Chuck Fisher has collected muscle cars for most of his life. He started as a young man, scrounging, trading, and hunting whatever gassy relics he could find. He attribute’s his early successes to some good fortune and a young man’s tenacity. He recently came across a mysterious outlaw Plymouth Fury barn find with a 426 Ci powerplant. He couldn’t resist.
What’s so special about this Plymouth Fury barn find?
Fisher’s muscle car collection features an eclectic mix of hopped-up rubber burners spanning the ‘60s-’70s. According to MotorTrend (photos of the Fury here), his collection of former dragsters, true survivors, and street racers would make even the most seasoned collectors stare. However, at first glance, the Fury may appear to be an outlier in his collection, but there is more here than meets the eye.
“The car was listed on a popular online marketplace by a guy who had recently purchased it at an auction. I would never look at a Fury, let alone a four-door. It’s not my thing. But I couldn’t ignore the tag line, which stated it had a four-speed and 426 cubic-inch mill under the hood. So, that phrasing grabbed my attention,” stated Fisher.
At first glance, Fisher assumed this was a piecemeal muscle car, given the unlikely pairing of a four-door Plymouth Fury with a factory 426 and a four-speed manual transmission. “When I went to check it out, there was another guy there looking at other parts the owner was selling. He was also thinking of buying the Fury just for the drivetrain,” he says.
Fisher picked up the pace understanding his competition could snag the car first. “I asked the guy if he did the four-speed swap. He replied, ‘it came that way,’ and he put all the original paperwork in front of me to prove it—build sheets and all.” At the time, he assumed it was a former police interceptor. Knowing its rarity, he bought it immediately.
Once he got the Mopar muscle car home, he poured over the build sheet and realized something exciting. “I started to decipher the build sheet and fender tag only to find that it was not, in fact, a cop car but was an original 426, four-speed, four-door civilian ride. As I began to dig deeper, I realized that, for some reason, this car was special-ordered with that speedometer, this drivetrain, in this color … with four doors. I got real curious. I wanted to know why.”
“This is not a cop car…. It’s an anti-cop car.”
Fisher found the original dealer receipt in the paperwork, which began to paint a midnight-black picture that suggested this car had a darker past than Fisher could have imagined. When we say “dark,” we mean literally dark, not metaphorically.
The paperwork shows that the mysterious Plymouth Fury was ordered with a bizarre set of features. Besides the special-ordered speedo (which cost $116 at the time), this Fury was ordered with optional power brakes, tinted windows, bumper guards, manual steering, and was bathed in BB-1 Black paint.
If those specs weren’t strange enough, the powertrain was made up of the Commando 426 Street Wedge, rated at 365hp and 470 lbs/ft of torque. It’s backed by an A-833 four-speed transmission and an 8 3/4 Sure-Grip rear stuffed with 3.23 gears. This is no standard powertrain. This Fury meant business.
Why would a car have all these performance options with such a plain exterior?
RELATED: The Illegal Origins of NASCAR
The obvious reason someone would have such a plain-looking four-door Fury with such a hot powertrain is clear; the owner wanted to have room, blend in, and be able to burn the road up if needed. What job would that be useful for?
With theories swimming in his mind, Fisher took to the internet to confirm what he suspected. He found someone online who began asking the right questions. “He asked me how many leaf springs the car had. I didn’t know offhand, as the thought to look didn’t hit me right away. So, I went out back and checked. There was a stack of eight out on each side. I couldn’t believe I missed that. I called the guy back and told him there were eight. He told me that he knew the Fury. It was definitely a bootlegger’s car!”
It all adds up; a black four-door Plymouth fury with tinted windows with that much power? On top of that, it had the heavy springs, plenty of storage, and a certified speedo to monitor speeds. However, if things got hot, the power brakes, manual steering, and manual gearbox showed that the driver was prepared to boogie if need be.
Lastly, he found a mysterious switch on the steering column that seemed to do little until he traced the wiring to find that it was an old kill switch. Moonshiners commonly used these to cut all running lights to disappear when being pursued by the law. This cemented it. This Plymouth Fury was a true blue runner.
There is no better barn find than a Plymouth Fury moonshiner
The internet has flooded Fisher with stories from people who claim to have known that car. Even cooler, many have confirmed that the Fury was ordered this way for this exact purpose. What at first seemed like a jacked-up Mopar hack job turned out to be the barn find of the century. This car is a living piece of southern history that is all but gone.
As a southerner myself, it’s nice to see pieces like this preserved from both the automotive side of things and the cultural history. Nice work, Chuck.
If you want to see more incredible barn finds check out the next post. You won’t believe it.