The 1972 Plymouth lineup continued to be varied, but offered some changes, including mid-year models.
The styling of the less-controversial four-door quarters was adapted to the Suburbans, though not as successfully due to the large, high, rear-wheel openings. But on the Sport Suburban, the bright outline moldings for the wood-grain sides were deftly rearranged to take advantage of the new quarter shapes. The result was that the 1972-1973 Sport Suburbans were easily the handsomest of the fuselage wagons.
Two-door hardtop roofs were new. Backlights were now all convex, with rounded lower corners and upper corners joined at sharp intersections. Though it is difficult to tell in the catalog illustrations, there were subtle differences in the regular and formal rooflines, with the regular hardtops having a chamfered intersection above the backlight and along the intersection of roof and C-pillar.
There were dimensional differences inside as well, with the formal hardtop said to offer "four-door hardtop roominess." Only the Gran Coupe and Fury III lines offered a choice of both formal and regular two-door hardtops. (The Fury II series continued to offer a regular-roof hardtop, but the Fury I dropped its hardtop look-alike coupe.)
The touchdown molding for the vinyl roof option rode higher up on the quarter than previously, giving the regular hardtops the appearance of being chopped, contributing to the "lead sled" image. The power sunroof was now offered on all hardtop and sedan models.
Absent from the lineup was the familiar Sport Fury name, replaced by the Gran Coupe and Gran Sedan, both of which were really hardtops. This meant that a premium four-door sedan was no longer offered.
Similarly, no six-cylinder Furys were available in 1972 and a new 400-cid two-barrel V-8 option replaced the 383 V-8s. These actions reduced the engine choices to four from the seven previously offered.
Shortly after the beginning of the model year, the new Electronic Ignition System, which eliminated the breaker points and condenser, became optional on all V-8 engines, each of which was designed to operate on low-lead regular gas. Steel beams built into the doors for side impact protection arrived with the beginning of the new calendar year.
Mid-year specials included Fury "Top-Hat Packs" on Gran Coupe/Gran Sedan, Fury III, and Custom and Sport Suburban. Later in the model year, disappearing headlights became optional on all Furys.
Arthur Godfrey became the Chrysler-Plymouth Division's chief pitchman. On one TV ad, he asked rhetorically, "What do you get when you call the police? A Plymouth." It was true: Plymouth was America's favorite police car. In both 1972 and 1973, the division built nearly 14,000 Fury Pursuit police cars and emergency wagons.
With the attractive new styling and Godfrey's soft-sell huckstering, production of the big Plymouths surged back up to 278,536 units.
Read on to learn about the 1973 Plymouth.
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