Welcome to the Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage, a regular feature which aims to expand the notion of what a muscle car is, and to show that once and for all a full-sized car can be classified a performance machine. 1970 was quite a year for the performance car market, with more models available than ever before, including compacts, mid-sized, and full-sized cars. That includes this full-sized bruiser, The Plymouth Sport Fury GT.
The 1970-71 Plymouth Sport Fury GT was Plymouth’s somewhat belated attempt at a high-performance full-size model, produced in very low numbers for these two model years only. Though a Sport Fury sub-series had been offered previously as the top of Plymouth’s big-car line and was available with the division’s largest engines, the GT version offered a bit more.
As part of Plymouth’s 1970 “Rapid Transit System,” this two-door hardtop was decked out with the big-block Super Commando 440 V8 with a single four-barrel carb, good for 350 horses. A 390-bhp version with Plymouth’s Six-Pack (a trio of two-barrel carburetors) was optional, and was the only Chrysler full-sized “C” body to ever receive this engine. The 440 six bbl engine was the same engine that first appeared on the 1969 Road Runner and Super Bee. Based on the 375 hp Magnum 440, the 390 hp rating was achieved through the use of the 3x2V carburetor setup. The only difference from the 1969 version is the substitution of a cast iron intake manifold rather than the Edelbrock aluminum manifold. The GT package also included heavy-duty underpinnings, high-upshift TorqueFlite automatic transmission, extra-wide 6″ road wheels, fiberglass-belted H70 x 15″ tires and bodyside “strobe stripes.”
On the inside, the Sport Fury GT was offered with a cloth-and-vinyl or all-vinyl bench seat with fold-down center armrest. Optional all-vinyl buckets could be added for that added performance touch. If buckets were your style, a console was also available. The instrument panel was floodlit and easy to read and reach.
As with most Muscle Cars of the day, the Sport Fury GT was offered with several High Impact colors, including In Violet, Limelight, Lemon Twist, Vitamin C, Tor Red, and – during the mid-year refresh – Moulin Rouge and Sassy Grass Green. And since the GT was based on the Sport Fury, it received standard hidden headlights and was trimmed to a higher level. For the 1970 model year, records indicate that only 666 Plymouth Sport Fury GT’s were produced, with what is believed to be around 64 of those powered by 440 6-barrel engine. According to the 1970 Sport Fury GT 440-6 Registry, 11 are known to exist.
The Sport Fury GT returned for the 1971 model year, and was really the only Full-Sized performance car offered by the Big Three during this time period. Changes include offering a 370-horsepower Super Commando 440 while the 440 six-pack option quietly disappeared from the Full-Sized ranks (though it was still offered on the newly re-styled Road-Runner, GTX, and the ‘Cuda), along with the usual yearly shuffle of grill textures, tail-light updates, and a wild new “Strobe Stripe” that circled the car. But by 1971, the performance car boom was about to go bust, and the Sport Fury GT was no exception. Only 375 were produced before Plymouth threw in the towel.
Here is another full-sized car marketed as a Muscle Car, that saw limited sales success. We have taken a look at the Mercury Marauder X-100, and the Ford Galaxie 7 Litre, as well as the Chrysler 300 Hurst. These cars were overshadowed by the mid-sized rockets of their day, and their sales numbers reflected this. However, what do you think? Is the Plymouth Sport Fury GT an Obscure Muscle Car, and does it belong in the Garage, or is it just a full-sized luxury car of the 70′s with no place in Muscle Car lore? Let me know.
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