1969-1973 Plymouth

1973 Plymouth Fury Special

At mid-year came the 1973 Plymouth Fury Special, based off the Fury III two- and four-door hardtops. Equipment goodies included unique dark-chestnut metallic paint, parchment vinyl roof and color-keyed body side moldings, wide sill molding, and stand-up hood ornament. (Since the "frog's legs" Plymouth symbol remained on the grille, the Specials had both grille and hood ornaments.) Interior goodies included a parchment vinyl interior with tapestry cloth seat inserts and, yes, shag carpeting.

One special you couldn't buy was built for the auto-show circuit. The Plymouth Aspen was a ski-country white Fury four-door hardtop whose light blue side stripe included a big blue snowflake on the rear quarter.

The new styling proved popular as Fury production rose to 280,630 cars, marking the second-highest total of the five-year run. The increase in assemblies is also remarkable given that the number of Fury models offered in 1973 was the smallest in that span.

The 1969-1973 Furys were the high-water mark for full-size Plymouths. It was the last time that they would be restyled or face-lifted each and every year, and the last time production would rise above 125,000. It was the last time in which Plymouth-brand annual production would approach the 1-million mark.

In 1974, Chrysler Corporation's all-new C-bodies emerged into a hostile world, the result of the OPEC oil embargo and consequent gasoline shortages. The party was over, in more ways than one.

In a déjà vu of the 1969 debuts, while the Chrysler and Imperial were stylishly good-looking, the new Plymouth Fury and Dodge Monaco were once again bland. Ironically, thanks to its popular and economical compact Duster and Valiant, Plymouth regained third place in sales race.

In 1975, the Fury name was given to the intermediate cars, the big Fury becoming the Gran Fury. Production of full-size Plymouths fell sharply, ending with the 1977 model. When Chrysler downsized its big cars for 1979 (just in time for yet another fuel crisis), there was no Plymouth version, something totally unthinkable in 1969.

Though the Gran Fury returned in 1980 for a brief run as a lower-priced variant of the Chrysler Newport, after 1981, the full-size Plymouths were gone forever. Their passing foreshadowed the eventual demise of the Plymouth name itself.

For models, prices, and production numbers for the 1969-1973 Plymouth, continue on to the next page.

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