Before Henry was even born he was destined to become a Plymouth nut. His father purchased this '66 Fury III from Ayares Chrysler Plymouth in Miami, Florida, as a practical transportation solution for his growing family that also offered style. Five months later, this would be the same car that would pick him up from the hospital for his first car ride ever. Fast forward 40 years and Henry has made the car his own, and modified it in an extremely tasteful manner.
The 318-powered Plymouth served as the family's primary transportation for 14 years before they decided to look for a replacement. By this time, Henry had become attached to the C-Body and begged for them to keep it so that he could drive it when he was of legal driving age. They gave in and it sat underneath an open carport for the next few years. Since the Fury started its life as the Valdes family car, it racked up some miles, accompanied by some wear and tear. Knowing it would need some parts before it was roadworthy, Henry began saving his money. He gave it a new set of tires, refurbished all four brakes, and rebuilt the transmission along with the carburetor.
It served well as a first car for a 16-year-old high school student where it collected a lot of memories. Soon, it would be collecting dust and rust once again when he turned 19 and began looking into college. Even when he was off at school, the Fury was never too far out of his mind. Upon his return, he was greeted with a sad site. The lack of use had taken its toll on the full-size Mopar. "Somehow rodents found their way in, rust devoured the hood hinge brackets, firewall, C-pillars, and lower quarters," he recalls. This didn't dispirit him and the rebuilding began immediately.
The Fury was stripped down, saving only the doors and glass. It was hoisted onto a raised support stand where it received a leaf spring relocation kit and 2x3-inch frame connectors. Back in the garage, the remaining parts were now removed and the rear wheelwells were cut out to make room for tubs wide enough for a tire 16 inches wide. The wells were also expanded forward an additional 2 inches to clear the tire height. Supporting this robust tire are MP Superstock springs and a Dana 60 rearend with Moser axles, 4.10 gears, and a Sure-Grip Trac-Lok. The tire of choice out back is the well-proven BFGoodrich drag radial measuring 345/55-15. The fronts are 205-70-15 Sumitomos, and all four tires are mounted to American Racing Torque Thrust II wheels.
Henry had his work cut out for him with the bodywork. He welded on the new panels and got rid of the C-pillar trim. During this time, he also made a unique modification to the hood and front end of the Fury. Similar to a shoebox Chevy, the hood wraps over the front grille. Henry had the idea to separate the two and make his own fiberglass hood in the process. In doing so, he created a unique alteration to the front end that also allowed him clearance for his high-rise intake and carburetors. The car was sent to Rick's Rods in West Palm Beach, Florida, to receive its color. It was drenched in a special blend of B3 blue with a small metallic flake and ghost flames. After it was sprayed, Henry polished the stainless trim, straightened and re-anodized the stainless trim, and re-chromed the bumpers.
Inside things were given the same tedious treatment as he added new seats from a four-door '68 Satellite. A six-point rollbar was installed to sit underneath the dark blue headliner and provide increased safety. He welded the holes on the dash pads to give it a '50s-era hot rod look, and he added a handful of AutoMeter gauges and an Alpine CD player. Tom Robilard at Royal Palm Auto Trim covered the seats with the factory color silver and blue vinyl with dark blue velour inserts and door panels.
The attractive third-generation Furys featured lots of chrome trim and a distinctive chara
An interesting and attractive modification to the bumper now houses twin 3-inch exhaust ti
The custom-covered seats incorporate dark blue velour centers.
The interior has been completely restored and receives the added safety of a six-point rol
The lift-off fiberglass hood was modified to keep the radiator covered when it was taken o
The hood doesn't need to be taken off for you to know there's something special under the
Power comes from a proven combo 440 with .030 over Speed Pro Pistons and home-ported 346 heads. Protruding from the custom fiberglass hood is a Weiend tunnel ram intake showcasing a pair of 650-cfm Holley carburetors and Summit Racing velocity stacks. The ignition was converted over to MSD and the exhaust exits the cylinder heads through Hooker Headers into Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers. Henry made cutouts in the bumper for the chrome 3-inch rolled-edge exhaust tips to sit in.
Henry claims, "Only a few tasks were farmed out and 95 percent of the work was done myself with the assistance of Dave Whipple." This is extremely impressive work for the self-employed scale model builder. He thanks Dave who he attests was instrumental in every aspect of the build. His wife Gilda and daughter Diana were also there to support him as he built the project. Everything can be traced back to his parents since they were the ones who purchased the car and held it for him to keep. It has now been 41 years and a long road with the same car, and there's still a lot of asphalt ahead.
'66 Plymouth Fury III
Owned by Henry Valdes, Loxahatchee, Florida
- Engine: Henry bored the 440.030 inches over and filled the holes with Speed Pro Pistons with pop-ups. These bring compression to 10.7:1 and are connected to Mopar rods that benefit from ARP rod bolts. The rotating assembly is controlled by a stock forged steel crankshaft. The brain of the engine is a hydraulic Mopar Purple Shaft with .509-inch lift and 292-degrees duration. This operates the large 2.14-inch intake and 1.81-inch exhaust valves housed in iron Mopar 346 heads which have been hand ported and polished. Sitting atop the RB big-block is a Wiend tunnel ram intake manifold with 650-cfm Holley carburetors and Summit Racing velocity stacks. The fuel is sourced from the 20-gallon fuel cell mounted in the upholstered trunk and is ignited by an MSD 6AL, coil and wires. Once the engine has ignited, the air/fuel mixture it's spit out on the exhaust stroke through large 1 7/8-inch primary Hooker Headers with 3-inch collectors. A pair of 3-inch Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers do their best to tame the sound before exiting the rear of the C-body through chrome 3-inch rolled tips.
- Transmission and Rearend: David Whipple and Henry built a 727 to distribute the power to the Dana 60 rear with Truetrac, 4.10 gears, Moser axles, and longer studs. It's shifted with a Turbo Action Cheetah STS reverse pattern manual valvebody and torque is multiplied through a 3,400 stall Turbo Action torque converter.
- Suspension and Brakes: The 4,300-pound full-size Plymouth is supported by a rebuilt stock suspension that uses Moog parts up front and B-Body super stock springs out back. The weight is brought to a halt with a SSBC disc brake kit.
- Wheels: The traditional muscle car Torque Thrust II wheels look right at home on Henry's Fury. The massive 345/55-15 BFGoodrich Drag Radials offer plenty of grip and fill the expanded rear wheelwells and 10-inch-wide wheels. Back up front, the 15x5-inch wheels wear Summitomo rubber and deliver the "big and littles" look.
- Paint and Body: Special attention was given to the paint and bodywork on this Plymouth. The custom metallic flake blend of B3 blue features ghost flames and was sprayed by Rick's Rods in West Palm Beach, Florida. Henry took care of all the panel repair and prep before it was delivered. The most unique exterior feature on the Fury comes from the modified front end. Henry made a fiberglass hood that has a hole for the intake and also took time to make the front edge of the hood separate.
- Interior: Another area that Henry completed with a little help was the interior. Tom Robilard at Royal Palm Auto Trim kicked up the interior by re-covering the seats with Silver and Blue covers from YearOne. These have velour centers and carry on the color scheme. An Alpine AM/FM CD player now sits in the dash and powers four Infinity Coaxial speakers located in the rear deck. All trim was restored, replaced, or refurbished.