Home » This Is One Of The Most Inadvertently Metal-Sounding Car Names: Cold Start

This Is One Of The Most Inadvertently Metal-Sounding Car Names: Cold Start

Cs Furywagon
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I’ve always been sort of fascinated by the Plymouth car model name “Fury.” It’s a very evocative name, and, unusually for car names, carries with it a lot of negative connotations, too. It’s anger, it’s wrath, it’s rage. Those emotions also have within them more positive connotations suggesting power and determination, and I suspect that’s what Chrysler’s naming brains-in-bubbling-tanks intended. When combined with “wagon,” as they are here in this 1975 brochure, the end result feels strangely, I don’t know, metal to me. Like you can imagine a Viking war chariot called a Fury Wagon pretty easily, right? That’s very much not what these cars really were, but it is a great name to say. Everyone in the Fury Wagon! Off we go, to conquer the Queen of Dairy!

This brochure is from a sort of low ebb for the Fury; in 1975 the full Malaise Era damp blanket was covering everything, and power was down, quality wasn’t great, handling was like shoving a mattress on four overripe cantaloupes down the street, all that.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

But these were plush and opulent cars, in wagon form or coupé or sedan, in that deeply ’70s way! I mean, just look:

Cs Furywagon Gran

Look at how well those outfits match the car! This is a good example of the “pose” type of car brochure photo; often they strove to have people looking casual, pretending to be unobserved, and sometimes they just went for the stiffest, Sears Portrait Studio-type of stand and stare at the camera kind of posing. This brochure has both.

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Cs Furywagon Emerge

For example, here’s a less-posed shot, where the dashing couple is…emerging from the darkness of the forest? Where are they trudging out from, dressed like that, in what looks to be a dirt path in the wilderness? The hell is going on here?

Cs Furywagon Fuelpacer

If you look carefully at the Valiant (this brochure covered those, too) in the woods shot up there, you may notice some little chrome dealies on the fenders; these were turn indicator tell-tales, tiny little lights on the fenders you could look at to see if your signals were signaling. In this era Chrysler gave them a second job, or at least the driver’s side one: they made it into the “Fuel Pacer” warning light, which basically just came on if you stayed on the gas pedal too much.

It was a supremely half-ass approach to improving fuel economy, just a little light that went on when engine vacuum levels hit a certain point. I suspect it was almost universally ignored.

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Cs Furywagon 2

What you can’t ignore are the wonderful color options you had for your Fury or Gran Fury’s interiors. Look at that fresh-liver red, the mossiest of greens, the most butterscotchic of yellows, the blues, so indigoing or turquoised, and the earthy stripey goodness. Fantastic.

Cs Furywagon Tiltwheel

I also really like how showing tilting steering wheels always seemed to end up in these abstracted strange images that evoked the work of Italian Futurists, or paintings like Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase.

Cs Furywagon 3

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This description of the Gran Fury is amazing, too, because it seems to be saying that the size of the car looks like the size of the car?

Cs Furywagon 4 Door

Quick, what’s different in the middle and right images? This one took me a moment.

Cs Furywagon Tow

And finally, I miss the days when pretty much anything could be considered a viable tow vehicle. I think these things could pull between 2,000 and – if I’m reading this right – 7,000 pounds! What? What a world.

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Robert Lee Milam
Robert Lee Milam
25 days ago

In 1981, City of Starke, Florida police department bought a number of these but with the slant 6. These were base, and I mean BASE vehicles.

It became a badge of honor to smoke your tires next to them or simply floor it and watch them disappear in your rear view mirror. “You can’t outrun a radio”? Sure you can, radio is useless when you’re out of sight.

Evan Shealy
Evan Shealy
25 days ago

Remember, the cars that came with vacuum gauge and fuel minder lights had spread bore carburetors like a thermo quad or quadrajet. If you didn’t get into the throttle too much you were riding around on only the small primaries. Push the throttle too much and those huge secondaries open and fuel economy goes to crap.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
25 days ago

By the 1970, Plymouth’s VIP was no more – it just didn’t last against LTD and Caprice.
So Plymouth graded it’s Furys for a few years – Fury I, Fury II and Fury III

The numbers could have meant “slightly”, “moderately”, and “rather” – by 1973 there was no “raging”.

James Mason
James Mason
26 days ago

I got a screaming hot deal on a low-miles 1975 Chrysler Newport from a tiny used car lot in the early 2000’s because they saw the fuel pacer light coming on and thought it was an electrical gremlin. I drove the hell out of that car, ensuring that the fuel pacer was illuminated as much as possible.

Jeep Liberty, MY LEG!
Jeep Liberty, MY LEG!
26 days ago

My father and grandfather owned Furies/Coronets.

To this day, he hates the Fury III. He bought one new at 24 (dealer employee discount on the last year’s model) buying a MY 1973 and dropped a few hundred on getting the 440. Then the oil embargo happened. Oh, and he got double-whammied by the rust.

A pox on Plymouth, for all eternity. I don’t get how it didn’t break his Mopar love such that he tolerated Dodges in the 80s that he went and bought Chrysler after still, but saved the newspaper article about Plymouth going defunct in 2001. Stockholm Syndrome, I guess?

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
26 days ago

Wow, that Duchamp painting is epic.

Michael Rogers
Michael Rogers
26 days ago

My (out of his mind) grandpa had two mid-sixties Fury III’s. He hobbled together a water injection system and claimed he was getting 26mpg from what I assume in retrospect was a 273 or a 318.

Also, my good friend had one of these, early 70’s wagon, puke green, when we were teenagers (maybe it was a Polara, but I think that’s more or less the same car). Anyways, it had a broken ignition switch that would stick in ON. Once the gas pedal got stuck down and he couldn’t turn it off. I remember we got it onto the freeway somehow and ended up speeding from Santa Cruz to Aptos at about 90. I don’t remember how we finally got it turned off. I’m not sure why we didn’t just put it in neutral and let it rev itself to death.

John McMillin
John McMillin
26 days ago

Doesn’t anyone remember Stephen King’s “Christine,” the worst-behaved Plymouth Fury of all?

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
26 days ago

Me, driving a Fury Wagon: “WE RIDE FOR VALHALLA ALL SHINY A CHROME!!!!”

My long suffering wife: “Honey, this isn’t Mad Max. Put the spray paint away and just go to the grocery store like a normal person.”

Michael Rogers
Michael Rogers
26 days ago

I want as many Autopians as possible in my post-apocalyptic biker gang.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
25 days ago

Way late here, but I thank you for that metal mental tableaux!
—complete with Ride of the Valkyries at 11

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
26 days ago

What’s different in the center and left photos?
One shows Danielle Breton and the other shows Dominique Blanchion?

At first I thought it was just the hands, but thats weird.

John McMillin
John McMillin
26 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

In the second photo, the left window is up. In the third, it’s down.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
26 days ago

I thought that Fury was about the worst name ever for a car. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erinyes

Born of the blood “ when the Titan Cronus castrated his father, Uranus, and threw his genitalia into the sea”?
That is interesting branding to say the least
“ an embodiment of the act of self-cursing”
Well, that at least has the ring of truth.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
26 days ago

I love the name…yeah it’s metal, which rules…my brother used to have an amazing Fury w/ the awesome turn signals on the fenders
I also used to have a 70’s Dodge Dart and love that name too
“mattress on four overripe cantaloupes”
Funny you say that, I used to say that the Ford Festiva had bowling balls for wheels
The ones w/ the blank stare are “furious” that they have to stand there and pose for that shot making little $ when they could be driving and enjoying their Fury; same w/ the other ones- mad for getting lost in the woods

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
26 days ago

My parents bought a 1978 Plymouth Fury wagon in metallic dark green on moss new! It was a decent enough car for hauling a a family around and we did several long road trips in it – including the Alcan Highway twice when it was still mostly gravel. I’ll never forget the many spare tires that covered both the roof rack and travel trailer for those trips.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
26 days ago

I had a Fury once. Four co-workers were with me in it and the drivetrain failed, stranding us. All my co-workers died.

Last edited 26 days ago by SNL-LOL Jr
Robert Lee Milam
Robert Lee Milam
25 days ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

Good thing it wasn’t a station wagon with extra seats! 😀

Sklooner
Sklooner
26 days ago

I remember either in a Donald Westlake or Elmore Leonard novel a discussion about a State Trooper driving a Fury, and he would drive one until they came up with a car called Kill

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
26 days ago
Reply to  Sklooner

There was a pretty well-written article in Rolling Stone magazine many years ago about a sheriff’s deputy or police officer who had an alcohol-fueled psychotic breakdown on an unusually hot day somewhere in the Southwest and went on a deadly rampage in his Plymouth Fury. Alas, I do not remember the title or the author’s name, as it has been some 40 (!!) years since I read the article. Google’s SEO, as per Cory Doctorow’s observations about the phenomenon of enshittification, means that cursory searches are of little, if any, avail. Guess I’ll have to try DuckDuckGo, Bing, or other search engines or I could inquire at the local public library’s reference department.

Last edited 26 days ago by Collegiate Autodidact
Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
26 days ago

Jann Wenner was too cheap to pay for more than one time publication one year exclusivity rights, so putting Rolling Stone online opens up a hot bed of rights holders issues. So it’s not the problem of Google, it’s the problem that Rolling Stone just isn’t online.

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
26 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Ah, yeah, but this article was later reprinted in an anthology, that is, in a book which would have come up in pre-SEO Google results. A decade ago I had to do some research here and there for several years where I would have to find the titles of articles, books, and films and I could consistently get usable results from Google even if the search terms were buried deep inside the text of publications. Now it’s such a crapshoot (in more than one way, so pun intended) to try finding things using Google. So much for SEO, bah humbug. In this particular case I ended up succeeding by searching on Wikipedia (!!) as noted in a comment I made elsewhere in this thread.

Last edited 26 days ago by Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
26 days ago

While I was out driving on errands I remembered that the article was written by somebody who left Rolling Stone to write screenplays and that his first name was Joe; when I got home I did a little more looking online and came up with the answer, it was an article titled “The Nature of Chief Perkin’s Fury” by Joe Eszterhas. It was in a 1977 anthology titled Reporting: the Rolling Stone Style. It was actually Wikipedia that helped me track down the answers, no thanks to Google’s SEO enshittification.

Dan Cluley
Dan Cluley
26 days ago
Reply to  Sklooner

It was definitely Westlake, and I think it was in the book Dancing Aztecs.

Sklooner
Sklooner
25 days ago
Reply to  Dan Cluley

Okay I will have to go to the basement library and look it up – I just reread the Dortumunder series and got laughs again

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