Like Dodge, smaller big cars with offbeat styling cost Plymouth dearly in '62. Cars with handsome new looks and new big-block power -- like the 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury -- started turning things around for '63.

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1963 Plymouth Sport Fury
The 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury is relatively rare today.
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Plymouth made the same mistake as sister division Dodge by gambling on much smaller 1962 "standard" cars with offbeat Virgil Exner styling. But where Dodge remained ninth in industry production, Plymouth plunged from fourth to eighth.

Fortunately, Chrysler had a new styling chief in Elwood Engel, just recruited from Ford, and his hurry-up efforts produced nicely facelifted '63 standards that helped Plymouth reclaim fourth.

 

Again topping the line was the Sport Fury, which returned from '62 as a convertible and hardtop coupe with standard all-vinyl bucket-seat interior and storming performance potential. Unlike regular Furys, Sports had a standard V-8, a mild 230-horsepower 318. Options ranged from a 265-bhp 361 through three 383s and on to a quartet of newly enlarged 426 big-blocks packing up to 425 bhp with "ram induction."

Plymouth built only 1516 Sport Fury ragtops for '62, so the 3836 delivered for '63 looked like quite a jump. But that's not very many by Detroit standards, one reason you so seldom see one now.

For more classic convertibles of the 1960s and 1970s, see:

1960 Dodge Polara
1960 Edsel Ranger
1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner
1962 Dodge Polara 500
1963 Chevrolet Impala SS
1963 Ford Falcon Futura
1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona1965 Chrysler 300L
1965 Rambler American 4401966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 1968 Mercury Park Lane 1969 Plymouth Road Runner
1969 Shelby GT-500 1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale
1975 Pontiac Grand Ville 1976 Cadillac Eldorado

For more information on all kinds of cars, try these: