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Roadside Engagements in My ‘71 Sport Fury

Marking my return to the vintage car hobby after an eight year break in the wake of the 2008 economic crash, I found a special car. Well, special to Me, at least. And a recent incident has now made the car ‘special’ to others: it was a moving reminder of the type of ‘random’ interactions I’ve missed the most.

Though purchased in July, I had yet to take my 1971 Plymouth Sport Fury 4 door hardtop for it’s photo session. Resuming a personal tradition I’ve had for over 20 years, I snapped some pix of my vintage rig at the old Capitol Building Columns on display at The National Arboretum. Just as I finished, an adorable young couple drove up with their photo crew, asking sheepishly if they might use the car as a backdrop for their engagement photos! As a vintage car hobbyist, this is just the kind of thing that makes your day. What a delight that the Fury is now part of their story!

Though I’ve owned 20+ cars since purchasing a $100 1954 Chevrolet sedan at age 11, I’ve always had a huge soft-spot for the turquoise 1970 Plymouth Fury III 4door hardtop my Aunt Alvonia purchased brand new. Once every few months, she would motor down from upstate New York to visit my grandmother Mildred in northern New Jersey.

I can literally still ‘smell’ the new vinyl scent imprinted on my 4-6 year old brain. Brawny but sleek, the Fury’s fuselage styling looked decidedly modern in comparison to the ‘power-domed’ hoods and fussy lines on other cars of the day. It looked like a Manta Ray… with wheels on it.

So…, for my first step back into the hobby, I was fortunate to find this 87,000 mile, rust-free, modestly-optioned, but well-appointed top-of-the-line 1971 Plymouth Sport Fury, in a striking one-year-only color: “Mood Indigo” (GC-8). Air-conditioning, a 383 V8 with 4bbl, front disc brakes, white vinyl top and the no-cost optional ‘charcoal’ brocade & vinyl bench seat are the handful of options complimenting standard Sport Fury items like the menacing hidden-headlamp grille.

Every drive reminds me of Grandma and Auntie, Mil and Von, fussing over a holiday feast, or seeing an exciting new world unfold through those sweeping expanses of glass when she’d take me for a spin!