What really got Bob's attention was the more-potent powerplant than the Poly under its hood-a 392-inch, Chrysler "FirePower" Hemi! "The Hemi's been in it for probably better than 25 years," Bob says. "It came from Indiana, and it's my understanding that it was a 1/4-mile racer at one time." That also explains the low gears in the swapped-in 8 3/4-inch rearend that made the Hemi sing a little too much. "It had 3.94 rear gears in it when I bought it, so it was not a freeeway car at that time," Bob recalls. "Since then, I've changed them, because I like to drive it. So, I put 3.23s in it." He also re-wired the entire car and updated its new-for-1956 twelve-volt electrical system.
He also had to make a sheetmetal change when an unobservant truck driver crunched the Fury's left front fender and bright trim. This led Bob into the used-parts business. "I started calling all over the country," he says. "I would get hold of some guy in Ohio, and he'd say, 'I don't have any, but this guy in Florida has some.' He'd give me that number, and I'd call him. 'No, I don't have any, but a guy up in New Jersey....' I must have made a dozen of those phone calls, and I didn't find any. Finally, I found a guy near San Francisco who had a whole bunch of parts, and he wanted to sell it all. I said, 'Is it in pretty good shape?' and he said, "Yes, some of it-it's original, I have some other stuff, and I have some other Furys, if you want any other parts.' I said, 'Can you meet me tomorrow?' I jumped in my truck, drove up there, and I bought everything that he had." He wound up with enough chrome and anodized-gold trim to do a dozen Furys, selling off the excess after he got his car fixed. "But, I have new gold trim that I'm still trying to sell, but it's in sheets. All you have to do is get your tin snips out and cut it in the pattern that you want."
Another noticeable change is inside the Fury's cabin. Bob had the seats reupholstered with the exact style of "Jacquard-weave" cloth-with one big difference. "Instead of using vinyl, I used leather-the same color and everything," says Bob. "I went to my upholsterer and asked, 'Can you match this?' and he said, 'Yeah.' Then, my wife said, 'I'd sure like to have leather in there instead of vinyl,' and he said, 'Sure, I can match the color to the original.' He also upholstered the trunk.
Some of the "bells and whistles" that Bob's Fury has includes its original dash with a factory 6,000 rpm tach, plus later additions like air conditioning and four-wheel disc brakes. "It didn't stop before," Bob says of its OEM 11-inch drum brakes. "I got tired of that. You had to drive three miles ahead of yourself, then somebody would cut in front of you-that was terrible. For the front, we actually got a Chrysler kit and modified it. In back, because it has the 8 3/4-inch rear end, those were pretty much bolt-on. Now, it stops!"
And it goes. "It's a very comfortable car," Bob says when asked how it drives and rides. "Before I changed the rear gears, the engine was screaming at 60 mph with those 3.94s in it. Now, since I changed them, it's taching out at about 2,200-2,300 rpm, and you can cruise along at 70 miles an hour." But there's one original item that takes some getting used to in the 21st Century: the pushbutton controls for the Fury's PowerFlite automatic. "The frustrating thing about that is it doesn't have a Park," Bob says. "You have to learn how to drive all over again, when you drive with that. That's because you have to stop, put your emergency brake on, then you put it into Neutral."