Monday, September 14, 2015

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1962 Plymouth Fury

Ever have those times when somebody needs help parallel parking? I've been there, on both sides. As a suburbanite I don't get a lot of practice parking parallel and certainly not often in the tight spaces in San Francisco. So I cringed when I saw a car put on its turn signal while I was photographing this 1962 Plymouth Fury sedan and start to pull in front of it to park. I stopped taking pictures and helped the lady avoid damaging the classic car with her Jetta. I've seen this Plymouth around the city multiple times but have rarely caught it standing still, so this feature includes photos from two different sightings a year apart in the same neighborhood.

I grew up hating these cars. I thought the 1962 Plymouth offerings were some of the most awfully styled cars ever -- and I'm not the only person who felt that way. These cars were kind of a bomb for Chrysler Corporation and an example of what happens when a company throws its weight behind a wrong guess of what the competition is doing. The 1962 Mopar full-size line was shrunk down based on information that Chevrolet was going to shrink their Impala. What actually happened was Chevrolet introduced the Chevy II compact for '62. So Chrysler was stuck with intermediate-sized cars that looked heavy, yet appeared relatively small inside for their size. Dealers hated them and Chrysler stylist Virgil Exner could hardly be blamed for it since he was recovering from a massive heart attack. He penned the original lines for the car but Chrysler brass were responsible for ordering his basic design warped into a smaller package.

For what it's worth, a 1962 Plymouth Fury is a very unique-looking car today, one that will certainly stand out even among the multitude of classics prowling San Francisco's streets. It has some cool details to it, and I'm always a sucker for great vintage badges. Stylized "Fury" emblems are some of my favorites from this era. The hubcaps are a strange style I've never seen on anything else. I like the early black plates with Earle C. Anthony dealership plate frames from 901 Van Ness in San Francisco. That location used to sell Packards, then Plymouths, and now is a Jaguar-Land Rover dealer.

Overall this Fury's in great shape for a daily driver. I have no doubt it runs like a top.

Photographed August 2014 / August 2015

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