Heading back to the homestead with help from Gerber Towing.
The year, make and model of the Purple Project is a 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury.
When it was originally purchased it came with a 318cu.in Polysphere V-8 and three speed automatic transmission. The exterior was light blue with blue vinyl and cloth interior covering two bucket seats with a chromed center console and the dash was padded with a push button shifter.
I purchased the car from my father after his mother my Bestamore (grandmother) stopped driving. My Grandfather and Bestamore purchased the car new in late 1963, it was her one and only car and she drove it until late 1989 when she stopped driving, and then I got my paws on it!
I purchased the car from my father for a little less than a grand, and stripped the exterior and refinished it in the original light blue lowered the front to match the shagging rear springs detailed the 318 Polysphere V-8 and put a set of five spoke Americans on it and drove it for the next eight years.
After eight years of reliable service the Plymouth it was starting to show its age, and hinted that it may be time for a rebuild. Besides I never like the lite blue finish the factory put on the car and I repainted after taking ownership. So I was at the crossroads so to speak, what to do, rebuild the existing power plant and live with hideous factory color or indulge myself?
I always dug the fact you could in 1963 purchase from Plymouth the Sport Fury with a max wedge 426 cu. in engine with light weight body panels for a little under five thousand dollars. A dual purpose automobile a, daily driver during the week and weekend warrior come Friday at the strip.
So I had a decision to make and after all this was my car. Growing up I fantasized about building my version of a factory lite Plymouth Sport Fury race car!
First the color had to be changed and not just any color; thanks to a Ford truck up the street I had found the perfect color Violet Pearl. Then I added some fiberglass fenders, bumpers, trunk lid, valance and hood with a super stock hood scoop. That color and the installation of the scoop set the pace for the project.
The chassis had to be beefed up and with help my friend Todd Paulson I added sub frame connectors, a NHRA legal 8-point roll cage, plus moved the rear leaf springs in board. I installed Calvert bars and split mono leaf springs, Moser axles, a 488 sure grip rear differential and Wildwood front discs in the front with Carrera shocks on all four corners.
Next was the interior, Carl at Paul's Upholstery redid the seats in factory black along with carpet and headliner. I filled the dash in and painted it a DuPont chameleon color and had Mike Soldano machined an aluminum gauge insert complete with placement for the push buttons for the auto transmission shifter. I then engine turned the face of the panel and loaded the auto meter gauges.
The engine and transmission needed to be addressed. I was simply honored when the man, the myth, the legend mister torque flite Pat Blais put together a killer transmission to handle the horse power from Custom Machine. Who better to call upon than a couple of guys that have been making horse power in many arenas successfully for as long as I can remember?
The late Gaines Markley and Bob Gage the guys at Custom Machine put together a 440 cu. in engine stretched out to 497 cu. in to replace the worn original 318.
My Bestamore's car had become quite the monster and I can honestly say fulfilled my expectations. I have been around the Plymouth Sport Fury my whole life I always dug the styling and longed to make it mine the way I would have ordered from SL Savage, the Dodge dealer downtown. Now it is mine to enjoy, the Purple Project.
El Purple Project
- Year: 1963
- Make: Plymouth
- Model: Sport Fury
- Original Engine: 318 cu. in V8
- Original Color: Light Sky Blue
- Color: Violet Pearl
- Wheels:Rod Lites
- Body: Fiberglass fenders, bumpers, truck lid, valance, hood with super stock scoop
- Chassis: sub frame connectors, a NHRA legal 8-point roll cage, moved the rear leaf springs in board, installed Calvert bars and split mono leaf springs, Moser axles, a 488 sure grip rear differential and Wildwood front discs in the front with Carrera shocks on all four corners
- Upholstery: Carl at Paul's Upholstery redid the seats in factory black along with carpet and headliner
- Dashboard: painted a DuPont chameleon color
- Gauge Panel: machined aluminum gauge insert with placement for the push buttons for the auto transmission shifter by Mike Soldano
- Transmission: Pat Blais, legend maestro torque flite
- Engine: 497 cu. in by Custom Machine