1965-1968 Plymouth Fury

The 1966 Plymouth Fury

Encouraged by the 1965 Fury's success, Plymouth asked 1966 new car buyers to "Let yourself go ... Plymouth." The lightly restyled 1966 Plymouth Fury models sported a new grille insert, reshuffled side trim, redesigned wheel covers, altered taillights, and a new decklid and rear beauty panels that mimicked the divided front-end design. The Sport Fury received fender-top turn signal indicators, and all Furys were available in new colors.

Plymouth XP-VIP
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The 1966 Plymouth VIP took its name from this XP-VIP show car.

The big news for 1966, however, was the addition of a new top-line model: the VIP. This "Very Important Plymouth" was part of a fleet of cars that had suddenly emerged from Detroit. Ford started it all with the 1965 LTD (Limited), and Chevrolet followed up with the Caprice package (it became an independent series for 1966). They met with surprising success, and Plymouth noticed. Since it had marketed "elegance on a budget" via its earlier top-line Furys, it seemed entirely appropriate that Plymouth should also offer a niche model with carefully nurtured snob appeal.

1966 Plymouth VIP
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
Think of the 1966 VIP as a super-deluxe Fury III.

The VIP took its name from the Engel-designed 1965 XP-VIP show car, an executive express with heavy sporting overtones such as a fastback roof and a bucket seat interior. Appointments included a TV, tape recorder, and bar, not to mention a TV monitor, rear view mirror, and photosensitive roof glass that could be retracted into the trunk.

The production VIP took little from its namesake. It forsook "funk" for tradition and emerged as an elegant four-door hardtop that would have looked right at home in any motorcade. A little later, a hardtop coupe joined the sedan.

1966 Plymouth VIP
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The squared-off lines of the 1966 Plymouth proved amenable to the VIP theme of formal luxury.

In an attempt to distance the VIP from the Fury, the VIP was given its own special brochure and listed separately from other full-size Plymouths. This nifty brochure, complete with tissue endpapers, described the VIP as being for "fastidious people accustomed to the finer things. People who accept the best as a matter of course." Among the finer things were front and rear center armrests, rear cigarette lighter mounted on the front seatback, rear cabin reading lights with independent switches, chrome assist handles on all doors (mounted on bright diecast bases and adorned with vinyl woodgrain inserts), padded instrument panel, variable-speed wipers, fender skirts, and hood-mounted turn signals.

Plymouth pushed options on the VIP. Buyers were encouraged to choose a vinyl top in either black or white, along with air conditioning, Auto-Pilot, electric door locks, adjustable steering wheel, power brakes and steering, and more.

1966 Plymouth VIP
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The roofline of the VIP two-door hardtop made it look a bit less formal than the hardtop sedan.

Buyers could choose from 18 exterior colors, various two-tone combinations, and three interior colors: blue, red, or black. Also for the choosing, if the standard 318 V-8 wasn't enough, were the two 383 V-8s and a new 440 rated at 365 horsepower.

In a down year for the industry, Plymouth sales fell back to 687,514 for the calendar year. This despite a handsome update of the intermediates and mind-blowing racing victories -- the 426 Hemi option had reappeared this year, but only for the Belvederes and Satellites.

Continue to the next page to read about the 1967 Plymouth Fury models.

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