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?
The classic style of the '62-'65...
The classic style of the '62-'65 B-Bodies is what drew Bill in. They're big cars, yet still look sporty and very early '60s. From the rear you can see a distinct hardtop roof and the chrome and white character line down the side of the car.
Take a step back in time....
Take a step back in time. The red-on-white color scheme is straight out of the '50s and early '60s. The interior was restored using Legendary Auto Interior parts.
A cool gimmick for its day,...
A cool gimmick for its day, the pushbutton shifter never really took off. It's still a neat thing to see and strange to operate for anyone accustomed to modern cars.
If you're shocked to see a...
If you're shocked to see a Hemi under the hood, that's the effect Bill was looking for. What's more impressive is the size of this thing. At 557 ci, it's absolutely massive. Bill estimates power to be in the ballpark of 825 hp.
Front disc brakes put a halt...
Front disc brakes put a halt to these Colorado Custom wheels.
This Summit Racing Six Pack...
This Summit Racing Six Pack hoodscoop lets in cool air to the Hemi and also adds to the killer looks.
'63 Plymouth Fury
Owned by Bill Matthies, Sarasota, Florida
- Engine: The 413 didn't give Bill the rush he was looking for and he wanted people to be shocked when they opened the hood. After a brand-new Mopar Performance Hemi block was located in Miami, Bill had Muscle Motors owner Mike Ware on the phone. Together, they came up with a 557ci combination that consisted of 4.375-inch bore Ross pistons, Scat 7.100-inch rods and a Scat 4.625-inch stroke billet crankshaft. Final compression comes out to 11.1:1. A solid roller Comp Cams camshaft rated at .657-inch lift and 256/260-degrees duration gives the Hemi an aggressive, Chevy-eating idle. Sitting atop the block are a pair of aluminum Indy cylinder heads that have been fully CNC ported by Muscle Motors. They use 2.25-inch intake and 1.94-inch Ferrea exhaust valves with Comp springs and Indy roller rocker arms. Air and fuel are directed through a Mopar Crossram intake manifold that was modified by Dick Landy. The fuel is now delivered by a pair of Pro Systems-modified Holley double pumper carburetors rated at 908 cfm (changed from original Hemi pieces after shoot). The mixture is ignited by an MSD ignition system that includes a Blaster 2 coil and 6 AL Box. This exits through tti headers with 2 1/4-inch primaries and 3 1/2-inch collectors. The stainless 3-inch exhaust features an X-crossover pipe, and the decibel level is reduced by Magnaflow mufflers. The machine work was performed by Mike Ware, and the engine was assembled by Bill and his brother, Gary Nord.
- Transmission: The pushbutton TorqueFlite uses a PTC Converters 2,800-stall torque converter with a nitrous anti-ballooning plate and a TCI shift kit.
- Suspension: Competition Engineering front and rear shocks are supported by a front torsion bar system and rear super stock leaf springs. The chassis has been tied together with connectors in an effort to tame the Hemi torque.
- Brakes: The front brakes were converted to discs and the rear drum brakes were upgraded to 11-inch heavy-duty drums.
- Wheels: Colorado Custom Alcatraz wheels are staggered at 15x6 up front and 15x10 out back. BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires up front keep things in control and 275/60-15 Mickey Thompson Drag Radials provide more traction.
- Paint and Body: The previous owner, Dennis Fredrickson, performed the bodywork himself and applied the final coats of PPG Concept One Viper Red paint. This eye-searing color is made more menacing by the fiberglass Summit Racing '69-style Six Pack hoodscoop.
- Interior: Everything is basically stock here. The factory gauges still remain while a few have been added, such as a Summit Racing Tachometer. A full Kenwood audio system was used as a replacement to the old radio and delivers modern audio performance in a classic appearing package. The interior was restored with all Legendary Auto Interior parts.