7 Miles, No Fares: As-New Plymouth Fury Taxi

In a story that seems too good to be true, this 1977 Plymouth Fury is a completely original and unused taxi cab that was delivered to the Big Apple but never put into service. The seller has addressed some minor issues associated with a missing part here and there, and aside from an unfortunate rust spot due to a leaky roof, it’s exactly as it rolled off the assembly line. Find it here on eBay with the reserve unmet and listed in Michigan. Thanks goes to PRA4SNW for the tip!

Every other part of this story makes sense: cab company orders generic Fury sedan for livery duty; Chrysler builds a basic sedan with orange paint, a slant six and wiring in the roof for a cab light; the Fury is delivered and proceeds to sit, unused, in the cab company garages for decades. Well, actually, that last part doesn’t make any sense, unless the company ordered an “extra” that never went into use or they immediately migrated to the Panther platform after purchasing it. The black vinyl interior with bench seats front and rear is untouched.

The seller admits this spot of rust by the rear window has caused him some internal conflict: do you repair and distort the original paint, or do you simply monitor it and keep the Fury in the most climate-controlled environment possible? The sensible answer is the former, unfortunately. According to the listing, the Fury was not stored carefully, and was used as a “storage shelf and parts car”, along with being parked underneath a leaky roof that not only rotted out the rear quarter but also the bottom of the panel. It’s a shame, because the body is otherwise undamaged.

While not a desirable specimen strictly as a car, finding an unused cab is something of a milestone event. Considering these cars led harsh existences (hell, if a new one like this car is abused just sitting in storage, imagine how they’re driven), you’re not likely to find a brand-new cab parked in the back of an industrial garage any time soon. Whether that spells a big sale price for the seller is an unknown, but you can be certain this Fury would be an instant crowd-pleaser at practically any cruise night or automotive museum of your choosing.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. johnd

    The rustiest 7 mile car you will EVER see . . .

  2. jw454

    Interesting… Anyone know why a car like this would have never been used? I’m sure it’s a true story but, it’s still a bit odd to see.

    • John Samson

      City Taxi was in Binghamton NY. The owner was a bit of an odd duck. He told me about this car, I believe he did not trust any of his driver’s with the new car, so he left it in the garage

      • whippeteer

        I thought that was a Binghamton number as soon as I saw it. In fact it’s still the phone number for City Taxi.

  3. rob b

    Fleet vehicles when they bought alot of them would keep one or two to use for parts for the rest of the fleet ( cheaper for parts in the long run ) and always accessible in a moments notice when they had to stay on the road

    • DrinkinGasoline

      When municipalities, as well as private companies purchase vehicles, they farm out for bids, generally accepting the lowest bid which usually means short term longevity. They then boneyard the failing vehicles for replacement parts in order to reduce costs within their own motor vehicle maintenance departments. Just like You would go to the junkyard vs. buying a new replacement part. They create they’re own wrecking yard, at the tax payer’s expense or pass the cost onto the consumer if they are a private enterprise.

  4. DrinkinGasoline

    Now that is one serious, classic UBER ride ! Not the average Corolla with zero luggage, back seat head and leg room for sure. Just be sure to keep an extra ignition ballast resistor on hand and prepare to offer a discount when it fails while you are swapping it out…..DOH ! “No worries Folks, this will only take 5 minutes and You will be on Your way”.
    Add it into the fare as overhead to cover the cost, then offer the same amount as a discount……Capitalism at it’s best :)

    • LAB3

      In the late 70’s my first after school job was working in an auto parts store. “I’ve got a late model (insert Chrysler product name here) with no spark, any ideas?” Immediate response: “Here, if you don’t need this now you will soon enough”

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Yep !

      • RichS

        Haha, yup. My grandfather kept a ballast resistor and voltage regulator in the glovebox of every Dodge he had

  5. redwagon

    An unused fury taxi as a crowd pleaser wherever it went? I think not.

  6. DrinkinGasoline

    I’d like to know the NY area code so I can dial the number for taxi service….an orange cab in NYC ? Must be from Jersey.

    • Mountainwoodie

      By 1977 the cabs were all yellow. I’m not buying the story. At least the NYC connection. Maybe its a gypsy cab.

  7. olddavid

    $4200 on Tuesday at 1:25. Craziness. Just because it is old. doesn’t mean it is valuable. Whoever buys this at these prices will have a firm grip on it.

  8. Miguel

    It doesn’t make any sense that it still has it’s original certificate of origin but it has Michigan plates on it.

    The plate says “repossession plate” so maybe it is not registered to that car.

    Who knows.

  9. macvaugh

    My BS meter is twitching with this one :) The exchange name telephone numbers were gone by 1977, NYC hasn’t used orange taxis in like forever, and companies don’t really buy extra cars for a parts supply.

    I suspect paperwork or ownership issues, resulting in no title, or no medallion to put on the car. A large number of cars are showing up now because the cars are old enough that you can get a title with a bill of sale from some states and then wash that title into your home state.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Like I said….an orange cab in NYC ?? Not likely.

    • macvaugh

      Note that NYC taxis have a unique top light quite unlike the “Yellow” one on this car, and certainly did in 1977, also:
      http://untappedcities.com/2014/06/11/vintage-nyc-photos-the-past-present-and-future-of-the-nyc-taxi/

      • Superdessucke

        According to your article, all New York City cabs had to be yellow after 1967. That would shed some doubt on this being intended for use in NYC. Or maybe it sat because they ordered the wrong color, LOL!

    • DrinkinGasoline

      They don’t buy extra cabs for supply….(who in their right mind with any common sense would do that) they retain old cabs for replacement parts within the MVM.

      • CJay

        When Ford was discontinuing the Crown Vic. Austin TX spent 4.5 million to buy 174 Crown Vics and put them on the shelf to extend the life of their fleet. (These numbers vary with the news reports) But a taxi company might not the funds to do that.
        But in an earlier post, they give credibility about the location being Binghamton NY and the owner being “an Od Duck”.
        So buying a spare is not out of the question.

      • Steve

        In respose to what CJay said, I can attest to that. I worked at Austin Bergstrom Intl Airport during that time and there were rows and rows of crown vics parked in an unused lot on the property. Pretty cool.

  10. Stu

    I’ll assume the cabs for the Orange Cab Company are bright yellow.

  11. johnj

    The rust has already been painter over at least once. Seems like fixing it would only make sense. Also looks to me like a darker shade over lighter around the hole by the window trim? Neat find though.

  12. Chebby

    Binghamton is in upstate New York, so this was not a NYC cab.

    The rust HAS been touched up, you can see the orange paint on the fender crust and overspray on the wheel trim.

    It really doesn’t make sense that a company would buy such a significant asset and let it sit, especially for 40 years, but there must be some kind of story to this.

    The jukebox from “Happy Days” always reminded me of the rear bumper on these cars. http://s1.dmcdn.net/AK8lT.jpg

  13. Dan

    At my house, this car might be a crowd pleaser, but a wife pleaser? Nope. The beetle convertible would win that game.

  14. angliagt

    “Is that Red primer?”

  15. jaymes

    wait, a cab with no air, id exit immediately unless the trip was free

  16. Howard A Member

    Everybody,,join in ( you know the words),,,”My baloney has a 1st name, it’s Oscar”,,Probably retired at a 100K. Now who in their right mind, would believe this is a new taxi? And a “Yellow” brand taxi light on a generic taxi, some sort of infringement there? And “Yellow” taxi’s were, ummm,,,yellow?

  17. AMX Brian

    I like the way it looks. I could picture it being turned into a period 70’s movie car. A young taxi driver supes up his taxi for better fares and gets into trouble. Next thing you know he’s being chased through the city like his heroes on the big screen. So basically Drive meets Dukes of Hazard and a little Smokey and The Bandit.

    • half cab

      my thoughts exactly. Bobby lee taxi 🚕

  18. rustylink

    Sketchy story about mileage.
    Prolific rust throughout
    Slant 6 in a 4K+ pound car.
    Plain Jane taxi model with livery to suit..
    not sure who would be interested – but the winning bidder would have to really want it.

  19. Randy

    My BS meter pegged out on this one. Bold tale; someone is buying into it as the bidding is nearing $6,000.

    What would you do with it after you bought it?

  20. nessy

    Not the type of car I go for but in the case, I like it. Any car with little to no miles on it is of interest to me. You can tell this car is original and I believe the miles to be correct. Look at the original perfect condition 1978 New York inspection sticker still on the window. That should tell it all to anyone in question. Inspection stickers never last that long unless a car has been stored inside it’s entire life.

  21. RNR

    Jeff, you threw out a red herring on this one: The ebay listing says “New York” cab company, not ‘New York City’ cab company – you jumped to conclusions with the “Big Apple” reference. As a former Western New Yorker, we know that there is a lot of ‘New York’ on the other end of the GW Bridge. John Samson has earlier pointed out that City Cab was in Binghamton, and the photo of the factory window sticker in the ebay listing shows a Binghamton “Sold To/Ship To” address. As for the mileage, I blew up the interior photo from ebay, and the pedals and rubber floor mat (which is made of “unattainium” if attempting a resto) look like 7k worth of wear.

    Stranger things have happened…..

  22. Mr. TKD

    This would be best used as a movie car. It works be a great background pro for period flicks.

  23. Kris

    I read about this same car in an article about a Checker collector ten years ago. Mentioned that it and two other siblings were ordered new by a taxi company in Binghamton NY, but for whatever reason this one was parked in the corner of the garage and robbed of parts from time to time. It was sitting on only one original rim and the paint was pretty scratched up. Always wondered what happened to the car, apparently now we know, a flipper got hold of it but not before he played up the taxi angle. The car had never had decals or a roof light installed.

  24. Todd

    Well I did my best to address all of you question and comments. Hopefully that will help calibrate some of your BS Meters. Please head on over the the Ebay and read up on my revised description.
    Once again, thanks for looking

  25. Kris

    To Todd, the seller: I meant no disrespect in my post, when I mentioned that “a flipper got hold of it” (One sees that so often on this site, when a car is relisted at a substantially higher price than before, although this case is different, and i apoligize for my use of the word). I recall that the article about the Checker collector mentioned that he’d buy interesting vehicles for little reason, then went on to mention this car. I’d figure that whoever he sold it to would also want to hold on to it, but here it is for sale. Lastly re: the taxi angle, I’m referring to your door decals and roof light. Although not original for this vehicle, they’re there to help the looks I guess.

  26. John T

    Auction has ended with lots of bidding activity but the reserve was not met. The high bid of $7,200 was not good enough for the seller so NO SALE. Looks like Todd is going to hang on to the cab for now and perhaps try again another time.

  27. Mitch Ross Member

    I have always loved taxis. When I was a kid I would sit outside my building in Woodside, Queens and watch them going by. I have been looking for a Dodge Taxi, NYC Mopar taxis were all Dodges, not Plymouth. The Coronet based cars were not badged as Coronets, but “Dodge Taxi” Are there any left? I can’t even find one. Chevy in ’72 had a special taxi version of the Bel Air wih an enduro nose, from the front it looked like a 1980 Plymouth Grand fury. I remember them from when I was Twelve. Right now I own 3 Long Wheelbase Crown Victorias, 2 ex yellow cabs and one whie one from Access-a-Ride. i also have a one owner ’96 Crown Vic NYC taxi. These cars were built to specs set out by the NYC axi & Limousine Commission and were unique and almost all got destroyed over the years. Even the Checker cabs you see,are not survivors, but civilian Marathons made into cab clones.

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