Vintage Car & Driver Road Test: 1966 Plymouth Fury III – The First C/D “Boss Wagon”

Car and Driver had a tradition of buying cars for their own use, and writing them up. In the fall of 1965, they were looking for something big enough to haul cameras, test gear, hunting guns, and what have you. They decided on a ’66 Fury III wagon, custom ordered to be quick and handle well, among other things. It was dubbed the “Boss Wagon”, and it became the first in a long line.

The decision was based on a longish history of appreciation fro Chrysler’s large cars and their potential for superior handling. A Pontiac Catalina was also in the running, but C/D nixed that “because we didn’t like its flamboyant, curvy styling“. That’s a bit ironic, given that the Fury was paying stylistic homage to the ’63 Pontiac, and the ’65-’66 was generally considered quite a looker. And a goes, with the Tri-power 421. To each their own, but I consider the Fury to be the weakest of the new ’65-’66 Mopar C-bodies; I would have gone for the Chrysler.

It was ordered with the optional sports suspension, and adjustable Koni shocks were added. The optional disc brakes were specified, which also came with larger 15” wheels and 8.15-15 tires. Oh, and dual “Maserati” air horns.

Somewhat surprisingly, C/D didn’t order it with the 365 hp 440, which was the top engine choice in the Fury. Instead they went with the 383 four barrel, rated at 330 hp. Still plenty fast, but not really quite “boss”. C/D waxed eloquently (as was their way at the time) about how fast it was, although its 0-60 time of 9.2 seconds and its 1/4 mile time of 17.1 @83.5 seconds is not exactly earth-shattering. I hate to keep bringing it up as a frame of comparison, but a 205 hp 265 ’56 Chevy was quicker; and of course lighter.

I drove a similarly equipped ’69 Fury on a fast road trip, and can vouch for its effortless cruising abilities at 90-100 mph.

A set of 8.45-15 Goodyear “Police Special” tires improved handling as well as harshness over NYC’s notorious potholes. The Koni shocks got high marks.


The Boss Wagon put an Aston Martin DB6 to shame on a backroad “race” to the nearest pub. But then those Astons were more like 1930s cars in terms of their suspension. Both cars caught air, a requisite element of these C/D write-ups.

“All told, it’s a keen machine.”