Plymouth Fury Convertible
Although Plymouth’s Fury had gone mainstream in 1960, fully absorbed as the top-line series offering coupes, sedans, and a convertible, its role as a prestige performance car had not been abandoned. Although most were built with a two-barrel, small-block, 318-cubic inch V-8, the engine choices ranged from a 225 CID slant six to “Sonoramic” tuned-induction 361s and 383s. For 1961, the choice was extended to a 375 brake horsepower Sonoramic wedge 413.
As in 1960, the Fury line consisted of hardtop coupes and sedans, a four-door “post” sedan, and the convertible. Of equivalent status, but lacking the Fury name, were two station wagons, in six- and nine-passenger versions called “Sport Suburbans.” While the hardtops and sedans were available with six-cylinder or V-8 power, the convertibles and wagons were V-8 only.
Using the same basic unibody as the 1960 models, the 1961 Plymouths were re-styled. The tailfins were gone, in their place, a horizontal theme with rounded edges. The front exhibits an aggressive stance, with quad headlights in vee-shaped coves. Somewhat controversial when new, it has its adherents and detractors still. It was, however, Virgil Exner’s last “full-size” Plymouth. For 1962, the cars were trimmed down by eight inches and lightened up to a quarter ton. The public rebelled, sales sank to eighth place, and Exner was promptly dismissed. By most accounts then, the 1961 Plymouth can be considered Virgil’s last hurrah.
Model RP1/2-H. 330 bhp, 383 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission, torsion bar independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118.0 in.
Part of the RM Auctions event for John Staluppi in December, 2012.
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Teddy Pieper