Retired Police Car: 1971 Plymouth Fury 440

In the 1970s, Plymouth built a lot of cars for use with various law enforcement agencies. The common choice was the Fury I because it was Plain Jane, big and roomy, and could be had with Plymouth’s Hi-Performance 440 V8 engine. According to its VIN, this ’71 Fury is a real-deal cop car that was used by the Michigan State Patrol back in the day. While the engine has been rebuilt, the car appears to have been sitting outdoors for a bit and will need some cosmetic attention. Located in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, this retired cruiser is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $2,800, but the reserve has not.

Plymouth must have been the police car of choice in the 1970s, and you see plenty of them in movies from that era. In The Blues Brothers and Smokey and the Bandit films, for example, you see dozens (even hundreds) of them, but most were destroyed in the production of the flicks – hopefully after long and fruitful public service. That helps limit the available population of these cars that are still around today. A friend of mine picked up a dirt cheap ’71 Florida State Patrol car back in the mid-1970s and it ran like the proverbial striped ape. He eventually blew up the 440 motor (which was no surprise; he had it up to 140 mph on several occasions).

All the cars that Plymouth built in the 1970s for police use had “PK” as the first two initials of the VIN and that’s the case here, too. It stood for police package. The odometer reading on this Fury is 96,000 miles, but it may have turned over at least once because these cars saw a lot of miles in a brief period. The 440 engine has been rebuilt, although we’re not told how recently, and it was bored .040 over and has its original 4-barrel carburetor and dual points distributor. There is no battery currently installed.

These were brutes to drive at times. This one has no power steering or air conditioning, so it was built strictly for high pursuit. It doesn’t have the often-tell-tale searchlight mounted to the right front fender which was often left on when these cars were repainted and resold when their tour of duty ended. The brown paint is faded on this Plymouth and the blue interior could stand a new front seat cover. Both rear quarter panels are rusty, likely from sitting close to the ground for some time. You’re going to have to apply for a new title if you buy the car because the original is MIA. Bill of Sale here only.

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Comments

  1. Dan H

    blues brothers!!!

    Like 4
    • Dave

      That car was a 1974 Dodge Monaco. But, everyone knows that.

      Like 11
    • Frank Dusseault

      Exactly! The first thing that comes to mind.

    • Don Eladio

      Really? Not even close.

      Like 3
  2. Fred W

    14 year old me on a Kawasaki 90 can verify that three of these (70 models) in a black and yellow paint scheme can go off road next to a RR track and easily keep up. I laid in the bushes over an hour until the coast cleared. Is the statute of limitations over?

    Like 42
    • Lt Jau

      My brother laid on top of 305 Honda hiding the chrome in a ditch hiding from a local cop. His best friends dad was Chief of Police. He drove there and told him how he hid from his patrolman. The chief put on my brothers helmet and jacket. Drove to the Station as the patrolman pulled up. The chief told him to look in ditches next time. Lol lol.

    • Ralph

      Depends on the cop. Glad you got away!

      Like 4
    • Gary

      I had the same experience on a Kawasaki 350 Big Horn but with the Sheriff’s Dept ambulance. I hit a post and got stabbed with the trail cutting machete I was carrying. They just left me there and took off. I don’t think they were supposed to chase people with the ambulance. Went home and patched myself up before mom and dad got home from work.

      Like 2
  3. Dave

    These are great cars, room,power, good brakes and that 140 speedo. Room for 8 teenagers, and the trunk full of beer and ice from back of the hockey rink.

    Like 23
    • Terrry

      Would have made good ‘shine haulers back in the day

      Like 12
      • piston poney

        you have no idea

        Like 4
      • moosie moosie

        Probably did.

        Like 3
  4. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    “You in a heap a trouble, boy”

    Like 12
  5. Boatman Member

    These made great demolition derby cars as they had a full box frame. Never seen one bend.

    Like 3
    • Dave

      Chryslers of this era were all unibodies. There is a website devoted to Mopar squad cars that details the differences between regular cars and cop cars, but the only one I can remember now is that the cop cars have more welded joints per foot than regular cars.

      The main problem is restoration parts. I asked, and Graveyard Carz will not take C bodies, only A, B, and E. I can’t tell you if the usual sources like Year One can help. This might be a case of needing donor cars.

      Like 8
    • Don Eladio

      LOL…not.

      Like 1
  6. Terrry

    $2100 and reserve hasn’t been met? Reserve should have been “met ” at $1000.

    Like 6
  7. Mitchell G. Member

    Fix the cigarette lighter

    Like 8
    • Don Eladio

      Oh geez…enough already.

  8. Ken Carney

    Boy, would I love to have this one! My nephew
    just bought a 2000 Crown Vic interceptor a
    couple of weeks ago. We cruised it at Old
    Town after he got it and the popular vote
    among the crowd. His is an honest survivor
    with 162K miles showing. I’d fix this old gal
    up and then give him a run for his money in
    the street class at the Orlando Dragway.
    Too bad I’m tapped out, if I weren’t, it would
    be under my carport right now.
    .

    Like 4
    • Dave

      The 71 I bought in Ohio ran a 15.99@99 mph at National Trail Raceway. It was a dog off the line…you couldn’t just floor it or it would bog out, you had to squeeze the loud pedal. But once you hit 40 mph, it took no time to hit 80, and once you got to 100 it would lower its nose into the wind and storm along until the speedo needle pointed at 140. I’ve been fast in numerous cars, trucks, and motorcycles but nothing was like this.

      Like 9
  9. Dave, Aust

    Better seeing the outside of a coppers car than the inside, ie don’t want to be on your way to prison.
    God help any modern car that runs into this beautiful Plymouth.

    Like 6
  10. Steve R

    Many of these early-70’s Plymouth police cars met their demise during the filming of the movie Sugarland Express staring Goldie Hawk, directed by Steven Spielberg.

    Steve R

    Like 3
    • Dave

      True, but when I was going to college in Columbus they seemed to grow on trees. The Ohio Highway Patrol drove these and in 1973 they were in the process of exchanging their Plymouths for new 454 Bel Aires. They liked to pace you out on the interstate highways at night and so you learned the headlight and parking light configuration.
      Movie trivia: in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind the pattern of the vehicle Dreyfuss waves around, which then ascends, is identical to that of a 1970 Road Runner.

      Like 6
  11. Chris

    Never touch a car without a clean title .Problems waiting to happen .

    Like 6
    • Uncle Hector

      No title, no problem.

  12. Steve Clinton

    “Car 54 where are you?” (Boy, am I showing my age!)

    Like 2
    • Don Eladio

      Oy vey.

  13. Steve Haygood

    My grandad was a county deputy. Had to pay for his own cars etc back in the 60’s and 70’s. He had a 68 and a 72 Fury. The 68 went past the 140 on the speedometer chasing down a 69 429 once. He said the 72 was faster. They were not stock and yes I was in the car when he caught the Ford

    Like 8
    • Don Eladio

      I thought most Fords were 428’s in 1969? Unless you are referring to an anemic passenger car 429 with a 2bbl…in which case, it’s no wonder he caught him.

      Like 2
      • Steve Haygood

        You are correct , it was a Torino Cobra Jet. We were side by side at 135 on a 2 lane road. Highway 341 just north of Musella Ga

        Like 5
  14. Lt Jay

    The Big Fury’s in some departments were assigned to the Police and Fire Chief and the patrol car was the Satellite. I inherited the Fire Chiefs because he kept hitting stuff, umm after late night meetings at the local political power house lounge. Lol.
    The thing was a beast on the freeway. I got in one chase in it leaving the Satellites in my dust. One learned rather quickly it was not a cornering car. With the tires of the day, it would swap ends way too quickly. Not a good city car at all. To big to negotiate traffic responding. It was great for long distance prisoner pickup. Many memories, good and bad of the 440 Fury III

    Like 9
  15. Pete Kaczmarski

    I owned a restored ’70 Plymouth Fury III ex-Washington State Patrol car. It took many decades the find the “right one”. My car was restored to be a clean top, unmarked car. It has all emergency equipment and period correct.

    Like 10
    • Don Eladio

      WSP cars were Fury II’s, not III’s, in 1970…and they only had the T-code 440, not the U-code 440HP.

      Like 2
      • Pete Kaczmarski

        Don, I still own the car and have purchase documents from Chrysler selling it to the WSP. My car was also decoded by Galen Govier confirming the build. I also know of another collector who has one.

        Like 6
    • Don Eladio

      WSP cars were Fury II’s, not III’s, in 1970…and they only had the T-code 440, not the U-code 440HP.

  16. Pete Kaczmarski
    • Don Eladio

      You’re right about the III…my mistake! New Jersey had III’s also. I was thinking the WSP cars were II’s.

      Standard Lo-Po T-code 440 though, not a U-code…that, I am sure of.

    • Jasper

      That lot full of them without all the law enforcement BS installed yet!!! COOLx10!

  17. Dewey Gill

    One thing people don’t consider with police vehicles is the amount of time they spent idleing. They were seldom turned off in the course of a shift

    • Don Eladio

      *Idling…and who cares at this point? This one has been rebuilt anyway.

      Like 1
      • Dewey Gill

        I meant police cars in general, not this one specifically

        Like 2
  18. Mark Doane

    In 1981 I bought a dead dodge polara police car with a 440 in it. It was very fast and handled like a boat or maybe a grand piano. Huge fun!

    These cars are generally in dreadful shape and need constant maintenance. They have very high miles. But they are a lot of fun when they are running.

    Like 1
  19. R.Lee

    Having been in the rear seat of one when on safari I can attest to the smooth ride and speed that the PK cars had. The Trooper was having a good time proooving that the car can cruise at the 140 mark. When a Highway was 2 lane or interstate was 2 each way roads and tires were the limiting factor.

    And the Troopers that were assigned to the Pursuit cars had the skill to drive those full size sedans. They had one advantage, stay on the interstate highway and you were going to be caught. Them big cars had a tax to be paid and that was weight.

    Big Chrysler’s and 440 power in the 60’s and early 70’s were the mark for police departments with pursuit cars. When your town was performance car central with Chrysler, Ford and GM plants building the breed of cars that pizzed off the police that can not catch who they sought, well they bought the cars that could stay with those they were chasing. Not always catch but follow.

    I loved growing up in St.Louis in the sixties when performance cars OF THE TIME, were on every block. And when the hood was up the local police liked to stop by just to see what was happening. We knew what they were up to, scouting us just like we were watching for them. Fun times, sometimes you have to pay the piper. Smile for the camera.

    Like 7
  20. STEVEN HAYGOOD

    The other chase he told me about as I was not in the car, was in his 72, catching a Trans Am SD at over 145. The kid had eluded the police from Perry Ga all the way to Monroe County. When my Grandad pinned him against a bank on a dirt road ( guess the boy thought he could beat the old man on a dirt road), kid got out and said” Officer, I don’t know what you have under that hood, but that’s the fastest car I’ve ever seen. Grandaddy was at least 60 at the time. The other chase in 1969, he was 56…no seat belts, no PS, bias belted tires… He didn’t believe in PS , if it was good enough for Petty, it was good enough for him..

    Like 2
    • Lt Jay

      Grandad and I would have too much fun. In those days there were no chase guidelines. If one developed it was a free for all. In Seattle you got Patrol from every sector. Lol.
      Being a Detective in the right place once in a while we would join in. Once the chase was over we would sneak away. No paperwork for us. Just give me my cuffs back. Lol.

      • Steve Haygood

        He and the GSP would race late at night on that stretch of 341. Good times I’m sure

  21. Troy s

    “She aint got no lights or siren yet….”
    “Hey! All I care about is what’s under that hood ….
    What’s my top end on this thang anyways? ”
    Slam goes the hood
    “Unlimited !”
    “Gotta run down some cat named don Eladio, see ya..”
    Hardy har har.

    Like 1
    • Tuco Salamanca

      They will never take “The Don” alive. Federales and Narcos have tried for years. There’s nothing money can’t buy.

      Like 1
  22. Gary

    Our local Ohio Patrol post had a 68 or 69 Biscayne? with a 427 in it. The mechanic said it was a L88 but I didn’t know what it was then (I was 10) It sounded like a can full of rocks at an idle. He said it was a Interceptor and would really move. I saw it pass my house once at probably 125 mph. Never saw it again and always wondered what happened to it.

  23. Keith D.

    I’m searching for a 73 Fury III 4-door non police package very hard to find year and model. Does anyone know of any online resources besides Ebay where I may be able to continuously search?

    • Johnny

      Type what you are looking for in the address bar and punch enter. Their will be many you are searching for and different condition and price range. Good luck.

      • Keith D.

        Thanks, I’ve searched Classic cars.com Hemmings, I’ve Googled it so far nothing. But thanks again

    • Tuco Salamanca

      Learn how to search nationwide on Facebook Marketplace mi amigo.

      • Keith D.

        Yes I’ve searched FB Marketplace already Thanks

    • Johnny

      Barnfind.com,classic cars. carsonline.com

      • Keith D.

        Okay haven’t searched carsonline and Barnfind thanks Johnny!

  24. Randy Ramsey

    I bought a retired 1975 Fury 440 in 1978 for $475. Topped out at 137mph and was good for around 7mpg…

  25. Johnny

    I remeber one night a 67 Falcon with a 289 out ran the big 440. I was a passenger in the cop car,.. The Falcon out maneuvered the cop car easy. Another night. I raced one in my 66 Fairlane (390 4 speed) . When I go way ahead of him. I pulled down below this intersection.With my friend and we got out of the car. The cop THOUGHT I was going home. When he went around the curve,. We got back in and drove up this holler and finished our beer and laughed about it. The same cop in the same car was chasing a Falcon near Summersville–through Glade Creek. With about 4 knowls. The guy was ahead a good bit and got tired of running. He went over one knowel and stopped.Set the emergecy brake and got up on the bank and watched–the cruiser ram his car. The trooper said he looked over and saw the guy–looked back and it was too late. The cop was disabled and the cruiser was ruint. Alot was the drivers skill and type of road. They were mostly made for interstate speed. Not two lane with hills and curves.

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