Fury Wannabe: 1959 Plymouth Belvedere Project

In the mid-1950s, Plymouth’s stylist Virgil Exner came up with the Forward Look: hooded headlamps meant to look like jet engines, dramatically upswept fins, tons of chrome, and bubble top styling. After Exner exited Plymouth, this styling momentum reached a pinnacle in 1959 with fins as excessive as they would ever be. Here on eBay is a 1959 Plymouth that started life as a Belvedere, undergoing a metamorphosis into a Fury. The car has a Buy It Now price of $10,000 and is located in Hoven, South Dakota. We have Larry D. to thank for this tip! A full set of Fury chrome trim comes with this car, as well as the old Belvedere trim. The trunk lid is blessedly free of the “toilet seat” fake Continental kit.

This Belvedere is from an era when American car makers were busy confusing the consumer by badging similar cars with different names for marketing purposes. In the 1950s, Plymouth sold the Belvedere, the Fury, the Sport Fury, and the Savoy. An educated eye can tell these apart by trim level, but it’s not easy. Engine options for Plymouths in 1959 ran from a 230 cu. in. inline-six, to the 361 cu. in. Commando V8. This car comes with a 318 cu. in. V8 paired with a pushbutton automatic generating about 230 bhp. Unfortunately, the seller didn’t provide any engine bay photos, but he does say that the car runs and drives well. The seller has accumulated numerous parts including new exhaust, fuel pump, carb kit, brake parts, carpets, kick panels, and more. The gas tank has been cleaned out; the radio was sent to a specialist for a rebuild and works well. The front windshield is cracked but a new windshield is included.

The seller indicates there is some rust on the car, though other panels have been sanded and prepped for paint. The floors have been treated with POR 15; wish I knew how the floors looked before that. The interior has seen better days, but you’ll have at least some of the parts needed to fix her up. An owner’s handbook and a period advertisement also accompany the car.

The trunk along with just about everything here needs some attention, and that’s before seeing the motor and other mechanicals. I’m not a big fan of making cars into what they are not, but certainly others like that idea. I would probably ignore the Fury makeover and just bring this car up to driver quality as a two-door Belvedere. If I wanted a better car than that, I might change out the motor rather than spend money on trim that wasn’t original. What do you think?


  1. tiger66

    Quote: “Engine options for Plymouths in 1959 ran from a 230 cu. in. inline-six, to the 350 cu. in. Commando V8.”

    Nope. The 350 was ’58 only. Top engine in ’59 was the 361. Also you have “Blevedere” starting that graf.

    Like 2
    • Michelle Rand Staff


      Like 2
  2. CCFisher

    This conversion is puzzling. It has to be worth more as a real Belvedere than it is as a fake Fury. Someone must have had a Fury parts car. Otherwise, why not go all the way to Sport Fury?

    Like 1
    • Michelle Rand Staff

      That’s what I was wondering. Of course, Super Fury is more complicated because of the swivel front seats and the trim he found was Fury not Super Fury, but it is weird to go sort of halfway.

      Like 2
      • Larry D

        SPORT Fury

  3. Bob

    In 1965 I bought a ‘59 Dodge wagon. It had a 361 cu and push button. Solid black, paint and chrome shined like new money.

    Like 3
  4. Rex Kahrs Member

    Wikipedia says Exner left Chrysler in 1962, and in came Elwood Engel.

    I would opine that the fins on the 1960 Fury were the most excessive. .

    Like 1
    • Sam Shive

      I had a Black 60 Fury. Loved That Car

  5. Larry D

    @Rex Kahrs

    Not to be argumentative but I read once that the 1960 Imperial had the highest fins. Just saying.


    Like 1
    • Rex Kahrs Member

      Hey Larry, I didn’t consider your comment to be argumentative. The best kind of discourse is that which remains civil and gets to the truth!


  6. Larry D
    • Michelle Rand

      Fin contest!

  7. Larry D

    @Rex Kahrs

    Or possibly a 1961. I’m not sure now which it was.


  8. Rex Kahrs Member

    I guess the criteria to judge fins would need to be standardized…height, width, area etc. Maybe even the ’59 Impala would be contender, even though the fins go sideways? But I swear I read somewhere that the ’60 Fury takes the cake! It takes the cake in my book.

    • Larry D

      That’s true b/c the trunk lids dropped down considerably giving the illusions that the fins were higher than they really were. If the Plymouth or the Imperial had flat trunk lids, their fins would be actually kind of small.

      The only reason I seem to remember that about the Imperial is that I had always assumed the ’59 Cadillac wore the crown for having the tallest/biggest fins until I read that.

      Like 1
    • Michelle Rand Staff

      How do we fit the ’59 Impala in there? I love those horizontal fins, and they ARE pretty extravagant.

      • Larry D

        @Michelle Rand

        Yes they are and I love them too. I loved how each GM division had their own take on the automotive fin for 1959. And that was the ultimate year for fins at GM as they knew they were going to be toned down for ’60 and eliminated by everyone except Cadillac in ’61.

        It was great while it lasted.

        Like 1
  9. David Scully

    Can anyone tell what the gizmo thing is on the right side of the steering column going to the top of the (once upon a) dash pad?

    • Bob

      Might be the fan and heater control panel.

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