Philly Beat: 1973 Plymouth Fury Police Car

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Old police cars aren’t exactly rare, but so many of them have been restored back to original condition that it’s almost getting boring seeing them at shows. However, an unrestored police car still wearing the scars of its last battle is a different breed entirely and worth paying attention to. Check out this 1973 Plymouth Sport Fury police car here on craigslist for $10,000(!)

That’s a chunk of change for an old Plymouth Fury. However, the seller is quick to point out that this particular police vehicle is one of only 16 equipped with the 440-4V and dual exhausts. Apparently, the Furys equipped in this manner were the police cars destined for patrolling the lanes of I-95 and the local expressway. Not much is said about the history of this particular cop car, other than it went into storage some 40 years ago.

As you can see, the instantly-recognizable blue-and-white paint remains, but the lightbar and sirens are long gone. The seller says the city of Philadelphia reclaimed those before this Fury was retired from the fleet, but those items shouldn’t be too difficult to replicate. The seller describes the Fury as being in “good shape” but doesn’t elaborate any further than that. Given how tightly it’s crammed into its storage area, I’d want to confirm the condition of vulnerable areas like the floors and trunk.

With only 76,000 miles, is this Fury in sound condition still? Who knows – police cars can sometimes lead easy lives, spending most of their time in a downtown parking garage. Others are beaten on daily, racking up miles upon miles of abuse. I’m not sure where this Fury lands, as the pictures are not nearly good enough to get a good read on condition. But perhaps there’s a market out there for untouched police cars – if there is, does anyone think this Fury is worth a closer look?

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Comments

  1. Chebby

    You can’t even see the car in the pictures. Asking 5 figures for a vehicle piled with garbage takes balls.

    50+
    • JDJones

      What he said..

      16+
    • KeithK

      It’s not piled with garbage, the floor Jack and the spare tire are holding her in place. A little bit of Christine still remains on the Chrysler assembly line.

      1+
  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    If I was in the mood, I might give him 5 figures, as long as each figure was $1.00. Sorry, the 440 might be worth something but not much when not running.

    6+
  3. Adrian C

    That’s about a $1500 car. Sorry to burst bubbles.

    10+
  4. Irish Bill

    Ditto’s. Not sure this is really rare. I had one in the 80’s that was an unmarked police car. Ended up donating it to a charity group because there was no market for it.

    6+
    • Mike

      Gee, that was dumb…hindsight’s 20/20.

      0
  5. Don

    I’ll give him 300 and have me a nice demo car 🤑

    2+
  6. Larry K

    Looks like it’s seen some moisture.

    4+
    • Mike

      It has, sadly. It’s in a damp, old garage.

      1+
  7. P

    Ten Thousand Dollars.

    I would think you would see Paul Lynde Junior before anyone pays 10k for this.

    13+
    • St. Ramone de V8

      Don’t know how many get that reference, but I sure do! Thanks, P!

      10+
      • Woodie Man

        Me too…yer a bad man! But funny……………the car is junk. Period.

        8+
      • P

        St.
        Ya gotta have fun!

        1+
  8. Flmikey

    …if it had a pistol grip sticking out of the tranny tunnel, it MIGHT be worth it…in mint condition of course…

    3+
    • Mike

      Gee, that would be rare, lol.

      0
  9. grant

    Lots of questions here. I’d want some documentation on his 1 of 16 claim in regards to the 440. Does the city of Philadelphia have its own highway unit? In my area the interstates are patrolled by State Troopers.

    2+
    • Andrew

      I am not sure about 30 years ago but Philly does have a highway division to do I 95. Regular Philly cars used to be painted bright red.

      2+
      • Mike

        They went to the blue and white in, I believe, ’72.

        0
    • Mike

      Yes, they do, it’s legit. The regular beat cars were 318’s.

      0
  10. glen

    I can’t see a 440/4bbl, police vehicle not being used hard. They buy these for pursuit vehicles. I know some police at the local OPP station, they leave them idling for hours. One officer said he wouldn’t buy a used police car.

    4+
    • Mike

      Shows how little you know about them. Stick to MG’s.

      0
      • Glen

        What are you talking about?

        1+
  11. Bubba Smith

    If I could get it for 2k or less I’d restore it and enjoy driving it…at $10k I think it may stay in that garage for another 40 years. Hope it finds a good home.

    3+
  12. packrat

    I’ll go higher. I could see it being worth right under 3k depending upon how much car is left when you clean the dirt and rust off, and sluice the moss off the interior.

    0
  13. Jay M

    I seem to remember a lot more than 16 440 Fury police cars.
    My Dad bought a brand new 73 wagon and the 318(I think?) lasted 6 months. Dealer wouldn’t warranty it. He ended up buying a rollover 73 pursuit car and the 440 driveline was swapped. I know he had a lot of difficulty doing it, and although I was only 7, I remember the hood would not close with the air cleaner installed.
    That and lots of smokey burnouts “merging” onto the highway while I waited for the school bus…and Mom complaining that a new car should have a quiet muffler.

    7+
  14. Jeff

    I tried to sell a 68 Plymouth Fury I Ontario Provincial Police car. It was partly stripped out as it had been sold and driven privately for years. Ended up in the crusher as I couldn’t get $300 out of it.

    3+
    • Mike

      Pretty dumb…if you had it today it’d be worth thousands.

      0
  15. Howard A Member

    Here tis’. http://www.allpar.com/photos/shows/NYC/2015/police/1973-fury.jpg
    I can’t find anything on 440 police cars either. Allpar says, ’73 was a down year for police cruisers hp, and a 400 was the most common, although, it did say State Patrol did use 440’s. Looks like one of the cars the Blues Brothers producers missed. ( It’s rumored they bought over 60 ’73-’74 Dodge and Plymouth cruisers for the movie)

    4+
  16. Freddy

    So he was probably told by his wife to sell it and with such a crazy price and very limited information she thinks hes doing what she said. Little does she know about selling something. Ill give $500 for it, as is where is! Im feeling generous.

    3+
  17. Rick

    Living very near Phila, the in-town departments rarely see the Expressway. There are sections that actually go through the middle of the city, but those are generally gagged with traffic. Same for I-95. While the car may be equipped with said engine, there would be no real reason to use it’s potential within city limits. Sort of like our local town PD running the twin turbo’d Ford Interceptor sedans from a few years ago. That said, if anyone was truly interested, I’m close enough for an inspection….

    3+
  18. Mike

    It’s real and it’s rare…I’ve seen it and it’s a shame the condition it’s in. It’s been for sale a long time. It’s entombed in a damp, tiny garage in the bottom of an old house. It is very hard to find a real, U-code 440 HP police package Mopar. Unfortunately, this one has been left neglected way too long. Realistically, it’s worth $3-5K.

    1+
  19. Don Sicura

    As a retired Philly deputy sheriff, I recall these Highway Patrol cars, the city used to sell them off for prices starting from $100 or less and even though Philly had their own maintenance shops, these cars took a daily beating, they ran continuously around the clock, the 74K mileage is doubtful, unless the car was retired early because of the engine.

    6+
    • Mike

      You’re wrong. It’s original miles. I’ve seen the car. Back then they sold them with much lower miles.

      0
      • Don Sicura

        Mike, were on the job back then or are you just looking to argue with everyone? I was there & while some were sold with lower mileage, those were usually wrecked or damaged.

        0
  20. Darryl

    To the author, there is no such thing as a “Sport Fury” police car. This is a Fury 1 (I). And as many Mopar enthusiasts will know there were three versions of the full size Fury, I, II, and III. All were available with police options or packages. Your remark about the restoration and appreciation of these vehicles becoming “almost boring” is an insult to the hobby. I’d be interested to see what kind of responses you would receive if you started insulting collectors of Chevrolet Impala’s or Ford Mustang’s. I might suggest that if you’re going to speak about this hobby that you maybe invest a little time and attend a local car show and find a quality restoration of a police package vehicle and discuss it with the owner. You’ll find that they are much more rare than what you speak of.

    3+
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      We have crossed out the Sport in Fury, but please reread Jeff’s remarks about these being boring. He was referring to large amount of restored Police cars at car shows, not Mopars in general.

      0
      • Mike

        He has no clue…there are certainly not “large numbers” of ANY kind of police cars at ANY car show, lol!

        1+
      • Mike

        …and there are more old Mopar police cars out there than all other makes combined, so, your reply makes no sense.

        0
      • Darryl

        Hi Jesse,

        Thank you for your response. And his remark about restored police vehicles being “boring”, was exactly my point.

        Darryl

        0
    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      Apologies, Darryl. The “Sport” reference was indeed a typo and my reference to boring was a slight exaggeration (intentional, too) to draw attention to the fact that an unrestored former police package vehicle may be worth a bit. Not $10K in this condition, mind you, but still unusual in this day and age when many ex-cop cars are either minty survivors or fully rebuilt. There simply cannot be too many unrestored projects left still sporting original paint and options.

      1+
  21. Kevin Culver

    In the antique business they say anytime you want to sell something, clean it before you show it to a
    Prospective buyer . Maybe you don’t want to invest in mechanical or body work on a car you are selling, but at least take the garbage bags and junk off it before you take the photo for your ad . Especially when you are asking 10 K . Kind of a cool Frank Rizzo era car , though.

    1+
  22. Will

    The price is optimistic however the car is worth more than many think. It would part out for more than 3k without touching the body or subframe. The 440 & trans is a hp version. More than likely the rear axle is a 3.23 sure grip. 140 speedometer, heavier seats, H code rims etc. Muscle car stuff. This one should be a U code car. Just running and driving shape would be a blast at the next car cruise.

    0
    • Nova Scotian

      Drive to where? The gas station? Lol!

      1+
    • Mike

      It is a U-code.

      1+
  23. Will

    Another example for the Chevy crowd. A 454 Biscayne. Watch the bids, and page views for a car that no one wants.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/282435940001

    1+
  24. Mitch Ross

    In the early ’90s I owned a taxi company in Brooklyn, NY, which were called “Car Service” because Taxi was reserved for the yellow cars. In ’94 I went to the Police auction in Philly and the ’89 Grand Furys were selling for a few hundred $$ and had around 80k miles, I thought they were steals and bought 8 for around $600 each. They were the most beat cars I had ever seen. I brought some friends to drive them home and 7 made made it the 90 miles or so. They all had lifter noise and when I removed the valve covers, I saw that they were caked with hard crispy residue, as if the oil was never changed for the life of the cars. By the time I had them servicable, the cost was more than buying nice State Police cars. Hopefully this was not treated the same way

    As for rarity, since 90% of Police cars were sold to do taxi work, then used till they were finished, very few of any kind survive. Same goes for Taxi packages. High production, but statistically 0% survival rate.

    2+
    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      Mitch, you hit the nail on the head with about 75% of “enthusiasts” who make baseless claims on value because of original production quantities. Sure, they made a bunch of them – how many are left?!

      I own a restored 1987 BMW 325is that, yes, was made in healthy numbers in its prime. However, through age, rust, teenage drivers, etc., it’s increasingly hard to find a sport package car like mine in top-flight condition. At that point, the original production numbers mean nothing. It’s about what you can buy NOW, not what you could have bought THEN.

      1+

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