1965 Plymouth Fury III Convertible

Parker Fury

By Ed Parker

My first glimpse of the white 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury convertible was in the showroom of the Plymouth dealership in Kimball, Nebraska. I was immediately attracted to it. It was also a replica of the 1965 Indy 500 pace car which made it extra special. The top was light blue and the interior was dark blue. Being a Sport Fury model it had bucket seats with a center console. Mounted in the console was the floor shifter for the torqueflite transmission. Under the hood sat the 383 cubic inch Commando V8. It was the high performance version rated at 330 horsepower. With the dual exhausts coming out the back it had a nice throaty sound. The whole combinationl looked very sleek and FAST.

After negotiating a trade for the 1962 Ford Thunderbird convertible that I was driving, the white beauty was mine. Soon I was behind the wheel headed home to Alliance, NE. Now almost 50 years later the car has never been sold and sits in our garage on Omak, Washington. The admiration is still there when my wife Diana and I put the top down and take the Plymouth out cruising.

interiorIn its early years the car was taken to the Scottsbluf NE drag strip and raced. Both times it was raced a trophy was brought home (see attached cards). Alliance NE had a ½ mile oval asphalt racing track. The Plymouth was used a few times to transport a young lady around the track to present trophies to the winner of the trophy dash races. The car also took part on several parades.

The car had another important role in my life as it became the honeymoon vehicle for my new wige Diana and I in May of 1968. We were married in Alliance, NE, and drove to Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The trip included many other stops including the Grand Ole Opry show in Nashville, Tennessee. The Plymouth performed beautiful with no problems. With having a new wife I even had to drive more sensible but did achieve better gas mileage.

When we got married I was blessed with Diana’s two little girls, Brenda and Jeannette, so the car immediately became a family car.

In 1970 we moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and moved again in 1972 to Omak, WA. The Plymouth survived both moves.

Our Plymouth had been driven a lot of miles over the years. With now having four children we had to upgrade to a station wagon for a family car but still kept the Plymouth. It was used as a high school car in the late 1970s and 1980s. During that time it saw action during regular school use, homecoming parades and other activities. Other than a valve job the 383 was holding up well.

LHSAfter all four kids were out of high school the car was getting a well deserved rest. Daughter Jeannette used it for a college car in the fall of 1980. Otherwise we just drove it for fun and used in some more parades. Two special trips were the Sandpoint ID car show with some other classic car people. It took us on several trips into Canada for fun in the sun at the lake and beach.

I retired in December 2007 after 29 years with Okanogan County PUD, which is our electric power company.

In 2009 we began the process of restoring the Plymouth that had almost 150000 miles on it. Some early changes I had made on the car included installing dump pipes to bypass the mufflers. This helped in drag racing. Unfortunately this also got me a traffic ticket for using them on the street. Other changes were painting party of the grill black and removing the Plymouth letters and hood ornament from the hood. After repainting the hood it had a much smoother look. The stock hubcaps were replaced with Baby Moons.

Diana and I had replaced the convertible top twice over the years as we didn’t always have a garage to keep it in. While in Omak we had the seats recovered and new carpet installed. Also had to have a new top boot made by a local upholstery shop.

Years and miles and taken its toll on the engine and body. We started in the summer of 2009 by getting the Carter AFB carburetor rebuilt. Through out local Plymouth Club we found a shop in Portland OR that co uld still rebuilt old carburetors. He was getting close to retiring so we wanted to get that done before he closed up shop. He hade it look like brand ndw. The rest of the summer was spent removing all the lights, outside trim, seats, inside door panels, engine and transmission. The engine went to a shop in Omak to be completely rebuilt. This included being bored out .020 over and new pistons, rings, crankshaft, camshaft and valvalves were installed. When we picked up the engine it was painted just like it cam eout from the factory. The transmission was taken to a shop in Wenatchee, WA to be rebuilt.

The stripped down car was loaded on a trailer and taken to a shop in Malott, WA in late fall of 2009 to be painted. We left it there until spring of 2010 when we returned from Yuma, AZ. The driver’s door had to be replaced due to a previous accident and apparently hadn’t been repaired properly. Fortunately we had a parts car that had a good door on it. The engine and trunk compartments as well as the dash all got a new paint job. It was may of 2010 when we took our trailerdown and picked up the car. The paint job looked great and we could hardly wait to get it home and start putting all the pieces back on it.

The first job was to install the engine and transmission as well as all the wiring in the engine compartment. We ran into a problem installing the gas tank. A short piece of rubber hose needed to be replaced and I didn’t realize it was different sized on each end. No luck in finding a new one. With help from a local machine shop we found a solution. The other problem was finding a vacuum advance for the dual point distributor. A new one was not to be found but I did find a place to get the old one rebuilt. It was exciting to hear the engine run again. Diana and I then began to re-install all the body trim pieces including the frille, headlights and taillights. The seats and door panels came next and it was looking like a car again. Four new narrow whitewall tires were put on to make it look like a 1965 again.

By September we had the car ready to go and headed off on a trip to California and then east on Route 66. We thought this was a good way to celebrate the restoration of our FUN car.