A38 Package: 1978 Plymouth Fury

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There’s something about former law enforcement cars that gets to me, and no, it’s not from being chauffeured around in one back in my youth. This isn’t a former law enforcement car but this 1978 Plymouth Fury with the A38 package is a former US Customs car and the seller has it posted here on eBay in Bend, Oregon. The current bid is $5,655.55 (what the?!) and there are still five days left on the auction.

I really like this car, and these types of cars, in general. As far as a seventh-generation Plymouth Fury goes, I don’t know if they were mind-blowingly outstanding cars, were they? Everyone complains about cars from the mid-1970s as being a lost time for manufacturers and the malaise era and all of that. I think they’re cool and interesting, but what do you think? The A38 package added a heavy-duty suspension for high-speed duty, heavy-duty brakes, a beefier battery, alternator, and radiator, a 140-mph speedometer, and more.

I’m not sold on the dark blue color which isn’t what this car came with originally. I believe that this was originally a much lighter (nicer, in my opinion) blue called Cadet Blue Metallic or possibly Wedgewood Blue. Portions of the interior have also been painted but we’ll get to that in a second. The seventh-gen Fury was made from model year 1975 until 1978 so this was it for this body style and this car was originally a U.S. Customs Service Air Operations Bureau car in Texas.

Back to the interior, there it is in all its glory. It’s looking rougher’n a Joe Friday brow-beating given to a blue-faced heroin addict. You can see the dash pad which I wouldn’t touch until it’s been soaked in bleach and steam-cleaned with actual steam. You can also see the chipped and worn black paint that’s revealing a nice light blue interior scheme, although it looks almost as if someone has tried to strip the dark paint off of the front of the dash which is exactly what the seller mentions. The back seat looks similar to the front, as in being in need of some sprucing up.

The engine should be a Chrysler 360 cubic-inch V8 with around 160-170 horsepower. The seller has done a ton of work and replaced many parts and they say that it runs, drives, and stops. Are any of you fans of these types of mid/late-70s police-package cars, or mid/late-70s cars, in general?

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  1. Cellblock Steve

    Got pulled over by more than one of these back in the day, but never for drinking and driving. (Unfortunately that bad set of choices came later) Usually could talk my way out of a ticket as I always was pretty slick and sure of myself. Though, never liked seeing these, always made me nervous because I usually wasn’t strictly following the beloved 55MPH speed limit.

    Like 15
  2. Tbone

    I remember as a teen driver getting pulled over multiple times by similar cars. Almost makes me nostalgic.

    Like 9
  3. John D.

    I was pulled over several times on the Ohio Turnpike, one time when I passed the cop. I had my cruise control set to 55 and he asked why I passed him? I said the speed limit was 55 but there is no law that says you had to go that fast, and that I had my cruise control set to 55. Also, this was the second time in a week that I was pulled over and our shop put used snow tires on my car 2 weeks ago, “I think they are oversized.” He looked at the tires and told me that he thinks I am right and to drive slower than my speedometer indicates, that he will let me go with the verbal warning but if I wanted to go to traffic court and contest it, that was my right.

    “Sir, could you repeat that last part? No, no, I’ll watch the speedometer and set the cruise at 50.”

    Like 9
    • joenywf64

      Must have been 40 years ago! – today you would set the cruise control at 20 mph OVER the speed limit just to keep up with the traffic – these days here i can go almost 2 weeks without seein even one patrol vehicle in my area.
      Back then, a cop here would often even step out ON FOOT! into the road! to pull u over doin say 30 in a 25 mph zone – or for a loud mickey mouse stereo system – no subwoofer! – but today, he would get run over trying to do that because the driver would not see him – texting or looking at the dash tv screens.

      Like 5
  4. BoatmanMember

    Lean Burn, no no no no.

    Like 4
  5. J_PaulMember

    Unleash your inner Roscoe P Coltrane with this car…

    Like 13
  6. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

    This Plymouth Fury looks like a fairly nice car though the interior is pretty nasty and needs a lot of work. Even though it’s a police spec package, I’m not too excited about only 170 hp. My old ’69 Ford Custom with a 428 Police Interceptor had over 400 hp and was a fantastic performer at high speed. Still, this car has potential though I’ve heard horror stories about the Lean Burn system. I’d eliminate that and try to get more hp out of the 360. This Plymouth might be a bargain, a relatively inexpensive entry into the old car hobby.

    Like 10
  7. Samuel Domko

    It needs a 440 Magnum, a total interior cleaning, then it would be a nice car. In my opinion.

    Like 3
  8. HoA Howard AMember

    The author knows my job history, and how features like this are bound to hit a nerve. Probably saw’r more of these in my truck mirrors than any other cop car, to be replaced by the ubiquitous “Crown Victoria”. Just about every municipality and govt. agency used these,( or Dodges) and my experience is with state troopers mostly. Mechanically-wise, I don’t think you could buy a tougher car, it practically had NASA components, and needed them, to catch scoundrels in GTOs. These cars could easily reach 120+,in a “sheriff chases the bad guys” routine, horribly outdated ,that is still used today, with dangerous results to the public, I might add. I made my living by watching out for cars like this, what we called a “plain blue wrapper”,,( and warned others, strictly illegal, but now it can be told), I don’t want one in my driveway,,if I had one, that is.

    Like 9
  9. Willie

    Worked on the WV state police version of these back in the day, only the 440 version. ‘78 was the last year for the big block. Crossed the overpass next to the shop at 138mph “certified”. Lot less traffic back then.

    Like 11
  10. Mikefromthehammer

    I had a green 77 Fury 360 as my second winter beater for my 79 Mustang Cobra from 1981 to 1985. I tried to sell it cheaply in 85 when I traded in my Cobra on a “sensible” car, but there were no takers so it met its fate at a local scrap yard. I think I got $25 for it.

    Like 5
  11. gearjammer

    I’m a huge fan of Hazzard County police cars, just not this one.

    Like 1
  12. SaabGirl 900

    My father was a cop back in the day and had one of these with a 440. One very early, bitterly cold morning, he started the car to warm it up and back pressure blew the muffler clean off of the car and across the road into the neighbour’s back yard. The car was parked right under my bedroom window, and the sound of an unmuffled 440 woke not just me, but I swear, just about everyone in Rockingham County, NH.

    Good times………….

    Like 19
  13. Rw


    Like 5
  14. George Louis

    The one thing missing are the Unity Spotlights that were a popular Police Car Factory option for these models.

    Like 0
  15. Stan

    Not sure why it is equipped w 140mph calibration. Would it even be possible with 2.56 or other tall hwy gear ?

    Like 2
  16. S

    Talk about a car that was everywhere at the time but now seems to gone from the face of the earth! Unfortunately as the 70s went on, the front and rear styling on these became less attractive.

    Like 4
  17. Jeffry HayesMember

    Having been a cop in the mid ’70’s, I drove numerous Dodges and Plymouths like this one. Had a couple chases, too. These were poplar police vehicles because they cost less than GM or Ford. I had the misfortune to drive one these into a tree early on July 5 one year. I survived with comparatively minor injuries, but the car didn’t. It only had 3,000 miles on it and I got suspended.

    Like 8
  18. Big C

    I think the reason these are so rare, is that every late 70’s to mid-80’s movie that involved polices chases destroyed 3/4 of these cars.

    Like 12
  19. Richard BrownMember

    Does that dashboard make it a Plymouth “Furry”. (I know, bad joke)

    Like 2
  20. jrhmobile

    Nice. I grew up driving rigs like this.

    Dad was a cabbie, and the family got his ex-Missouri State Police, then ex-County Cab Monacos and Furys. The 360s were good, but the 400 low-deck big blocks were bad to the bone.

    They didn’t stop very well, and the suspensions were pretty clapped out by the 1500,000/200,000 miles they had by the time Dad cut them loose to the rest of us, but Dear God could they go! In the mid- to late-’70s these were rollin’ thunder around St. Louis. We had gobs of fun with these units!

    Like 2
  21. Jason

    I have a true A38 ‘78 Fury ex Montana Highway Patrol car. It has the 440 and is wedgewood blue. I believe the A38 cars came with a trans lockout, body bracing and a crane cam. I can attest that these cars are virtually rattle free, handle very very well and can cruise comfortably well north of 100 mph

    Like 8
  22. Brad460Member

    All right you duke boys, this time I gotcha. I’m gonna cuff ya and stuff ya. Coo coo coo.

    Like 1
  23. Ensign Pulver

    The Customs Service wasn’t chasing anyone with this cruiser unless the officer had 3 layers of supervisory approval and an authorized memo from HQ/DC….ask me how I know.

    Like 4
    • George Louis

      Ensign Pulver: : How do you know?

      Like 0
  24. WH

    They wrecked many of these Mopars on the Dukes of Hazzard along with the Dodge Chargers.

    Like 0
  25. George

    The non-police ones had sketchy handling, not to mention a numb feeling in the steering. Although that was common for most Dodge/Chrysler products. I remember coming home from skiing on an icy, twisty, two lane, with incoming traffic. Managed to straighten it out and avoid the other car. Barely felt like you were moving with the 400.

    I think they painted it the darker blue to match the look of police unmarked cars. All of the ones I remembered the cops using in New York were all that dark blue.

    Like 0
  26. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Auction update: this one sold for $8,100!

    Like 0

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