Well , welcome again to Rare Classic Cars .
We have our guest Mark yet again .
Fortunately or unfortunately , right , for the viewers , I'm sure .
Fortunately so , in any event , we have Mark and talking about his 1962 Plymouth , we before we get started , we should do your disclaimer .
Yes , disclaimer .
My disclaimer is that I currently actually work at General Motors and we call this segment cars you hate to love or the car that got Virgil Ner fired .
Let's take a deeper look .
All right .
So here we are with the car that you hate to love the 62 Plymouth Fury .
But Mark , you love this one , right ?
I love it , but I admit that it's a process to admit that you love this kind of car .
And why is that from a styling standpoint ?
I guess it's certainly unique , but you as a designer can speak more to the unique form language that this car has because it looks , it looks like nothing else at the time or even subsequent to the time .
Really several elements of it has familiar elements that were part of Chrysler Corporation's form language of the early sixties .
And it's also the car that got Virgil Ner fired this very car here .
He got sacked when this car was presented and it is a problematic car for Chrysler Corporation from a historic point of view .
This was one of the cars or the car that lost Chrysler's presence in the mainstream full size family car market for good .
It had never recovered from this car .
They had been in trouble for some time by this time , but this one was the straw that broke the camel's back and it got fired on the occasion of the presentation of this car .
Uh The story goes that several Chrysler Plymouth franchise holders , uh threw their franchise contracts onto the stage and walked out and , and never returned .
Uh This car was an absolute disaster for Chrysler Corporation for sales and for the market share in the full size family car market .
Well , and it wasn't really a full size car anymore .
It had been downsized to an intermediate , correct .
That was part of the problem .
This was the result supposedly of faulty intelligence .
So the legend goes that Bill Newberg who was in charge of Chrysler briefly in the early 19 sixties and who had to resign because of a conflict of interest .
Bill Newberg overheard a top GM manager , I don't know if it was Ed Cole or someone at that level talk about the new smaller Chevrolet for 1962 .
He was eavesdropping on a conversation at a Detroit country club and he was taking that information with him back to the mother ship in Highland Park and ordered all the full size cars from 1962 .
At least the Chrysler , the Plymouth and the Dodge cars from 1962 to get downsized .
Based on this rather sketchy , quote unquote intelligence he had from over here eavesdropping on a conversation at a Detroit country club .
Well , and so it was downsized .
This is 100 16 inch wheel base .
It's 100 and 60 inch wheel base .
It's the car's overall length is a tad over 200 inches .
So it's literally like almost a foot shorter than the typical full size car of the early 19 sixties .
And the wheel base is about 3 to 4 inches shorter of what was typical at the time for the so called low price three .
But why I as a designer like this car is , it's because it predates or introduces a few very important proportion and form features that are actually quite significant later on in the decade .
And they were actually quite important in some of the bigger successes of the 19 sixties .
And the most important one of that is that it's one of the first cars to have post war American cars that is to follow the long hood short deck proportion , which is something that you probably pick up on second or third glances when it's pointed out .
But the base of the windshield in this car is significantly further rearward than it used to be for a typical standard American cars of the 1950 S and 1960 S where it was roughly about here with a long shelf at the top of the dashboard on this car , it's pushed way reward more like the Ford Mustang or the personal luxury coupe of the later 1960 S long hood , short deck , meaning that of course , the hood relative to the rear end much , much longer , whereas a typical car then had sort of one third , one , third , one third .
This one has the emphasis shift at rearward , which looks more sporty , it looks more upscale , supposedly , although the styling theme of this car certainly doesn't .
And it was a formula that was very successfully introduced on the Mustang and some subsequent products from all over that were very , very successful in the later part of the 19 sixties .
It's quite , I guess European in that sense too .
And there's , it's like you said , that touched off a lot of the personal luxury cars , the mark three S mark fours , Monte Carlos later head Long the Grand Prix , you know , short deck , right ?
Although we don't see any of that in this car yet , the proportions may head there , they were hinting at that , but of course , the styling motif of this car is pure valiant .
But what's , that's true .
It's amazing like you said , it's pure valiant , but it also has these cues from whether it's this back window from Studabaker or it has this fuselage like shape as well to the body side elements that Virgil Exeter had previously applied more or less successfully .
One of those uh features is the very deep wrap around back window and the way the seat pillar and the rear quarter come together here , that's very reminiscent of some of the late forties , early fifties , Studebaker models , which virtual Exeter was also part of , of in the creation .
And we see this again here .
Virtual exeter had a few things that he was obsessed with that .
He kept reintroducing and even some of these form features like these speedy blades that come out of the side of the body side section .
Here you see those later in one form or another on the Stutz semi custom design of of the late sixties , early seventies that he was involved in .
And some of these were even in the rudimentary form , part of some of the early fifties studebakers .
So there are some elements here that Virgil Exeter loved and he kept trying to introduce them on to different products over and over again during his career .
But this car was the absolute wrong car at the wrong time .
It introduced a sort of austere compact like styling motif to the full size family car market .
At a time when people didn't want that .
If you bought a full size family car , you wanted to project success especially as the economy was getting better , the economy was getting better .
Um , there was a bumpy time at the end of the fifties a little bit .
Um , the so called Eisenhower recession that started in late 1957 and lasted well into 1958 .
It imploded the sales for mid priced brands like De Soto and Etzel and a few others and it really hurt Chrysler Corporation in connection with their success of 1957 .
That Virgil excellent could take credit for the Ford Look cars which were extremely successful and which brought Chrysler back to the forefront and gave Chrysler over 20% market share which it hadn't seen in a number of years .
And the public took enthusiastically to the 1957 models .
And then the quality that was so bad on them came back to haunt them in connection with the recession that followed in 1958 .
It resulted in Chrysler's briefly spiking 20% market share plummeting and absolutely getting destroyed in the low priced segment .
So between 1958 and 1961 Plymouth , full size car sales started to falter and then this car came out and that basically was the last straw and it destroyed the presence of full size family car transportation for Chrysler in that segment for many years to come .
So really a couple , I guess faux pas here one , they took what was a full sized car , you know , the top line car down to an intermediate , they took valiant queues and tried to thrust them upward to a more expensive vehicle .
Um And then they also went with highly unconventional styling , which was more , I'll say it was conventionalized ahead of production .
It was , we can talk about this in a minute , a little bit more .
But yes , this is all true .
It violated some of the cardinal rules of the business .
You never market from the bottom up .
You always let the marketing gravity take care of marketing trickling down .
You start with something at the higher end of the market and if it's successful , it gives it cachet and prestige and then you trickle that down .
A Chevy Caprice is a baby Cadillac .
It has all the design and appearance cues of a Cadillac .
You don't take a Chevrolet and try to make that a Cadillac that's called a SIM .
You don't do that .
That failed .
That one worked well .
And there are so many examples when marketers and designers and product planners violate that rule more often than not , it failed miserably .
And this car is a perfect example .
It failed miserably and it had an important long term effect on Chrysler Corporation's health and vitality because it destroyed the important presence in the low price three segment for the next .
Well , they never recovered .
This is , this is basically the end of Plymouth's dominance in the corporation , at least with volume full size cars and they could never really decide after this whether the Fury was a mid size , a full size , it kind of toggled back , bumped it back to a full size in 1965 with a sea body that made it bigger .
This , by the way being the first of the B bodies .
This is a very , the venerable B platform , the first iteration of it .
And it would go on to serve Chrysler Corporation reasonably well for at least the next 15 years or longer .
But they tried to reposition the Plymouth Fury again in 1965 of making it a true full size car .
But by that time , the damage had been done with this car here and the Chevy Impalas Ford LTD Galaxies and so on were so strong by that time that Chrysler never regained the market share it once had in that segment , maybe that's why later in the mid seventies , they had to introduce the Grand Fury is the top of the line , right ?
Well , I don't know if that really made a dent because that didn't sell particularly well , even though it didn't .
And they , they vacillated a little bit between which car would be the Fury and the B body shell came back for a little bit in the , in the mid 19 seventies as a Fury model and the Grand Fury was on the sea body .
But no matter what Chrysler did after this model here , they never recovered from this blow let's talk a little bit about what would subsequently be the ace or what would have been the asymmetrical styling here that was conventionalized .
There is a few pictures floating around the internet .
I'm sure you can find them and insert them in the video .
But one of the styling motifs that was even more bizarre than the car that we see here in front of us was that this wind split type of form feature was supposed to be off center over to the driver's side .
This was supposed to be a feature running from the front to the back of the car along the center line of the steering wheel of center line of driver , based on the 1960 concept car X N R , the show car that will play on war on letters to make a , make a word to reference .
Virgil X , it was a little Roadster that had a lot of the styling cues that you see on this on here and that had that a wind split that was off center and along the center line of driver and the 1962 Plymouth was supposed to have that with one tail lamp on the left side and three tail lamps on the right side like a Picasso .
It was just bizarre .
Same in the front to be off center as well .
If you go to the front , you'll see a little break in the windshield in the in the back light glass .
That's still a reference to glass similar to what they did at GM in the 19 seventies on the 1977 deep body coops the caprice in Impalas .
This was supposed to be a frac or a feature in the glass or even the 67 Eldorado 60 seven el crease .
That was one of the favorite things .
One of it in the front , there is a little bit of a pee here in the molding you can see it's a remnant of it and then it goes into the center line wins SPT feature on the hood , which again was supposed to have been off center and the thing that's remaining from the off center feature or design theme .
The motif is the placement of the Plymouth badge that would have been centered under this winds split feature on the asymmetrical portion of the hood with the Flintstones type face with that very funky googie style font that I love is .
This car is full of early sixties , late fifties , early sixties styling and design cues that are just so charming .
That's the wheel covers as well too on the wheel cover is one of my favorites .
It looks like a flying sauce , looks a little bit like the space ship from Forbidden Planet .
And uh it's , it's got the same funky font that's pressed into the covers .
I always love these wheel covers .
The whole car is a flying saucer .
That's the form language is very jetsons , very early sixties , sort of this slightly , um , these very light wispy shapes , these , these horizontal floating saucer shapes that reminded people of UFO S and space age cues and that's really what this car is all about .
Well , it did foreshadow a bit of the 66 tornado and then the 69 fuselage again , we discussed this before that this car is actually full of harbinger of things to come , but on a package that really failed to make an impression in the market but was later picked up by cars that had a much more lasting impact .
But one of the features is that this is one of the early fuselage cars .
It has no shoulder , it has a constant section from the top , from the top of the door , from the roof into the body side .
It's basically one big sweep , it doesn't have the big wide shoulder , the step that usually comes along at least until the sixties that was very standard .
This is a precursor to what happened on the tornado , on the Chrysler fuselage cars and some other cars .
But this was really one of the very first early applications , the valiant really being the first one in 1960 .
Um but these are one of the favorite , these are one of the favorite styling cliches of Virgil Exner and he really applied them in full force here .
And I do love , it's amazing too .
I'm guessing that the IP is so short to try to get more passenger space in here .
Well , the seating had to remain pretty much the same to offer full size car interior space .
He couldn't reconfigure where people sat .
So , what happened here in order to get the long , short deck appearance and you push the base of the windshield reward so far , they just shortened the shelf on the instrument panel which , you know , if anybody who's familiar with it , like the 59 Chevy or your Pontiac , I mean , it has a pretty deep shelf on the top of the instrument panel .
This one is almost like a 1949 Plymouth or I thought you're going to say Alumin A PV or Alumna A P P perhaps .
No , this is the very of Alumna A PV .
This one here .
Yes , it has almost no shelf on top of the dashboard and you still have the push button .
This was still in full use it the first year of an actual mechanical parking cover .
It has a separate lever which kind of made the purpose of the push button even more sketchy because uh when you have a shift like a shift lever on the steering column , it's all on one control , right ?
You just go through different gates and you shift into the position that you need here .
You have to take your eyes off the road somewhat .
You have to push the button you need and then you have to operate a separate control for the parking pole .
That was sort of the beginning of the end for the push button driving .
It really wasn't as practical as they first thought in the 1950 s it would be , but it's fun .
It's a fun feature that I enjoy as one of the distinctive unique points of this car to quote one of your favorite words .
Yeah , that's right .
I say everything is unique apparently according to the viewers .
Well , what , what an awesome unique car , I guess , or at least a unique car that you would have to , well , you kind of hate to love it as we started out with .
So , maybe just how does it drive compared to the other vehicles that you have ?
Well , it's a typical Chrysler corporation car of the era and these cars took on a whole different persona in life in the drag racing and in the sports car circuit really of both the era in 1962 they had one big advantage over typical stock cars .
They were lighter and smaller and so they could be had .
This one has a 361 they could be had with pretty big engines .
These are a favorite with the drag racer set .
They put the big , the four thirteens , the 4 40 in a wedge .
And these had a fantastic successful life on the , on the drag race and stock car circuit in a way because they had all the things you need to be fast .
They were light , they had powerful , good , powerful engines and they were small and light and they had suspensions that could handle it .
This torsion bar suspension , the torsion air ride in this car is typical Chrysler of the era .
It's firmer than usual .
It's well controlled .
It's a very drive car even by today's standards .
Well , thanks so much , Mark .
I appreciate you sharing this vehicle with us and talking about the unique styling elements .
Thanks again for coming on and yes , and I know this vehicle will be very controversial with the viewers of this channel as well because I know a lot of people today have similar feelings as the public had back in 1962 .
It's a butt ugly car .
Well , you know , beauty is in the eye of the beholder .
I happen to think it's actually a very , to me it's actually quite pleasant and unique looking .
I like it .
I like it because it's different , but I realize it is a car that you have , it's an acquired taste , you have to learn to like it .
And if you , why would you like to learn to acquire the taste ?
Uh Well , I for one thing like that whole genre of , of cars from the early sixties that was very goy and very um space age .
I like things that are not if I put this next to a 1962 Ford , which is also a nice car , but that was so dead conventional and expected and so easy to like , there is no tension there , there's no controversy there .
I like the fact that this one is more controversial .
I like that .
It's something to talk about .
I like that .
It gets a reaction out of people .
Well , thanks so much , Mark .
I'm sure we'll certainly get a reaction from people on the channel and thanks for coming back on rare classic cars .
You're welcome .
Until next time .
Thanks again and take care .
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