Helped by deftly reskinned standards for 1963, Plymouth's model-year production improved from 340,000 to a more heartening 488,500. Quad headlamps on the 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury came together within a much-simplified grille; "bladed" fenderlines and slab sides gave way to a more conventional, sculptured look; hardtop coupes acquired attractive, Thunderbird-style rooflines; and three extra inches in rear overhang added one cubic foot to trunk space.
Special wheel covers and tri-color insignia again identified Sport Furys. Drivetrains were largely as before, but the optional 413s gave way to bored-out 426 wedgeheads with up to 425 horsepower.
Another lower-body restyle followed for the 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury, along with a more conventional dash, and, for hard tops, a distinctive new roofline with vee'd rear pillars and "bubble" backlight. The big mechanical news was a first-time four-on-the-floor option, available with any V-8.
Popular Mechanics also noted that a 2.5-inch wider rear track "makes for less roll and better handling when taking the curves on a rough road." Testifying to the inherent goodness of its 1964s, Plymouth swept that year's Daytona 500 1-2-3, helped by a Hemi V-8 newly revived for competition only -- and by a young driver named Richard Petty, future king of the NASCAR world.
That convincing victory undoubtedly helped boost Plymouth volume, which rose to nearly 600,000 for the model year, the best since 1957 -- not bad for a make so down and out just two years before.
This certainly must rank as one of the great sales comebacks of all time. But then, as we said, the cars weren't so bad either.
For more information on cars, see: