By David Bellm
Among Chrysler Corporation's conservative offerings in the early 1950s,
few were more plain and practical than those of the company's low-cost
Occupying a niche that catered to sensible car
buyers who favored solid engineering and low price over flash and
substance, Plymouth had a devoted following in the half-dozen years
immediately following World War II.
But as the 1950s progressed, public taste had changed and car buyers
increasingly demanded flashier, more powerful offerings. Plymouth
responded in kind with the introduction of flamboyantly restyled designs
in the mid '50s.
These brash tail-finned cars almost immediately raised Plymouth's
stature from dowdy to dramatic, giving rival makes a serious run.
late 1950s, Plymouth was rising from being a largely unheralded
low-price division in the Chrysler stable to having a unique exciting
identity of its own.
At the forefront of the division's drive to attract youthful,
style-conscious buyers was its new Fury model introduced for 1957.
The Fury was based on Plymouth's basic two-door hardtop bodystyle which
featured a big, toothy bright-metal grille and tall tailfins sprouting
from the rear fenders.
Available only in a rich, off-white color, the Fury featured unique
gold spear-shaped trim that ran the length of the bodyside. These side
spears culminated at a sharp point just before the car's broad grille
which sported a matching gold finish.
Standard engine for the Fury was a 290-horsepower, 318-cubic-inch V8.
For 1958, an optional 350-cubic-inch V8 was offered making up to 315
horsepower with help from a cutting-edge fuel-injection system.
Unfortunately, fuel-injection systems in general were still in their
infancy, and the Fury's unit was perhaps not surprisingly fraught with
problems, making it especially rare and thus prized by collectors now.
Externally, the Fury was little changed for 1958, with the car getting
quad instead of dual headlights, a revised grille, and different
Despite the Fury's clean, appealing lines and its relatively good
performance, it found few buyers, with just 7438 sold for 1957. For '58
Fury sales dropped even lower, to 5303.
The following year, the Fury was made less exclusive; from then on the
name was relegated to any of the topline Plymouth models.
panache and verve of the original 1957-58 Fury lived on in Plymouth's
"Sport Fury," a dressed-up version of the basic full-size hardtop coupe
featuring bucket seats and other sporty touches.
Over the years, the 1957-58 Plymouth Fury was largely ignored by car
enthusiasts being typically overshadowed by more popular General Motors
and Ford contemporaries.
But in the early 1980s, the Fury's notoriety
got a boost when one starred as a demon-possessed death car in
"Christine," a popular early-1980s film based on the Stephen King novel
of the same name.
Unlike the real 1957-58 Plymouth Fury, however, the ferocious Fury in
"Christine" was a deep blood red instead of its correct ivory color. But
given the car's gory personality in the film and how rare it was to see
a Fury featured so prominently anywhere, fans of these brash big
Plymouths were more than willing to forgive such a deviation.
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