Thursday, November 3, 2011

Memory flogger, fin-centric variety

It’s a fairly well kept secret, but in some quarters around town, your humble correspondent is known as the Brunswick Fury, as in ‘a fury of creative energy.’ In other quarters, we’re known as the old fart, which is, in a manner of speaking, a ‘Fury’ that is well past it’s prime.

There is, ironically enough, another ‘Fury’ in our CV.  It’s a 1960 Plymouth Fury convertible.  We owned one for two years, the first of which was our senior year in college (Rutgers University.)

On our recent trek to the family reunion, we encountered almost a carbon copy as we were coming back into North Jersey from Pennsylvania.  Like any good reporter, we had our Flip camera at hand, and shot this video over the dashboard of our chauffeured SUV.

You’ll note that the fins on the convertible are amongst its most prominent features.  As best we can tell, the security team tailing the Fury is in an early 60’s Oldsmobile Starfire convertible; it may be a 1962.

The good memories came flooding back as we followed the Fury.  Ours had a white top, and the paint was a medium red, lighter than the ‘Candy Apple Red’ popular in those days, and the apparent color on the trailing Olds.

Many will think the the car was a ‘chick magnet,’ but the most fun we had with it was cruising the summer boardwalk scene along the Jersey Shore.

Our particular vehicle was equipped with the Chrysler 300 package, which made it very rare.  We bought it from a fraternity brother in 1962, whose father owned a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership, which explains the unique version.  And the fact that the engine had been balanced and blueprinted at the dealership.

It also had an RCA 45 rpm record player mounted upside down under the center of the dashboard.  You took your favorite 45’s and pushed them up onto the spindle.  It was great fun to pull up next to someone else at a stoplight, or in traffic, and have them yell over to you ‘hey, what station are you llistening to?’  Replying that it was  not the radio, but our record player, always elicited double takes and looks that were priceless.  We especially remember playing ‘Big Boy Pete,’ which seemed to get the biggest interest.

The Chrysler 300 package meant the various emblems on the body, and the hubcaps, were all 300 logos.  More important, we had the 383 cubic inch hemi engine with ram induction and dual fours.  And stick shift to get the most from the engine.

She got about 8 miles per gallon, at about 30 cents or so per gallon back then.  Tire technology was not up to the power at our command, and the gentlest tap on the gas pedal, in any gear, would burn rubber, as much as you might want.

We paid $1850 for the car in 1962, with 20,000 miles on it, and after graduation in 1963, drove cross country in it to begin our pursuit of fame and fortune on the left coast.  And as they say, the rest is history.  Untold and undistinguished, but history none-the-less.

God, how we’d love to have that car back.  What an idiot we were for trading it in on a brand new 1964 Corvair for about $350 because we were getting married and needed a more ‘practical’ car.  It had only 40,000 miles on it.

Such is the ill-considered impulsiveness of youth, we suppose.

(Ed. Note: the assertion that we are known as the ‘Brunswick Fury’ is pure poppycock.)

Technorati Tags: ,,

No comments:

Post a Comment