based on early '60's Mopar Logo

1965 Plymouth Sport Fury

Ronald L. Hornback writes:

This is my 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury with a 383. It has stock air conditioning.

The engine has been bored .60 over, has a Mopar Purple shaft mild performance mild competition cam and ported and polished heads.

It has a stock 727 automatic linked to 3:23 gears and a 8 and 3/4 rear end. The engine has 11.4:1 compression.

I am already working on another engine that is more suitable for the street, but in the meantime this one does more than fine, though it is expensive to drive due to the need for additives and poor mileage.

I am also looking to equip the car with front disc brakes before too long.


I blew my 383 up when I was coming home from a friend's funeral. The engine light came on (as it had before) and I was in another zone so I ignored it.

You know how it is when you buy a car that has sat. This Sport Fury had rested in one spot for about three years before I bought it; it obviously had some electrical and mechanical bugs like that instrument idiot light that needed to be worked out.

The night the engine blew light had gone back off! However, the timing chain slipped and I had a violent backfire that bulged valve covers, blew the gaskets out and who knows what else. When you're running 11.4:1 I don't want to know. A real sad day for me.

Anyway, it wasn't the worse thing to happen (the engine) because I have the original block in the garage and I want to build my own engine since I like doing that and because that is the first thing people ask and I have to tell them someone else built it.

I plan to build up the original 383, detail under the hood and cherry out some other components.

I'll send photos as the project progresses!

UPDATE #2: I took the original 383 into a local shop to have it tanked and squared and all that but "something funny happened on the way to the shop".

I got to talking to the shop owner and one thing led to another and he's building a 1965 vintage 426W for it. It'll be bored 070 over to take 440 pistons and a 440 crank. This guy (Dennis Smythe) is the absolute Mopar guru on the west coast and used to work for the likes of Mikey Thompson, Keith Black and others.

In the mean time I have aquired discs for the front and am repainting the whole engine bay. Of course I have lots of other projects going on at the same time like suspension upgrades, rechroming, c/d installation, etc. Along the way I'm snapping pictures to send you one day so you can show it as a work in progress.

UPDATE June, 2000:

On 426HP engine; nothing! The guy is dragging his feet and I'm starting to get ticked. He says 3 more weeks but in 7 months he has only managed a .70 over bore and not much else. I ported and polished the 516's and gave them to him last week.

On car; I have been under the hood a lot sprucing up and shooting paint here and there. The interior is coming along, too. I haven't torn into the brake conversion yet but that is very soon. I'm taking pics along the way for you to post.

1965 Plymouth Sport Fury

Thanks, Ron!

1965 is the first year of the big Fury body style. Cool car.

I'm very sorry to hear about your friend and the engine meltdown. I think rebuilding the 383 as you describe will be a fine tribute to your friend and a healing thing for you as well.

Re the Update #2: Wow, you're going full speed forward with the car! It sounds like a great plan!

Re June, 2000 update: yeah, things take their own course in a restoreation! Delays from body shops are the most common, but it sounds like your engine rebuilder is, er, being very "careful" with the rebuild! ;-)

Take care, and I look forward to more progress reports. :)

Gary H.
December 28, 1999; updated March 30, 2000; June 29, 2000.

Go back to the Big Mopar Page. / Go back to the 1962 to 1965 Mopar Web Site Home Page.