Last Registered ’71: 1960 Plymouth Fury Suburban

Chrysler rolled out its “Forward Look” cars for 1957 and set the industry on its ear styling-wise. They would not be outdone in the tail-fins department, which stuck around big and bold through the 1960 model year. By today’s standards, these cars almost look like spaceships from a “B” grade science fiction movie — like the seller’s 1960 Fury Suburban wagon with seating for nine and patina everywhere you look. It’s going to need a full restoration, but when done there would be few like it on the road. Tucson, Arizona is where this dealer-offered car can be found and here on eBay where the reserve auction sits at $2,609.59 with more push needed. Thanks, Dayle Gray, for sending this BIG tip our way!

The Plymouth Fury had a 35-year run from 1955-89. It gradually took over the top spot in the sales literature and fluctuated from full-size to intermediate and back over the years. Production of the last V-8, rear-wheel-drive Plymouth Fury ended in late 1988. Unlike its sibling Dodge, Plymouth would not live to see the resurgence of the large, V8/RWD sedan as the last Plymouth-badged car rolled off the assembly line in 2001. 1960 would be a series of firsts for Plymouth: the first year for unibody construction, the first year for the ram induction system, and the first year for Chrysler’s new slant-six engine. The Fury would remain Plymouth’s volume sales leader in the early 1960s. The huge tailfins were gone for 1961.

Plymouth would build about 484,000 cars for 1960, with less than 8,000 being the Fury Suburban wagon with either six or nine-passenger seating. So, the seller’s wagon is one of less than two percent of all Plymouths made that year. This wagon would qualify the Patina of the Year Award if there was such a thing. It’s said to have been off the road for nearly 50 years with possibly 25,000 original miles on the odometer. But it looks like a car that’s been out in the desert for decades. The body appears to be straight other than the gouge in the driver’s side door. The chrome and stainless pieces seem to have held up, as well. But there is plenty of surface rust on the underbody.

The interior is largely a mess. There are some holes in the front floor pan, but the seats, doors, headliner, carpeting, dash, etc. will all require a lot of attention. The glass is mostly good, but the windshield may have a crack in it. The rear window will not roll down. The car has rare factory air conditioning, but I always wondered how effective it could be with the positioning of the vents on top of the dashboard. Fortunately, that has improved substantially over the years.

Under the hood resides a 318 V-8 paired to Chrysler’s gee-whiz pushbutton automatic transmission. The seller thinks the car would run if some of the wiring that’s been chewed away is fixed, along with a new starter and a tune-up. But it does turn freely. The brakes are non-existent right now, so roll with care. Regarding the suspension (torsion bars!), most of the bushings have dry-rotted over the past 60 years. The Ranger alloy rims currently on the wagon may not go with the deal, with the original steel wheels and wheel covers provided instead.

I don’t recall seeing one of these wagons in the past few years, so this would be a rare sight at car shows once it’s fixed up. Hagerty doesn’t post a resale value for the Plymouth Suburban, but NADA suggests a value as high as in the forties. That sounds high but would allow room for the buyer to redo this wagon from head to toe.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Time to retire the gee-whiz thing. We get it.

    Like 8
    • Rex Cars

      Gee-whiz Rex, lighten up!

      Like 12
      • Rex Kahrs Member

        Russ, I see you’ve appropriated my screen name!

        Like 4
    • Turbo

      Sir: I respectfully disagree. Those transmission buttons are super fantastic! The backstory is that when I was a little guy, my parents had a 61 New Yorker with the….gee whiz!….push buttons and as a kid I was in awe of them. Like we were driving a space ship or something. But I understand that everyone who didn’t experience that is probably like ‘enough already!’

      Like 11
      • Poppy

        My guess is Rex was never a kid. :-)

        Like 6
    • Rex Cars

      Totally different Rex…not a Russ.

      • Rex Kahrs Member

        OK then Rex, clever screen name, maybe think of your own?

        Like 2
  2. alphasud Member

    This is the first time I have seen a 60 Fury Suburban. I’m sure there can’t be more than a handful left. Definitely not worth a concours restoration but rather fix the rust and mechanics give it a decent paint job and some new seats and enjoy it.

    Like 12
  3. Robert White

    If you watch Lilies of the Field staring Sydney Portier he drives this car model for the whole movie.

    Bob

    Like 7
    • normadesmond

      Close, very close, but the wagon in LOTF is a ’59.

      Like 4
  4. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    There’s some left…..just not sure the demand is there like it was.

  5. Sam61

    Golly jeepers…if I had stupid money I would buy it and Imperialize it…Imperial grill, fender coves with standalone headlights, front swivel buckets, partial stainless roof. Maybe try to work a partial trunk “toilet seat” into the tailgate for the cherry on top.

    Like 6
  6. Phlathead Phil

    If the motor ain’t froze…

    Price is CORRECT!

    Like 4
    • Dayle Gray

      motor spins freely, the reserve is close to being met

      Like 1
  7. George Mattar

    Junkyard late model Hemi. Fix seats. Suspension. Clear coat. Drive. I grew up with wagons like most my age. Our neighbors had a new white 61. Rode in it to elementary school. No seat belts. No stupid computers or TPS glaring in your face. Miss those days.

    Like 6
  8. John

    Am I the only that thinks Chrysler was WAY ahead of its time with the push-button transmissions?

    Like 9
  9. Allan W

    ‘The Lillies of the Field’ was filmed in Tucson. Wouldn’t it be funny if this station wagon had the provenance of being the car Poitier drove in the film!
    Seeing that dealer badge on the back is a hoot – my dad bought many cars at Rollings Chrysler/Plymouth. The first car I can remember was a Plymouth Fury station wagon we had – with DUAL AIR! We loved that car. Talk about rare, I have never seen one at a car show. Not once.

    Like 6
    • Dayle Gray

      Im going to see when the movie was made, and starting doing some comps. Now you have me wondering

    • Bill McCoskey

      Nope, this car isn’t the one in the movie. That car was sold in a used car lot in about 1964 to a guy named Sampson [or Samson, don’t know for sure] who drove it back to Baltimore.

      A long time friend of mine from Germany was visiting me in the 1980s, when we were in Baltimore to visit a car collector friend of mine. We were taking a detour around a car accident and drove down an alley. That’s where we spotted a tan with brown roof ’59 Plymouth Sport Suburban wagon. Mr. Sampson’s wagon to be exact.

      Well my German friend went nuts over the car. Seems where he grew up, in the Heidelberg area, where the US Army had it’s European H.Q., he said the army had a fleet of ’59 Plymouth wagons all over the area.

      We towed the wagon back to my restoration shop, and over the next 10+ years my friend would come over most summers and work on his wagon, and then used it to tour all over the USA before shipping it back to Germany in 2012. Where ever he goes in Europe, it always draws a crowd!

      We’re 99% sure it’s the same wagon, but there is no written records to prove it.

      Like 5
      • Robert White

        I’m a big fan of Lilies of the Field and Poitier. Thanks for the story behind his 59 in the film. It a great story and I’ll accept it given that the car is from the right area.

        Bob

      • Bill McCoskey

        Robert White,

        What we had hoped to see in the film was a clear shot showing the inside door panels. “Our” car has a very unusual option list and probably the only one built to such a list. It has the following options:

        318 V8.
        Powerflite 2-speed transmission.
        AM radio.
        Heater/defroster.
        Power tailgate window.
        2-tone paint.
        All 4 door windows are electric powered!

        It doesn’t have power steering or brakes. And it has rubber mats instead of carpeting. The factory brochure indicates the Sport Suburban wagon came standard with carpeting, so this had to be a delete situation!

        I’m sure you will agree that the chances of 2 1959 Sport Suburban wagons being built with the combination of power windows, no power brakes or steering, & rubber mats, is almost nil. Sadly there are no clear shots of the door panel areas in the movie car, but it does have a power tailgate!

        That’s a shame, if we could prove it was the same car, I’m sure the value of the car would increase by at least $100!

        Like 4
  10. Charles Simons

    Gee Whiz, I’m thinking of putting in a bid, it’s close enough, not like all the cars I see in Florida and The rest of the east coast I drool over. Btw, I would remove the the rest of that dash cover, recover the seats, get it running and take it to the car shows. As is, with floor mats and a good cleaning

    Like 3
    • Dayle Gray

      if it doesnt sell, that was my plan.. get it running, redo some of the interior, make it mechanically sound and drive it As-is !!
      I cringe when I hear about people clear coating these patina cars for the simple reason, If you look at cars of today, the clear coat still wont last…and when it starts to peel or patina itself, the cars going to look like a mess. Then how do you remove the bad clear, without hurting the natural patina underneath ? you dont, so you would have to just paint the car. Leave the patina as is and let mother nature do her job for another 50 yrs is how I see it.

  11. Terry Bowman

    Too much to restore, but a nice car it could be. Get rid of the generator, 318 wide block and install a 413 (to heavy of a ride for even a LA motor). The after market rims are “COOL”. As already stated, “not many around” and would be a head turner in any condition.

    Like 2
  12. martinsane

    Wow 2nd big beautiful wagon today. Would love to labor over this for the next 10 years and be buried in it.
    Hope someone saves her.

    Like 2
  13. Pete Phillips

    Wagons are still a hot item in the market; so are big tail fins from the 1950s/1960s. This has both! I think any money you spend on this you will get back when you sell it. Body is solid, glass is good, car seems to be complete. Get rid of those awful after-market wheels and restore it! Car is worth every penny of the current bid price.

    Like 2
    • Dayle Gray

      technically they are OE Ford ranger wheels not aftermarket, and I Just put them on because it was easier to move the car around our yard w/o having to put decent tires that held air on the stock 14″ rims.

      Like 3
      • Terry Bowman

        Back in the day, Ford and Chrysler rims were interchangeable with the large bolt pattern and eight bolt. If you are looking for detail on your Mopar, check the rims codes to make sure they are Mopar items. I believe they have a “J” or “JJ” next to the size or width of the rim.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Terry,

        The rims also interchanged with Studebakers, however the offset [distance between the center of the wheel and the outer rims] was different. I used to put Ford rims on GT Hawks, as it pushed the wheels outward towards the fenders. Made for far better cornering & I could mount wider rims.

        Like 3
    • Dayle Gray

      You are spot on with the other stuff :)

    • Bill McCoskey

      I suspect it will be better to replace the driver’s door than to try to repair it. A long crease that deep, has surely warped the door’s inner frame structure, and it’ll never be right.

      Like 1
  14. canadainmarkseh Member

    for years I’ve thought these big finned cars made by the Chrysler corp were the ugliest cars on the road. but since then I’ve grown to like the fins more. this is a very cool and restorable car which when restored would draw a lot of attention at show and shine events. i hope it gets restored it would be a stunning car.

    Like 2
  15. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Now what spiffy vehicle would those wheels be more suited for?

    Like 1
    • John

      I would say literally ANY vehicle other than this Fury.

      Like 1
    • Poppy

      I would say the ’95-’97 Ford Ranger they came off of.

      Like 3
  16. Walker

    One for coldwar motors! Go well with his 60 coupe.

    Like 3
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      totally agree. have you seen the paint job on the boogie van that Scott just finished.

  17. RJ

    One of these appeared on season 20 of American Pickers. I think the episode was called ‘Car Crazy’.

  18. Chuck Dickinson

    Actually, there was no such thing as a “Fury wagon”. Plymouth’s wagons were all Suburbans. The top line (Fury trimmed) Suburban was the Sport Suburban, followed by the (Belvedere) Custom Suburban, and the (Savoy) Deluxe Suburban.

    Like 4
    • AZVanMan

      Did they all say “Suburban” on them? Mom had a 61 Plymouth full size wagon, but my brothers and I can’t remember any model name on the car any where!

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