On an icy February day in Clinton Township, Michigan, Jim Goode got the phone call he'd been waiting close to 20 years for. It was John Walsh. The two met years ago at a car wash-Jim driving his '64 Belvedere, John in this '63 Fury. They struck a friendship and continued to converse at car shows and cruise nights. All the while, Jim reminded John, "If you ever want to sell, let me know."
When John called, he told Jim he was selling the Fury-now. "He wanted to sell it by the end of the week," Jim says. "I wasn't really looking to buy because I had just got my '67 GTX back from the trans shop. But my wife, Kathy, and I scrounged everything we could. She wanted the car as bad as I did."
Well, you know the rest of the story: The Goodes scraped up enough to get the goods. As for the GTX, Jim said when the weather warmed up, it took him about an hour to sell it.
This Fury is an original three-speed Max Wedge car. At least, it was. Jim believes he is the fourth owner, but somewhere along the line, someone pulled out the original three-speed and replaced it with an automatic. As for the Max Wedge block, Jim has it, but it's in his garage rather than under his hood.
"When I got it from John, it was in a Pro Street setup," Jim says. "The heads and the intake are the only original parts left on [the engine]. I didn't want to touch the Max Wedge block, so I went with a short-block stroker motor. Although, I saw on the Wedge that there's an AAQA stamping that means you can go all the way up to .085 on the overbore."
The 493ci stroker is a product of Speed-O-Motive in West Covina, California. It's bored .030 over with Mopar rods, Eagle stroker crankshaft, J&E pistons, Straight Line solid roller cam, original Max Wedge heads, and a cross-ram intake.
The Fury requires a heavy-handed (and strong-footed) touch to control, with front and rear drum brakes, factory suspension, and manual steering. The factory steel wheels (14x511/42 front and rear) spin G-70x14 Firestone redline tires.
While John never gave the Fury a restoration, he did keep it in good condition. Before he sold it, it had been sitting idle with a blown water pump for about two years. Jim's plans for the car were not to restore it to bone stock, but to use it as a Factory Appearing on Stock Tires (F.A.S.T.) race car. "I work with Dave Dudek, and he was into [F.A.S.T.]," Jim says. "It sounded like fun." A pipe fitter for DaimlerChrysler, Jim works next door to the assembly plant where this Fury was originally put together.
Jim and his friends stripped the car down to its shell. "Everything but the glass came off," Jim says. "The fenderwells had been cut for headers, so those holes had to be filled. But other than that and the [rotted out] cowling, it was in nice shape."
The seat covers and door panels are original, but the headliner and carpeting had to be replaced. The body went to Mark Griffith in Shelby Township, Michigan, who applied the PPG Ruby Red exterior.
Jim got the car back together just in time to take it to the '03 Chrysler Classic. "The car was completed the night before," Jim says. "You could still smell the paint on the car-no joking. I drove it straight off the trailer and into the staging lanes, and that was the most it had been driven in [three] years." Once he made it through the staging lanes and onto the track, Jim posted a best time of 12.54 seconds that weekend. "I had some transmission problems, and I was a little rusty," he says. "I haven't had the engine on the dyno yet, but it definitely needs some tuning. Eventually, I'd like it to be an 11.60 or 11.70 car."
Jim hadn't planned on buying a car, and he could have passed it up because the timing wasn't right. But instead, when opportunity knocked, he did what was necessary to get the door open, and the reward is in the ride.