The year was 1978 and America was watching The Rockford Files and All in the Family on the tube; in the theaters, The Deer Hunter was the movie to see. If you were into the pop scene, it was Barry Manilow and Billy Joel with the big songs on the radio. If you ask Dan Kleinfelter of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, he probably won't remember any of this, either, but he'll remember it was his first year of automotive ownership. It was in this fateful time that his Mopar affliction began, culminating in the purchase of a '69 Sport Fury hardtop. As a high school student, he would cruise and hang out with friends in this beast, even dating a young lady named Holly, whom he later married. The car disappeared; he kept the girl.
Fast forward to 1996. A loving Holly wanted to find another '69 Fury and have it restored for husband Dan without him knowing it. She hit pay dirt with Allen Kohr of Kohr's Kustoms in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, who had a similar car for sale and also got the nod for the restoration. Soon after, Allen and Holly decided to tell Dan about this plan, because the prize was in need of some parts. The salty roads had done their deed. However, while searching for usable sheetmetal, a call to Desert Valley Auto turned up not just the quarters, but an entire '69 Sport Fury convertible! A deal was made, Kohr drove west to pick up the car, and the project progressed.
To power the drop-top, the original 383 was filled with 10:1 slugs that rotate via the stock crankshaft and rods. The stock -906 heads use the factory-installed valves, pulling the air/fuel mix from the stock manifold with an AVS carb. Factory exhaust manifolds then send the spent gas through the three-chamber Flowmaster mufflers and out a pair of 2 1/2-inch pipes. The automatic transmission was rebuilt by Brian Jennings of Grantville, Pennsylvania, and is actuated by the Plymouth's factory-mounted floor shifter. The 8 3/4-inch rear houses a set of 3.23 gears on an Auburn Sure Grip and makes sure the Fury does more than sit and smoke 'em.
The "comfort zone" in the big C consists of the stock seats re-covered in Spinnaker White vinyl by Kohr's. As an added touch, the gauge cluster was replaced by a similar outfit from an old Fury cop car in order to give Dan the 140-mph speedo; we didn't ask if he's tried to peg the needle yet. Tunes come via the stock AM/FM radio through factory speakers. The outward appearance of the Fury is handled by the Kohr's-applied PPG B5 Blue as well as the new top. Rolling stock consists of factory 15x7 Road Wheels with BFGoodrich 235-70/15 rubber on all four corners of the big Fury.
Even though the restoration took 1 1/2 years to complete, Dan and Holly now have a machine that will let them roll off those Keystone State miles with smiles. Dan acknowledges that it was possible because of all the help from friends like Dan Albright, Brian Jennings, the Kohr family, and his wife Holly. He may not be able to go back to 1978 (and might not want to), but in his latest ride, Dan has definitely found his second youth.