Rare Bird:

1961 Plymouth Fury Convertible

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Designed by the legendary Virgil Exner, the 1961 Plymouth Fury is one of the most eclectic and fascinating four-wheeled Mid-Century designs to ever roam planet Earth.

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Featuring a face only a mother could love and Impala-like, horizontal wings with rocket-inspired tail light pods deeply set into concave quarter panels, the Sixty-one was simply too radical, too unconventional to find general acceptance by the buying public at the time and contributed to the end of the Exner era at Chrysler.

Today, 57 years later, finding a '61 Fury Convertible, one of just 6,948 manufactured, is an almost impossible task. Finding a survivor that is ready to be enjoyed is almost like winning the lottery.
Here's one -- let's take a closer look!

Still registered to its very desirable, seldom seen 1961 California yellow-and-black license plates, this convertible has spent all its life in the sunny Golden State, which is very good news as the '61s unfortunately were prone ot be attacked by the deadly rust devil. Owned for the past three decades by a lawman from San Pedro, Calif., this Mid-Century Plymouth was driven regularly and is well-maintained.

Under the hood lurks Plymouth's famous "wide block" 318 cu.in. power plant.

Officially named "V 800," Plymouth's polyspheric "A" engine develops 230 real horsepower.
The car is factory-equipped with "torsion-aire" front suspension and power steering, as well as the new-for-1961 alternator. A couple of years ago, the Fury's caretaker elected to spend $2,800.00 to upgrade the fickle Centerplane drums with front disc brakes. Switch included a dual master cylinder and power booster. You better hold on: this Plymouth has real brakes!

Side view shows off Fury's attractive split-level Sportone Jet Black over Carnival Red finish. Two-tone cars were all the rage during the Fifties and early Sixties, and our Fury wears its livery well. Paint is quite old but still utterly presentable. The ample brightwork is in very good to excellent condition throughout.

Exner's space-age design displays many interesting, over-the-top features, which makes the '61 so unique and valuable today.

Plymouth comes with a perfect, black pin-point vinyl convertible top. Rear window is crystal clear.

Of course, the top-of-the-line Fury features a power top, too!

Fury looks simply amazing with the top down. Factory 14-inch steel wheels feature the beautiful, original full wheel covers and Coker Classic white whitewall radial tires of the dimension 215/75R14.

Inside, the '61 Plymouth features a unique, space-age dash design. No detail was overlooked. It's almost as if the Detroit stylists took cues from California customizers like Barris, Roth and Jeffries.

Highlight of the Fury interior is its amazing, extra-cost SQUARE steering wheel, featuring a clear lucite rim with embedded silver metal sparkles. Called the Aero Wheel, it is in fabulous condition, without cracking. An original Aero Wheel, if you could find one, would be worth well over $1K. This truly is Jetsons design at its finest.

Like a mechanical typewriter: pushbuttons control Torqueflite 3-speed automatic shifter and cabin heater functions. All lights and gauges work, except for the clock.
Original radio lights up and hums. The original owner's manual is also included.
Fury comes equipped with Chrysler's optional Airtemp A/C, which is fully intact, however, it looks like the compressor would need to be rebuilt to make it functional again.

Comfy red-and-white leatherette interior looks older but still holds up well. Check out the raised driver's seat back!

Like most full-size American cars of the era, Fury seats six adults with ease.
Note form-fitting tonneau cover for the top compartment.

A remarkable rear end.

Clean trunk also holds six bodies, if need be. Note the unused WWW spare tire.

Fury's undercarriage has not suffered the usual rust damage. Everything appears to be super solid, even the inner rear quarters, which is almost a miracle on a '61 MoPar.


Wednesday, July 11th was a typically warm and sunny day here on California's coast, our favorite place in the World. We happily hopped into the big Fury and took off on a test drive and photo session.

The car starts up right away and there's no exhaust smoke. Pushing a button to engage "Drive," we swiftly accelerate onto the highway. The aforementioned power disc brakes make us feel safe and secure -- what an improvement over the original design!

Piloting this dinosaur through 21st century traffic is nothing short of sensational. Most people have no clue what they're looking at or who even made a "Plymouth." It's so very different!

Like any Torsion Aire equipped MoPar product, the Fury's handling is crisp and sure-footed. We love it!

Returning home, we wear big smiles. This is vintage convertible motoring at its best; truly a special treat.

Rarely arises the opportunity to acquire one of the most outlandish convertibles ever conceived by the mad men of Detroit. This '61 Fury is a worthy candidate to be a "forever car," to be proudly displayed in the circular driveway of a Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern home, shown at the next "Fall Fling" show in Woodley Park, or parked under a soft flannel cover in the garage of a true MoPar enthusiast, to be enjoyed on sunny summer days.


You are most welcome to inspect this fine automobile at our location in Ventura, by appointment, or have someone inspect it for you.
Please, direct all inquiries to bill@californiaclassix.com or call us at 805-653-5551.