1957 Plymouth Fury. Click image to enlarge
Article and photo by Bill Vance
The Plymouth brand, which Walter Chrysler’s Chrysler Corporation introduced in 1928 to give it a stronger presence in the popular priced field, was not known as a high performance brand. While the Ford V8, brought out in 1932, and Hudson’s Terraplane were considered the hot ones, Plymouth’s role in life was to provide sturdy and reliable, if unexciting, service.
In spite of its rather staid image, during the years following the Second World War, Plymouth’s vaunted reliability often served it well in National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and American Automobile Association competition. While hotdogs like Lincolns and Oldsmobiles frequently burned themselves out racing against one another, Plymouth would stroke quietly along to a victory. By the 1950s, however, Hudsons, Oldsmobile 88s and Chrysler Hemis were usually the ones to win, leaving poor Plymouth in the shade.
Things changed dramatically for Plymouth, and the whole Chrysler Corporation in 1955. This marked the introduction of their new “Forward Look,” a break from the rather conservative styling initiated in 1949. Along with the daring new shape, Plymouth’s image changed too with the arrival of its new overhead valve V8 developing 167 horsepower out of 4.3 litres (260 cu in.). It was a big step up from the venerable side-valve six, although that engine would continue to be available until 1959.
In 1956 Plymouth polished its image even more with the introduction of the Fury, which brought it into the heady high performance league. Inspired by the mighty 1955 Chrysler C300, the rest of the Chrysler divisions also wanted models that were speedy and sporty. The result was not only the Plymouth Fury but the Dodge D-500 option and the DeSoto Adventurer.
The Fury came only as an attractive, white, two-door hardtop with an anodized aluminum gold tinted side spear. Inside were Chrysler’s newly introduced corporate push-button transmission controls. It also received the slightly raised tailfins that all Chrysler products got that year.
As a specialty car there were only 4,485 1956 Furys produced, but this was still more than the Chrysler 300B, DeSoto Adventurer and Dodge D-500 option combined.