM, which had already unleashed its second generation of Coke-bottle designs in 1967.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.