While most of us build the kind of car we've yearned for since childhood, it doesn't come that easy for some. In the case of Bill Matthies, it took several years and many projects before he realized his true passion, '62-'65 B-Bodies. "I wanted something I didn't see myself growing out of," he recalls. Four years ago, after searching high and low, he came across this '63 Plymouth Fury with a Sport Fury interior on the internet. The two-year rotisserie restoration began shortly after the purchase, ending with this brilliant Viper Red Fury motivated by a 557ci Hemi.
The car was located in Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota, a healthy distance from his home in Sarasota, Florida, and belonged to a gentleman named Dennis Fredrickson. Dennis spent two years completing a full restoration on a rotisserie. It was taken completely apart during this build and the suspension with Super Stock springs and Competition Engineering shocks front and rear. Stopping power was improved with a disc brake conversion up front and 11-inch heavy duty drums out back. The chassis was also tied together to improve its rigidity. Dennis fitted the Fury with a '69 Six Pack hoodscoop and applied PPQ Concept One Viper Red paint on all body surfaces. When Dennis finished the car, a dual-quad fed 413 took up residence under the hood.
Inside, a red vinyl Legendary Auto Interiors package was installed, and the factory steering wheel was replaced in favor of a more aesthetic Billet Specialties wheel. The only other addition to the interior was a full Kenwood stereo system. After several conversations with Dennis about the Fury, Bill worked out an agreement for them to meet in Ohio so he could take a look at the car. "When my brother, Gary Nord, and I looked the car over, we found it to be everything Dennis said it was, and more," says Bill. He purchased the car and brought it home.
Gary and Bill decided to go into the motor and give the 413 a little more power. They talked with Mike Ware, owner of Muscle Motors, and he put together a package with a roller cam and CNC-ported Bulldog aluminum heads. Once installed, the engine really woke up the B-Body but still lacked the power Bill was looking for. A plan was hatched to shove an elephant in the engine bay. They again called Mike Ware and asked what was the largest engine possible they could build without going to external oiling. Together, they came up with a 557ci Hemi.
Now all they had to do was find a block. In 2006 it was tough to find a brand-new Hemi, but Bill searched the country and eventually found one sitting in a crate in Miami. Mike ordered all the parts needed, did the machine work, and then shipped the parts to Gary for the final assembly. Gary is the head technician at Best of Show Automotive and he's very particular about doing things right the first time. Therefore, he's very clean and calm when assembling an engine. The factory Hemi carburetors were sent out to Dick Landy to have him work his magic, and most metal pieces were sent out to Paul's Chrome since Bill wanted the engine to jump out at you when you looked under the hood.
The car was finished just in time for the 2006 Mopar Nationals where it took second place. "On Saturday, there were so many people gathered around the car, Gary and I couldn't even wipe it off!" he jokes. Since its first appearance, and since our shoot, Bill has been hard at work. He and Gary have installed new taillight lenses, chrome bezels, new front parking lights, rechromed the bumpers, and replaced the red headliner with a white one. Under the hood, new Holley double pumper carburetors were sent to Pro Systems and dialed into 908 cfm. Bill estimates power to be in the 825-horse range with comparable torque. His friends think he built the perfect Hot Rod and we agree. A classic Mopar design with Hemi power-does it get any better?
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