How's this for roomy?
The days of giant, two-ton, massive land yachts were less than thirty years ago. Back then, the roads and highways were peppered with New Yorkers, Lincolns, Cadillacs, Impalas, Crown Vics, and Imperials coasting up and down the lanes, drifting on spongy suspension and boasting more interior room than most apartments in San Francisco. Now these cars are usually driven by little blue-haired ladies hardly able to see over the six-foot-wide dashboard, or they are packed with sufficient bass-thumping sound equipment to make most night clubs green with envy. But back in their day, today's hoopdees were regal, proud, and classic. Furys, Continentals, and Fleetwoods were opulent limousines for the everyman; the car families poured out of on Sunday mornings in church parking lots; the car teenagers would borrow from their parents; and sometimes, the car where the baby-boomer generation was conceived; the car that spawned cruising. For Mopar fans, these are our C-Bodies.
Simon Menzies of Lomita, California, knows a bit about these cars having built a '66 Comet Cyclone convertible and a Thunderbird convertible, both sporting 400-plus-horsepower 427s, as well as other amazing vehicular creations, in his shop, Killer B Konversions. The shop only came into existence after Simon chose to retire, but for him, retirement meant starting a small automotive restoration company that dabbles with high-performance V-8 conversions for British cars and restoring '60s musclecars.
Simon is no novice to the world of speed. Moving to Torrance, California, in 1968 during the heyday of Southern California drag racing, he opened a service station/speed shop at the age of 21. He began working intimately with Dale Armstrong to convert a '71 Plymouth Barracuda alcohol-burning Funny Car into an AA/Altered wheelbase. That season Dale was the winner of the inaugural Professional Competition Category (PRO COMP). Later that year, Dale drove the car to win the AHRA Spring Nationals.
Simon moved to Denton, Texas, to continue racing with a blown, alcohol-burning Funny Car. By 1977, Simon joined Jim Jackson Racing as a driver and tuner of a new Donovan-powered Corvette. Together, they took home 23 wins in two seasons, including eleven PRO and AHRA national events. Simon also brought in the '77 PRO BB/FC Championship and the '78 AHRA BB/FC World Championship.
In early 1980, Simon walked away from professional racing for a more quiet profession in the private sector. Not wanting to totally depart from his love, Simon helped testdrive and tune two AA/FCs for Bergins and Leslie and another for Ron Capps, as well as a Top Fuel Dragster for Billy Williams in 1982.
Simon remained on the sidelines of professional racing for several more years, choosing to enjoy the safety and security of office positions versus the constant threat to his life insurance policy that accompanied professional racing.
In 1988, Simon started Killer B Konversions as a side venture to quell some boredom, and over the years, Killer B has produced amazing restomods such as this '65 Fury convertible.
Originally a 318-powered Fury III from the factory with a column-shift automatic, Simon hunted down the drop-top in Minnesota in June of 2004. Rough but still drivable, Simon had the Fury shipped to Lake Havasu City in Arizona. From there, Simon drove it to Harbor City, California. Then the Fury was stripped of items such as the interior, drivetrain, and exterior chrome. Applying modern engines to classic cars was what 50s hot rodders were all about, but this time around, Simon had to deal with computer controls and fuel injection.
Interestingly, the Fury's suspension had been rebuilt before the purchase, leaving Simon to focus on other problems. He had both quarters replaced, as well as two frame patches around the rear torque boxes. Other metal fabrication included a manual-transmission hump installation, ditching the TorqueFlite for an A833 manual four-speed gear box provided by National Transmission in Lomita, California. For the power plant, Killer B went the modern route. An '04 Magnum was the sacrificial lamb, offering up its 5.7L Hemi and large 18-inch R/T Magnum rims and tires. A custom air box and intake was fabricated to tunnel cool air down the throttle body. A four-wheel disc conversion lets the large C-Body use those big meats in optimal fashion. The Drum Garden out of Wilmington, California, and Scarebird Mechanical of Lynnwood, Washington, helped convert the drums to modern rotors and calipers.
All the interior work was aimed at bringing the Fury back to factory appearance but with new and plush modern flare by The Upholstery Works in Harbor City, California. The return to the factory paint color wasn't much of an argument, but the choice to make it a pace-car clone steered the final outcome of the Killer B Fury: a street rod of true hot-rod-cruising heritage.
Owner: Simon Menzies, Lomita, CA
Car: '65 Plymouth Sport Fury III convertible
Color: DuPont white
Engine: 5.7L Hemi, 348 ci, 340 horses from a '04 Dodge Magnum R/T, stock manifolds leading to Borla mufflers
Transmission: A833 four-speed manual transmission, Hurst linkage, and Keisler clutch
Rearend: 83/4 Chrysler rear, open 3.23 gears
Wheels/Tires: '04 Dodge Magnum 18-inch rims, '04 Continental self-sealing 225/60/18 tires
Quarter mile: N/A
When the word restomod is...
When the word restomod is thrown around, this is exactly what we at Mopar Muscle envision: the perfect marriage of new technology and classic styling.
Custom fabrication is the...
Custom fabrication is the name of the game when it comes to this restomod. Look at the polished tubes leading to the throttle body. Talk about clean.
In 1965, 18-inch rims were...
In 1965, 18-inch rims were unheard of on production cars, but now it's a common option. How the times have changed.
An original pace-car badge...
An original pace-car badge is the finishing touch to this build. Simon made this plain-Jane 318 automatic into a Hemi four-speed convertible cruiser.
Stuffing an A833 four-speed...
Stuffing an A833 four-speed in a C-Body has definitely been done in the past, but with a 5.7L Hemi...