Who doesn’t love a massive pair of tailfins on those chrome-laden yank tanks of yesteryear? Inspired by the then-new supersonic aircraft designs and space programme they looked gorgeous on all of those cars during the Fifties. However, like all fads, they started to disappear at the beginning of the next decade.
Plymouth ditched the fins for its 1961 Fury, opting for a more rounded style and it turned out to be a bad decision; buyers weren’t ready to say goodbye to the ‘Forward Look’ and as a result, sales started to drop compared to the previous year. But it wasn’t an unmitigated disaster — time is a great healer and it wasn’t long before the new Fury, penned by legendary designer Virgil Exner, was getting the attention that it deserved.
It retained much of the body panels of the previous year’s car; the doors and roof were unchanged, in fact it had just been re-skinned below the belt line. What was revised included the fenders, bonnet, and the deck. It was a job well done; the car looked fab and the criss-cross grille between the intruding headlights eyebrows that bent around from front fender crease lines was a very nice touch.
It continued the tradition of the model which was built on class and exceptional performance. It was available with several motors including a base six-cylinder with 145 horses and a 383 V8 with 330 horsepower but the one enthusiasts opted for was the 375 horse Sonoramic Commando 413. This one was mated to a three-speed manual (the Torqueflite automatic was optional)and with a torsion bar independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, it had a cushy ride and good stopping power. By the end of the year, 200,000 had sold and it is now a real collector’s item.
Today, a mint condition, low mileage all-original ‘61 Fury will retail for around the Dh350,000 mark — but they have become so rare that finding one is almost impossible.
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