This 1960 Plymouth Fury is the very picture of 1950s opulence and splendor. Fins? Jukebox instrument panel? Wide whites on wire wheels? Swivel-out front seats? Tri-tone interior? The odd placement of carefully designed logos and scripts around the body? Sport deck, an optional trunk lid with a faux-spare tire molded in? Hectares of chrome slathered on all surfaces? Skirts, fer cryin’ out loud? How many kitschy mid-century styling cues could a single car carry? Size, proportion, the evolution of the “Forward Look,” everything you can readily see on this convertible fairly screams of the decade of Eisenhower.
Yet, if you look deeper, this particular 1960 Fury is a car at a crossroads. Yes, the body is all about the ’50s. Still, if you scratch through the surface excitement, there are some significant leaps forward here. First up is unitized construction. Mopar tried to popularize it as early as the mid-1930s, in its controversial Air_ ow—all of Rambler’s chest-beating over how its predecessor, Nash, pioneered this innovation was a little disingenuous—but every new 1960 Plymouth (including the compact Valiant) had unit-body construction. Plymouth claimed it took 5,400 welds to put together a fullsize unit-body (Savoy, Belvedere, or Fury, no matter), and as a result offered 100-percent greater body rigidity and 40-percent greater beam strength than its contemporary competition from GM and Ford, despite elements that were up to 75-percent heavier than competitors’. Six separate chemical sprays and seven chemical baths, plus four coats of paint, prevented rust on the inner structure; before the paint went on, all of the seams were shot with a weld sealant that expanded and dried as the body dried in the paint oven. Additional soundproofing was provided by larger rear-spring bushings, a new driveshaft designed to reduce hum, special liquid sealant and fibrous matting throughout. The result? A lighter car and a smoother in-cabin experience. The engine was held in its own separate subframe, isolated from the rest of the car.
Alas, while the SonoRamic V-8 was excellent for the street, and excelled in accelerating and passing power, it didn’t quite do the trick at the high revs that most racers needed, and so fell out of favor; there were no more SonoRamic Furys past 1961, although lessons learned here were put to work on other Mopars, including the fearsome Max Wedge racers that dominated the early-to-mid-’60s racing scene. Plymouth produced 7,080 Fury convertibles for 1960; it is estimated that 20 to 25 of these were equipped with the SonoRamic 361 engine.
This Plymouth is a bridge between eras, spanning the ostentatious tri-tone glamour of the ’50s and the no-nonsense speed of the ’60s. Rarely has straddling the fence— between decades, between luxury and performance—seemed so comfortable.
Engine OHV Chrysler B-series V-8
Horsepower 310 @ 4,800 rpm
Fuel system Dual four-barrel Carter carburetors, each atop a 30-inch intake runner
Transmission Chrysler TorqueFlite three-speed automatic
Wheelbase 118 inches
Length 209.4 inches
Width 78.6 inches
Height 54.9 inches
Shipping weight 3,630 pounds
Production 20-25 (est.)
Article courtesy of Hemmings Motor News, written by Jeff Koch.