Yeah, we know, you're probably thinking, "C'mon guys, a '70 Plymouth Fury? You knuckleheads at Mopar Muscle have seriously gone off the deep end. That can't possibly be cool." We simply reply, "Trust us."
Nothing speaks more '70s than the big brown land barge you see before you, especially with that super groovy paisley top. the Mod Top was unique and indicative of the late '60s era, but a paisley top? In the right mindset, it's pretty cool. That's certainly what Butch Houghton of Nicholasville, Kentucky, thought. This retired television engineer needed a daily driver since his '68 Six-Pack 340 Dart was a little too wild for the grocery store parking lot and neighborhood streets. After reading an ad in the local paper, Butch and his pal, Bobby, went to check out the aircraft carrier-size C-Body. With all the options comparable to a Cadillac, along with the sporty hide-away lights and the aforementioned paisley top, Butch thought the Fury would be a fun ride to cruise around in.
With only 57,000 miles on the odometer, the Plymouth was considerably straight. Butch made several minor upgrades to the big-block beast, making its drivability all the more fun. When Butch saw an advertisement from Legendary Auto Interiors advertising the release of the paisley top material, he knew he had to replace his with a new one. What followed was a complete rebuild.
In the '70s, it was all about...
In the '70s, it was all about being noticed. How could you not be noticed with a paisley roof and interior?
Butch pulled the original top and windows so he could attack the cancer that was growing on the roof. Meanwhile, he was also balancing the rebuild of his Dart that he had sent off to a friend for paint and bodywork. Once the A-Body returned after three years at the shop, Butch shipped the Fury off for the same treatment. As time passed, more and more N.O.S. parts were becoming available for the C-Body, making Butch change his initial plan of a minor freshening up to a full-blown restoration. He spent the better part of the following year chasing down trim parts and other replacements, mainly for the interior. His efforts were successful as the side moldings, wheelwell trim, taillights, tail panel, door handles, and all the emblems were all replaced.
While the interior was being replaced, Butch's continual joke of, "I should put a Hemi in it" became a challenge from his friends. Wanting to prove that he had the stones to pull it off, Butch began a parts-gathering endeavor. anticipating the powerplant he planned on sliding between the wheel hubs, Butch scavenged a couple police cars and masterfully adapted a 140-mph speedometer cluster and oil pressure gauge to fit where the in-dash clock used to reside. Once the Plymouth returned from Larry Sampson's paint shop in Science Hill, Kentucky, coated in several layers of T8 Walnut Metallic, Butch had the new paisley top and trim installed. The only external signifier of his potent powerplant was a swap of the 383 hood labels with stock Hemi tags.
Ever seen a fully loaded Plymouth...
Ever seen a fully loaded Plymouth Fury with 472 inches of stroked Hemi and air conditioning before? Neither have we. That's what makes this sooooo cool.
Speaking of the Hemi, Butch landed a block during the restoration. Knowing that a Mopar Performance crate engine was 1) out of his price range and 2) wasn't going to make the power he wanted, he opted to build his own. The 426 was cleared to make room for a 4.15-inch stroker crank. Manley rods and Ross pistons bolted together with the crank, while aluminum MP cylinder heads sat on top. Only a mild valve job was needed to make the power out of the heads that Butch wanted. A .565-inch lift Straightline Performance cam was slid in place for bumping the lifters in time. A single plane Mopar Performance M1 intake with an Edelbrock 800 Thunder Series carburetor was all painted to look as stock as humanly possible.