From the moment a certain book came out detailing the exploits of a maniacal Mopar, the humble 1958 Plymouth Fury has found itself thrust into the celebrity spotlight.
And not unlike the DeLorean DMC-12, it has been trying to escape that fame ever since.
Indeed, in the years after the movie adaption was released, many 1957-59 Plymouth Belvederes, Savoys, and Furys found themselves hastily re-sprayed in “Autumn Red” with limo-black tint layered heavily upon each window.
That’s why we were excited to hear the owner of this particular Fury say:
“It’s funny, I actually liked the car before I ever saw the movie ‘Christine.'”
We caught up with David Grow at the 2022 Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals a few weeks back and wanted to learn more about his kindler, gentler Plymouth.
Turns out, Grow loves the 1958 Fury so much, that he spent years tracking down a suitable one to restore.
“They’re really hard to find,” he says.
But about two decades ago, his diligence finally paid off and he found one in…gasp…
…A scrapyard in California.
When Grow told us that little tidbit, we immediately began hearing some bubblegum oldies over the Goodguys PA system—but we’re pretty sure it was just a coincidence.
“I ended up buying it, after seeing a couple of pictures,” Grow explains. “I just took a chance.”
As found, the Fury was in rough, but workable shape. Getting it back on the road took about four years, and Grow described some of the restoration process.
While we waited nervously to hear if he uncovered any sledgehammer dents on the hood or signs of burnt paint, Grow just said he tackled some ordinary rust issues.
“I had to do floor pans, but the body panels, the fenders, the quarters were all perfect,” he tells us. “It had actually rusted from the inside out, so I had to fix the floors and things like that. But that was about it.”
After everything was put back together, the Fury was sprayed in Plymouth’s 1958 Toreador Red—which Grow stresses was not due to Christine’s influence, but rather because it was a nice, original color.
In the book, Christine’s paint is described as a special-order Autumn Red, yet that doesn’t match any Mopar color charts from the era. For 1958, Plymouth offered Toreador Red, Metallic Coral, and Royal Red.
Under the hood resides an all-original 318 with two four-barrel carburetors, which denotes the high performance engine option. And as Grow explains, that’s the “A” version of the Mopar 318 that appeared from 1957-66, before it was superseded by the more familiar 318 “LA” small block.
But that 318 may not be sticking around too much longer anyway.
“I’m planning on building a 392 Stroker version of that same engine and putting it in,” Grow explains.
Grow continues by telling us he’s got another Fury that he’s cleaning up too. Then his father, who was standing nearby, chimed in and gestures toward a clean 1959 Chevy El Camino that they’re working on as well.
All told, David Grow’s classic Plymouth proves that, when well taken care of, it is possible for a 1958 Fury to break away from the shadow of its famous, sinister twin.
Still though, better stay on its good side. Just to be safe.