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- 318 – 4 BBL carburetor.
- 290 HP @5400 RPM.
- Push Button Transmission.
- Carter WCBF four-barrel carburetors.
150 MPH speedometer.
325 pound-feet of torque.
Upswept bumper extensions.
Safety padded dash and sunvisors.
Two-tone steering wheel.
I always wanted a 57 Plymouth because the fifties was my decade. That’s when I grew up and I remember the Plymouths when they were new, Fast and Furious. It was in October of 2006 when I found a 57 Plymouth Fury with all the original parts still on it, a rare find these days. Joseph L Braun in Decatur, Ind. Had advertised his car which he had purchased new in June of 1957 from Goral Dodge Plymouth in nearby Fort Wayne Ind. For the grand sum of $2,845.77. Joseph and his wife used the car for their honeymoon and for several other memorable trips until he parked the car for good in 1971 in his mothers garage. Now off the road but hardly forgotten, Joseph faithfully returned every three months or so to give the cylinders a squirt of oil and turn the engine over to keep it from seizing up. When his mother died in 1981, he was forced to move the car to his uncles farm and store it in the barn. It remained in the barn until 2005 when his uncle died and the farm was being sold off by his uncles estate. Joseph was forced to finally sell the car after he realized that he would never get around to restoring his beloved Fury and this is when I got lucky and bought it from Joseph.
To put the whole exercise into perspective, the 57 Plymouth Fury was a complete car except for the corrosion. I like to joke and say that the car weighed five hundred pounds less when I had it shipped from Indianna, it was such a rust bucket. This was a car so badly deteriorated, most people wouldn’t have restored it let alone turn it into a show car. I enlisted the services of Terry Levair of Investment VehicleRestorations in Granum, Alberta to do a frame off restoration in January of 2007. I told Terry that I wanted the car to be ready for the World of Wheels car show in Calgary in February of 2008 at which time he proceeded to laugh almost uncontrollably. While Terry worked on the restoration, I spent the better part of four hundred hours sourcing out whatever spare parts I could find. As luck would have it, a good friend of mine, Larry Schau in Winnipeg who is an absolute certified Car Crazy Plymouth guy, gave me a name in New Jersey of a guy who had a lot of Fury parts that he might want to get rid of. This gentleman, Richard Allocca had previously restored his 57 Fury into a Grand Champion in the US and for many years had accumulated a basement full of old Plymouth parts. After a few discussions with Richard in which he hesitantly told me he would part with his cache of vintage Fury parts, I purchased them all sight unseen and came out with what could be considered to be the mother lode of car parts for a Fury guy like myself.
Included in this haul was a new, still in the original box, 1957 Fury steering wheel, four new, in the box Fury hubcaps, new crankshaft, eight new pistons and a full bolt of original Fury interior upholstery. In addition, there were many other valuable parts such as taillights, points, air filters, early edition manuals, a pair of Fury mufflers still in the original packing, a pair of Fury fender skirts and many many other items. Because of the rusted condition of the Fury, we had to buy two parts cars, a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere two door hard top and a 1958 Plymouth four door just to get the floor pans, trunk pans and quarter panel parts needed to complete the project. Even with these two parts cars, it was hard to come up with enough clean metal to match with the Fury body but with a little luck and a lot of work, we did it. With the new floors, trunk pan and quarter panels installed, the Fury was starting to look more like a true 50s cruiser every day.
The engine, transmission and rear end were completely rebuilt by Petz Brothers Performance in Balzac Alberta as were the complete brakes and remainder of the drive train resulting in winning Outstanding Engine Restored at the World Of Wheels, Calgary show. The upholstery was done by a little known upholsterer called Hoagey`s Upholstery of Calgary winning Outstanding Interior Restored World Of Wheels Calgary. All of the trim was redone by Dave Stark of West-Tek Metal Restoration in Calgary while detailing was done by Dave and Lori Clayton of Personal Touch Car Care garnering another award for Outstanding Detail. Other awards won include a Best Restored, Winnipeg, Exhibitors Choice, Winnipeg, Best In Class, Winnipeg, Best Restored, Edmonton, Early Restored Hardtop, Edmonton, People`s Choice, Edmonton, Outstanding Restored, Calgary, Best In Class, Calgary, Outstanding Pant Calgary, Best Paint Restoration, Edmonton, Best Paint Overall, Edmonton. The two most appreciated awards
DDS won were for People`s Choice, Edmonton Powerama and Exhibitor`s Choice, Winnipeg. These awards voted on by the public and by your peers are most gratifying as they confirm that you have done the best you can do and that work has been recognized by the best in the world.
In closing, let it be said that there is nothing more satisfying, nothing more rewarding than being given the chance to be involved with some of the greatest people in all the world, Certifiable Car Crazy people just like me.
1957 was a good year for cars, I remember it very well. “Suddenly its 1960 ” was Plymouths advertising slogan for the 1957 model year. It was a rather flamboyant statement and so were their cars. By pushing their styling departments ahead by three years, Chrysler was attempting to claim the “styling leadership” title from General Motors. Plymouths newer-than-new styling shocked competitors in the low price field. Low and wide, with a wrap around grill, visored headlamps and high-rise tailfins, the Plymouth had a look all its own. The high style wasn’t without substance as the new theme carried over to the unibody construction with torsion bar suspension and powerful engines backed by the new push button three speed Torqueflite automatic transmission.
Leading this pack was the high-performance Plymouth Fury. Available only in a two-door hardtop with only one paint finish, Sand Dune white with gold anodized aluminum Sport Trim, it carried many unique features not found on other models. There were upswept bumper extensions, safety padded dash and sunvisors, special clock, two-tone steering wheel, 150 MPH speedometer, dual exterior rear view mirrors and a special performance engine. Called the V-800, it displaces 318 cubic inches boasts a 9.25:1 compression ratio. With a performance camshaft, solid valve lifters, dual exhaust and topped with a pair of Carter WCBF four-barrel carburetors, it produces 290 HP @5400 RPM and 325 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the 3,800 pound Fury from 0-to-60 in 8.6 seconds and cover the ¼ mile in only 16.5 seconds.
While there were 7,438 Plymouth Fury models produced in 1957, there are less than 60 that are known to survive today. Partly to blame for the dwindling numbers are the Plymouths tendency to rust prematurely. At the urging of the US government to help shore up the sagging Japanese economy, automobile manufacturers were encouraged to purchase inexpensive Japanese steel. Chrysler Corporation was the only manufacturer to comply with these wishes and paid a hefty price in doing so. Fraught with a very high iron content the steel rusted so quickly that Chrysler suspended the practice of using Japanese steel after the 1958 model year. Chrysler car salesmen used to joke that they had to sell the show room models fast before they rusted on the show room floor.