My senior year Dad bought a '69 Fury III, It was yellow with a green fabric top, had a 318 V8, and one problem. It had extensive hail damage on the hood and trunk, but it drove like a dream. When everyone was telling Dad not to buy a car with that much body damage he decided to buy it (low mileage and low price) by saying that the hail damage didn't help or hurt it go down the road any better or worse.
When I graduated and had a scholarship to Wayland I naturally wanted to take my Rambler Classic with me. Mom wouldn't let me. Mainly, though on a full ride, I didn't have any money to put gas in it, make repairs, or pay insurance. Needless to say I wasn't a happy camper. My room mate was from church and we drove off to college in his '69 Sport Fury (only difference was that it had a 353 V8). The 318 had good power from a stop, but topped out at around 80 mph, the 353 was a little sluggish from 0 to 40, but could cruise all day long at a 100 mph.
Mom took in a boarder that fall. A Vietnamese college student and sold the Rambler to her. Mom's regretted selling that car ever since. The girl wrecked it not too long after buying it.
When I was attending Seminary in Fort Worth and needed a car Dad gave me the Plymouth. They'd driven it for five years and I drove it for four. It took a beating and kept on ticking.
When I met Grinnygranny and we started dating I was a little embarrassed. The fabric top had split and looked real raggedy, there were a number of dints and scratches, the paint had faded, so I had the dints fixed and repainted it. I didn't have enough to fix the hail damage, but I'd gotten rather used to them.
When Penni married the first time and needed a car we were in a position to let her have it. She drove it for about a year. By that time they stopped selling gas with lead, and the engine wasn't designed for unleaded.
This car was a real work horse and about the best car all of us ever owned.
If Chrysler still made cars this good, they wouldn't have gone bankrupt.
That was a dream of a car to drive. we took it to Texas when Daddy died. We had it loaded to the gills. Somehow Penni's friends broke the backseat and it would stay in anymore. Will they build a car anywhere near that one in the future?
I can't let this go without telling my story about this car. A friend of ours had it for sale. Dad told me to take it to a diagnostic place to have it checked out. When I went to pick it up they wouldn't let me have it until they talked to your father. I finally got him on the phone and the stupid guy said. Do you know that this car has bad hail damage? How stupid did he think we all were you could stand beside it and see all the hail dents they would about the size of a quarter and all over the hood of the car. The story goes that the new car was on a flat bed rail car in Texas during a hail storm. We always felt that it didn't make the car go down the road any slower than if it wasn't there.
Your Taurus comes pretty close to being as reliable as this one.
I am so enjoying your wonderful series. I asked a colleague today: "Did you ever think we would see the day when Fiat SpA would own Chrysler and General Motors?" As my late father said about Pan Am, "They let the company go to hell", and that unfortunately applies here. I say this with sadness. Another fine post, P M!
Thanks, Michael. Lee Iococa worked so hard to make Chrysler a strong company and it was the most innovative of the American companies until Daimler bought it and gutted it.
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