1958 marked the third model year for
Plymouth’s top-of-the-line performance model, the Fury two-door
hardtop. It was the first of the then traditional gold-trimmed Buckskin
Beige speedsters to come out with the rest of the lineup at the start
of the model year and the last to be a single model with its status
The 1956 Fury and the totally
redesigned 1957 offering took giant steps in establishing the Plymouth
name in performance circles. Even though the domestic manufacturers
banded together in 1957 to cut back on racing and performance
promotion, the ’58s were well along in the plans and too late to
As a result, Plymouth had several
solid go-fast options for 1958.
Engine nomenclature gets a bit
confusing, so here is an explanation. The 225-hp/318-cid Fury V-8 was
not available on the Fury. Neither was the Fury V-8 with Super-Pak,
which had a four-barrel carb and other modifications for a rating of
250 hp. Next up was the Dual Fury V-8, which had a pair of
four-barrels, 9.25:1 compression and a rating of 290 hp. This engine
was standard on the Fury, as it was for 1957.
Optional on all models, Fury included,
was Plymouth’s first crack at the new B-block, which came in at
350 cubes, two more than Chevrolet and two fewer than Ford big blocks
for 1958. Two Carter four-barrels were on top, compression was 10:1 and
the advertised horsepower rating was 305. This engine package was
dubbed Golden Commando.
A very limited number of Furys were
ordered with the Bendix electronic fuel-injection system, which raised
the rating to 315 hp. Most were replaced with dual-carb setups when the
injection proved troublesome.
Belvedere side trim included a single,
full-length distinctive horizontal molding slanting from headlamp level
towards the back fender. Ahead of the taillights, the molding angled up
towards the top of the fin. When the optional “Sport Tone”
finish was added, a lower molding was included that ran from above back
bumper and tapered towards the upper molding at the front fender tip.
The area inside the moldings was then finished with contrasting colors,
usually matching the roof.
The Fury was a limited-edition
Buckskin beige two-door hardtop with Fury rear fender nameplates;
"Sport Tone" moldings (with gold anodized aluminum inserts); bumper
wing guards; padded interior; front and rear foam seats; back-up
lights; dual outside rearview mirrors and special Dual Fury or Golden
Motor Trend tested an automatic
equipped Fury with the 305-hp Golden Commando and got a 7.7-second
0-to-60 mph run. This was far faster than the Ford 352-cid at 10.2
seconds and the Chevrolet Impala’s 348-cid run of 9.1.
With a $3,032 base price, the 1958
Fury was the most expensive Plymouth that year. Its production of 5,303
was down from the 7,438 for 1957, but up from the short 1956 run of
4,485. After 1958, the Fury name would be put on Plymouths of all types
ranging from station wagons to police cars.
In 1982, horror fiction author Stephen
King wrote a novel called "Christine” about a 1958 Plymouth Fury
that terrorized its high school owner, introducing millions of horror
fans to the model. Apparently, production crews destroyed plenty of
Savoy and Belvedere models dressed to look like the Fury, but no actual
Furys were sacrificed.
Model # Body
Production LP2-H 2-dr HT
Fury V-8: Overhead valve. Cast-iron
block. Displacement: 317.6 cid. Bore and stroke: 3.906 x 3.312 inches.
Compression ratio: 9.25:1. Brake hp: 290 at 5200 rpm. Five main
bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Two Carter Type WCFB
four-barrel Model 2631S.
Optional Golden Commando V-8: Overhead
valve. Cast iron block. Displacement: 350 cid. Bore and stroke: 4.062 x
3.375 inches. Compression ratio: 10.0:1. Brake hp: 305 at 5000 rpm.
Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetor: two Carter
four-barrel Model 2631S. (An electronic fuel injection option rated at
315 hp was short-lived.)
118 inches; Overall length: 206
inches. Front tread: 60-29/32 inches. Rear tread: 59-39/64 inches. Tires: 8.00 ½ x 14;
Power brakes ($38). Power steering
($77). Air conditioning ($446). Power windows ($102). Two-Way power
seat ($48). Push-button transistor radio ($73). Search Tuner transistor
radio ($106). Search Tuner transistor radio with HI-FI ($187). Rear
seat speaker ($12). Heater and defroster ($69). Four-ply white sidewall
tires, exchange ($33). Disc wheel covers, Plaza and Savoy ($18).
“Sport-Tone” finish, passenger cars ($20). Solex tinted
glass ($32). Back-up lamps, passenger car ($8). Front and rear outer
bumper guards ($34). Air Foam seat ($9). Variable-speed electric
windshield wipers ($6). Windshield washers ($12). Padded panel and sun
visors ($24). Undercoating and fiberglass hood pad ($13). Sure-Grip.
Three-speed manual transmission was standard. Overdrive transmission
($108). V-8 350-cid/305-hp “Golden Commando” engine ($324).
V-8 350-cid/315-hp EFI engine ($500). Four-barrel carburetor ($39).
Fuel injection ($500). Dual exhaust with V-8 engine only ($19.80). Oil
filter ($6). Available rear axle gear ratios: 3.54:1; 3.73:1; 2.93:1;
3.15:1; 3.31:1; 3.90:1; 4.10:1.
It's starring role in "Christine"
helped to make the 1958 Plymouth Fury a cult favorite among car
collectors. Its value remains high due to this "celebrity" tie-in
demand and a low production number of just 5,303.
While these Fury hardtops were
originally available only in Buckskin Beige set off by eye-catching
gold-anodized aluminum "Sportone" inserts, even those that are
incorrectly repainted in "Christine" red and white still command
$75,000 to $85,000 in top condition and are usually marketed with all
the movie memorabilia added in the deal.