ELSEWHERE on this website you will find a listing for this Sport Fury convertible. You can read about the particulars there. The only thing that makes this car a viable project rather than a parts car is the fact that it is super rare. I recognized the fact when I spotted the 4-speed shifter poking out of the floor when I pulled the car out of the bush years ago.
THE FACT that I have had this car for sale for too long means that it isn’t desirable to the mainstream Mopar restorer who looks at a collectible as an investment rather than a labor of love. I have always liked the ’65 Fury as my dad repaired one years back. It was a 4 door hardtop Fury III with a 383. In my young mind, the car could haul ass. If you ever read a ‘Sargent Fury and his Howling Commandos’ comic book, you might be able to visualize the kind of driver who might cruise this kind of a car. I knew of an RCMP officer who was the personification of Nick Fury: crew cut, wise guy, who smoked big cigars. His car of choice was a Buick Wildcat- close…
WHAT I want to present here is an account of how to restore a vehicle that is by most accounts a lost cause, but needs to be restored due to the fact that this is such a rare car. Anyone reading this no doubt has seen their fair share of car building shows which primarily show high dollar builds financed by ‘whales’ with bottomless bank accounts. Most recently we see what look to be very decent appearing cars that the owner wants to personalize. Which means that 90% of the original car will be thrown-away. The builder then discovers rust as the body is returned from the sand-blasters. I could go on, but I think you get the gist.
THE INFORMATION that I want to share with you here will be of value if you are just starting out, or if you have been in the hobby for decades. As I’ve written before, your first ‘build’ should be something you can succeed at- even if you just start out with a good car and find ways to maintain or improve it. The chrome n rust website carries project vehicles that range from minor cosmetic and mechanical restorations to complete teardowns that should only be attempted by professionals or very skilled hobbyists.
>>> ONE the things we need to establish before doing anything is what we want this car to be when all is said and done. If the end result is going to be a chalk-mark restoration, the first thing is to establish what is original to the car, and what can be saved or restored. This car is a bit of an enigma in that it was built in Windsor Ontario. As a result, production information is not readily available, and a deep dive on the internet won’t yield much information. There are various MOPAR authorities who may have the information, but be prepared to pay for it.
THE most desirable situation is to have a car with all of the ‘numbers’ matching; that is, all of the identification numbers from the major components (engine, transmission, and rear differential) match the information tags on the car’s body. A non-matching engine knocks a good chunk of value off the end value of the car. As a rule, the closer to the build date of the car, the better the value. A ‘warranty replacement’ is the next best thing in value to an original engine.
LET’S say that we lucked out, and this is a numbers matching car. The obvious best course is to restore the car to original condition (or better). I say better, because most cars rolling off of the assembly line were NOT straight enough to be painted BLACK in the first place. In the 1960s, most black cars were either for commercial, police, or funeral uses. It was years later before black cars became ‘cool’.
WHILE I did remove a pile of leaves and other trash from the car, I left the rest ‘as found’ so that the car can be properly documented. Thanks to digital technology, we can now have an extensive and detailed photographic
history of the build process. The ‘as found’ pictures will add to the provenance of the car. Pictures taken before and during dis-assembly will provide a reference to aid in the reassembly process.
The above 2 pictures begin to tell the story of the car. The engine shot gets the story started. Lying on top of the intake manifold is a goat’s leg- we figure it was put up there by a weasel. The only part missing from the engine compartment was the factory air cleaner. The door post shot not only shows you that this is a bucket seat car, but that it also has a rare gold vinyl interior. The door jam itself shows you that the second paint color on the car was B-5 blue. Remember what I said about black? The third coat of paint is a shade of green popular in the early ’70s. The big ‘tell’ here is the black that peeks up from beneath the flaking blue paint. The bad news? See the front surface of the 1/4 panel; old body filler that has fallen off the car.
Stay tuned for more…