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Genuine Sleeper: 1966 Plymouth Fury III Station Wagon

There are times in our lives where we must be prepared to accept compromise. This can come in many forms, and even the world of classic car ownership is not immune from this. An enthusiast may long to park a fire-breathing muscle car in their garage, but practical considerations like a growing family make a station wagon a more viable option. What if I could offer you the best of both worlds? That is what is potentially available to the next owner of this 1966 Plymouth Fury III Wagon. It is a tidy vehicle with only minor cosmetic needs. It offers the versatility of third-row seating for larger families, but its unassuming exterior hides a potent V8, making it a genuine sleeper. The seller has decided that it needs a new home, so he has listed it for sale here on Craigslist. It is located in Parrottsville, Tennessee, and the owner has set a sale price of $17,500. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for referring this potent classic to us.

As a project build, this Plymouth is an attractive proposition. Its needs are few, and they are the type that a new owner could tackle at their leisure. The wagon has some rust, but it appears confined to a couple of spots in the lower rear quarter panels just behind the wheel arches. These could be addressed with basic patches, and that looks to be it. The owner says that the floors and frame are sound, and there are no other problems visible in the supplied photos. The Light Blue paint isn’t perfect, but it still holds a respectable shine. The panels are straight, with no evidence of dings or dents. The trim and chrome are in good order, as is the glass. The Wagon rolls on a wide set of steel wheels with the original hubcaps, and these are the only clues that there might be more to this classic than meets the eye.

The interior is one of the highlights of this Fury. The seats are upholstered in two-tone blue vinyl and show no evidence of wear or damage. The same is true of the door trims, and one of the few flaws that I have been able to spot is a seam separation in the headliner. It is relatively long, but I feel that an upholsterer could fix it without resorting to a replacement. The photos are quite limited, making it hard to identify any further problems. It is also an interior that isn’t loaded with creature comforts. The factory AM radio remains intact, although the owner has mounted an FM converter under the dash to broaden the listening options.

We have reached the feature that might add to this Wagon’s appeal for enthusiasts with a growing family. It features the versatility of third-row seating, making this a genuine eight-seater. With that seat folded away into the floor, it leaves a low, flat cargo area that should provide more than enough space to carry the weekly grocery shopping. The seat wears the same material and pattern as the rest of the trim, and its condition is equally impressive. The general impression is that there is little that the interior needs, making the Plymouth tempting as a turn-key proposition.

Family wagons can be boring and humdrum, but that isn’t the case with this Fury III. The owner indicates that this classic was ordered with a 383ci V8, a three-speed TorqueFlite transmission, power steering, and power brakes. It isn’t clear whether the vehicle is numbers-matching, but it’s a sure bet that this V8 probably pumps out considerably more than its original 325hp. It features a smorgasbord of parts that should make it haul the mail. These include 915 closed-chamber heads from a 440, a Hughes camshaft, TTI headers, a Weiand intake, and a Holley 750 carburetor. There is also a 2800 stall converter to help get all of those additional horses to the road. In its original form, this Wagon could’ve covered the ¼ mile in 16.2 seconds. Today? Who knows, although the number would undoubtedly be significantly lower. This Wagon offers its next owner a fast family motoring experience, and it is why I am happy to class this as a sleeper.

Compromise. That is a word that causes some people to shudder because it usually indicates that they are about to sacrifice something that they desire to receive something else. This 1966 Plymouth Fury III Wagon is a compromise, but it isn’t a bad one. It isn’t a genuine muscle car, but it is far from a bland and unappealing family wagon. It offers the best of both worlds in a package that is subtle and understated. Some compromises can seem unappetizing, but this is one that I could happily live with. Could you? More importantly, will you?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Ed VT

    An FM converter, a necessary accessory back in the day.

    Like 18
    • Avatar photo Dave

      In 1966, AM radio was king of the hill, as FM was largely the realm of audiophiles loving Beethoven. In the late 1960s, there began the rise of “album rock” FM stations like WMMS (Cleveland) and WDVE (Pittsburgh). Not constrained by the advertising on AM radio, they played album versions of AM Top 40 favorites and (then) lesser-known artists that couldn’t get their music played on Top 40 AM stations.
      FM converters, and a few years later, CB converters, were an inexpensive way to be able to listen to the goings-on on your local album rock stations. CB converters grew out of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, and the sudden need for travelers to be able to find open gas stations and the location of Smokeys enforcing the new 55 mph national speed limit.
      You can still find converters at estate/yard/garage sales and flea markets if you’re so inclined. They were thrown in a box when FM radio became standard on new cars and the CB craze died off.

      Like 19
      • Avatar photo Howard A Member

        Hi Dave, spot on! “FM” stood for “fogey music”, and who could forget AM 1090, KAAY, Little Rock, Ar. In the early 70’s, Clyde Clifford hosted “Beaker Street”, ( named that because LSD was made in a beaker) an underground rock station, only on late at night. It was the 1st time I heard Led Zepplin. FM stations really hit their stride in the early 70’s, in Milwaukee, it was WZMF, WTOS, and WQFM. While FM converters were all the rage, they were still a bit pricey for a kid on a pump jockies salary. A GM, AM/FM “Wonderbar” radio could be found back then almost for nothing. Who cared what it looked like, tunes was tunes!

        Like 7
      • Avatar photo sir_mike

        And 92.7 Starview in York.Had one also plus the antenna booster.

        Like 4
      • Avatar photo Scott L.

        Didn’t have a Dead Head sticker on my Cadillac, but I did have a ZMF sticker on my Barracuda.

        Like 3
    • Avatar photo Miminite

      I had one back in the day that was very portable and could hook it up quickly to whatever work vehicle I was in for that day or days. Yes, something that needed to be done.

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Okay, it’s a great find, in that, station wagons, especially clean ones like this, are fast becoming a hit,,,again. Mostly because, nothing today is offered like this. I think people are tiring of this SUV/pickup baloney, ( and the astronomical prices to repair them) and want a simple vehicle like this. Now, this high performance foolishness is simply not needed. Driveability on something like this will be nothing short of annoying, and 10 mpg gets mighty old, trust me. A car like this should be taking a young family to see the great USA , before it burns to the ground, just like it was intended in 1966,,not 1/4 mile shenanigans at every stoplight. Everybody here has a station wagon story. Blistering down the 1/4 mile in one, not so much.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Dave Ward

      In 67 Dad took the family, Mom, my 2 sisters and I on the see the USA trip. NY to California and all the national parks. That was in his 66 FuryIII 4 dr Hardtop, pulling a Starcraft Camper. I got my permit in that Fury 2 weeks after we got home. This wagon would be welcome in my garage!

      Like 5
  3. Avatar photo PaulG

    Wheel choice is police issued with matching vented hub caps. Had a detective’s Coronet from 74 with the same set up. Nice wagon, and not priced too high…

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Will Fox

      IMHO, I’d trade the dog dishes for a set of the `66 Fury spinners! Those deep rims/hub caps are almost TOO “sleeper-ish”.

      Like 4
    • Avatar photo DON

      Correct , they are far from the originals , which on this car would probably have had full width covers .

      Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Dwcisme

    I’ve always had a soft spot for wagons (dad refused to get one) and I always liked using one as a company car. I came very close to buying a numbers matching 427 equipped Chev 9 passenger about 10 years ago. The lack of power steering or power brakes held me back.
    This one pushes all the right buttons except it’s too far away. To use it as a driver, I’d swap out the carb for f.i. As for being a sleeper? It’s 55 years old. It’ll attract attention no matter what.

    Like 9
  5. Avatar photo RMac

    My dad had a 66 fury III wagon with 383 and trailer package pulling a pop up and wooden roof box and wife an 4 kids headed to Rangeley lake in Maine we went down a hill and my dad pulled over at the bottom of the hill white as a ghost the rubber hose to the front right wheel had burst and he lost all brakes he used the emergency brake pedal holding the lever out so he could use the emergency brake to slow the car down other than that it was a great car I would change out that single line master cylinder first thing though

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo 8banger Member

      Sounds like dad saved some lives that day. Yaay for pops!

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo RMac

        Yes and taught me a lesson on brakes that I used 10yers later when my 65 sport fury popped the same brake line and I knew how to stop it

        Like 2
  6. Avatar photo Gary

    We had a 70 Fury wagon around here 20 years ago, green, green interior and a non original 440/6 pack with 4spd. Very cool IMHO. Little known fact: If you bought a Mopar wagon back in 70-72 with a 4spd (Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevadas for instance, better than a auto on long grades and easier on the brakes) they came with a pistol grip shifter. I want one.

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo Miminite

    I like this! But also agree with the comment above that the souped up motor isn’t really needed. I personally would be fine with a 318 in it with maybe a OD transmission. But – that’s not what’s in here and I’d still be fine with cruising around as is – albeit with the addition of an underdash Vintage AC system to make things more better in the Florida heat.

    Dammit, I need to get that metal building done for more storage of cool cars! As my poor suffering wife knows, I have a problem. It’s not drugs or alcohol, it’s old cars, trucks, and motorcycles and associated parts lol…

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo wuzjeepnowsaab

    Man that is one lonnnnng roof!

    Just as a correction, I don’t think this is a Fury III. I think it’s a lower Fury package like a I or II. The III should have red-white-red tail lights

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo HC Member

    Great find. You don’t usually see that many 66 Plymouth Sport Fury 111s anywhere, and it’s got a great body,interior and an engine setup that’s nothing to sneeze at. I’d be proud to drive it.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Barry Traylor

    I would much rather have a station wagon than an SUV

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Terry Bowman

    The ball on the antenna sure brings back memories. That was the only way my mother could find her car in a shopping parking lot (mid 60’s). Then a year or so later, everyone had the ball on their cars. That is when people started to add colors to their balls (tennis balls). LOL As for the motor, the center medallion on the hood should have the motor size, north too south. The Fury I, II or III was the option list. The higher the options the higher the I’s. Being a wagon and all it’s chrome, I believe it would make it a III. The motor size would not make a difference. Our family grew up with wagons and my family had a Dodge B-300 Maxi Van, for the same reason, SPACELESS. I did have to add a 69′ 340, for me.
    LOL

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo wuzjeepnowsaab

      You’re absolutely right and I was just as absolutely wrong. The lower trims on the wagons had different tail treatment and this is a Fury III The days when makers could say fu to the board and do what they pleased for the sake of art lol

      Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Dave Woods

    We owned a car lot and had thousands of neat cars back in the day and one of my Dad’s favorite road cars to go to Nevada to gamble was a ‘66 Sport Fury with 426 and automatic. Mopar used a torsion bar suspension(like used on a Porsche 911) and it made a very stable high speed traveling car. Much to his dismay he wore out a brand new set of high quality bias ply tires in only 8,000 miles. I’d love to own this wagon and add a few things like an F.I. 440 and air conditioning. But I’d throw away the high stall converter. They’re ok for drag racing but they make bad on gas car even worse and don’t make that much difference on acceleration. If it was closer to me I’d be an owner.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Ryan Petty

    Our 1966 Plymouth Fury lll wagon was a tank for sure.
    Got hit a few times and could not tell it. Mom took off a truck door when some guy flung his door open. Bro’ Beel punctured a VW bug hood when the bug driver hit the trailer hitch. A SIMCA bounced off it one time when the other driver failed to slow down to avoid stopped traffic (made a Titanic gash in the SIMCA).
    383 engine. Power locks. Got better mpg when speed limit was dropped to 55.
    Sold it for 1100 bucks in 1977.

    Like 0

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