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1963 Plymouth Sport Fury

August 2008 Mopar of the Month

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, front

Ron Nies Senior writes: I bought my 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury from a good friend in May of 2003.

My youngest son said he wanted the Mopar, but he lost interest as he got older; I knew I wanted the Plymouth since I love Max Wedge cars and the 1963 Plymouth is my favorite!

I decided to sell my Dart to keep the 1963 and my oldest son, Ron Jr., wanted my Dart; so I sold to to him, very cheap! I needed some money to do a mild restoration on the 1963.

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, interior

The Sport Fury was in good shape but needed front floor pans and a good going over.

The original 383 came out and I built a mild 440 to look like a 426 Max Wedge but without the crossram, as I could not afford it at the time.

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, engine 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, engine

I also built a new 727 transmission and a 8&3/4 rear in which I installed 4.30’s.

I rebuilt all of the front suspension and repainted under the car and hood.

Cash was short so I left the stock rear springs on with air shocks.

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, passenger side

The paint was in pretty good shape so we just buffed the car out.

Car and engine specifications summary:

The Sport Fury is a 99% street car that sees the track 2 or 3 times a year. The best et so far is 11.52 @ 116.84. But that was the only pass I got that day as it spun on that run and I broke and axle gear tooth on that pass, so I did not make any more runs that day and could drive it the 45 miles home, which I did.

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury on drag strip         1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, burnout

I have since installed a Detroit Locker and cannot wait to get back to the track and try for 11.40’s as I have not really done any tuning yet either.

By the way, my son with his Dart and me with my 1963 were lucky enough to get our cars featured in the February / March issue of Mopar Enthusiast in the Father-Son shootout, along with our two friend’s cars.

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, shootout son - father

Update February 2010

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, driver side front

I have added a Max Wedge hood scoop and TorqueThrust front wheels.

Also, I ran a new best of 11.49 @ 116.

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury at drag strip

Update December 2011

I built a new engine for my 1963 Sport Fury. It is a pump gas 493 that I have only put 7 track passes on since I put the engine in the car in June 2011. But I have put a lot of street miles on it, including driving it the 180 plus mile round trip to the Mopar show in Carlisle PA in July 2011.

A quick rundown of the engine: It is a 493, which is a .030 over 440 with a 4.15 stroker crank kit from 440 Source. I used dished pitons to get 10.6 compression with the Indy EZ heads I used. Dwayne Porter of Porter Racing Heads did some prep work on the heads for me. Dwayne also specified a flat tappet solid cam for me that is 264 and 270 @ .050 with .630 lift using the Hughes 1.6 roller rockers. It uses an Indy dual plane intake with the same 850 DP Holley and a Mallory dist with the MP orange ignition box. I also installed new 2 inch TTI headers and a 3 inch X-pipe exhaust system out to the rear bumper. I used the same 9.5 inch Dynamic converter and now use Hoosier 30 x 9 radial slicks on the street and track.

The Mopar has run a new best of 10.76 @ 124.49 driving it to and from the track, racing it just like I drive it, thru the pipes on pump gas. Just get to the track and bleed the tires to 15 psi and go racing!

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury engine 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury engine
1963 Plymouth Sport Fury burnout 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury at drag strip
1963 Plymouth Sport Fury drag strip race printout 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury at Carlisle show

UPDATE January 2014

I went to the track on October 20, 2013. I have made no changes to the Plymouth but was invited to run in a NSS class at Cecil County Dragway in Md. Basically I drove the 45 miles to the track and just bled my tires to 16 psi to race. I got two time runs and went two rounds in eliminations. Car ran very good as it went:

10.81 @ 124.79.....spun a little as it was the first pass of the day
10.76 @ 124.29
10.76 @ 124.17
10.76 @ 124.22

Yes the Mopar ran 10.76 three passes in a row which matched my best et from almost 2 years ago when I was last at the track. I won the first round as I dailed in at 10.75 and ran 10.76 and beat a 1969 Roadrunner dailed 10.30 as he ran 10.34. The second round I had to race my brother in his 9 second Cuda who dailed 9.29 and I was still dailed 10.75. Oh, and this is the pass on the video [below]. My niece took it and you can hear her call us her Uncle’s. Well I ran 10.76 on my 10.75 dail again and my brother ran 9.32 on his 9.29, but he had a good .012 reaction time to my .078 which was not too bad -- but his great light put .006 hundreths on me and he won. I had a blast and drove the 45 miles home with no troubles.

UPDATE December 2014

I installed SuperStock leaf springs a few years back and I also installed the longer MP rear shocks. That is all the Mopar uses on the rear, as I do not use a pinion snubber and my best 60 foot on this setup is a 1.50 on one of the 10.76 passes. The front suspension is still all stock with just the Comp 90/10 front shocks. I also went to a newer style valve cover as they seal up better after I adjust the valve and do not have to worry about an oil leak. These work very nice and do shine the engine up a little.

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury burn out

I only got to the track to race once in 2014 but I drove the Sport Fury a lot on the street and also drove it the 180 mile round trip to the Chrysler Carlisle show and put it in the show field, as I was invited to park at the Moparts tent, which I did.

On October 25, 2014 I went to the Mopar race and show at Maryland International Raceway and raced in the Nostaligic SuperStock race, which was only Mopars as it was a Mopar Day at the track. They had about 30 cars running in the NSS class including my brother in his 1964 Fury and my brother and I lined up and raced each other in a time run. It was nice as we finally got a few pics of his 1964 and my 1963 racing together. His Plymouth is a race car and it is a bit faster then my 1963, as he has run 9.96. But on the race we raced together he ran 10.24 to my 10.87.

1963 and 1964 Plymouths racing
1963 Plymouth Sport Fury engine 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury engine

My Plymouth ran good and pretty consisdent as it ran 10.80’s all day as I was about a tenth slower that day then what I usually run at Cecil, and of course I raced it as always through the full exhaust and on 92 pump gas. (I installed a new X-pipe exhaust system when I the 493 engine went in.) I think I was the only car racing in NSS with a full exhaust system on the car and working wipers. I got 4 passes, which was 2 time runs and 2 rounds, as I red lighted in the second round. The Sport Fury ran good as at this track, it ran: 10.85; 10.87; 10.89; and 10.85; and the mph was between 123.63 and 124.10 on all runs, as all runs were within four hundredths of each other.

1963 Plymouth Sport Fury exhaust

The Plymouth did not hook as good as it does at Cecil and all my 60 foot times were off a little, as they were from 1.53 to 1.55, but the tires are older and have many more miles on them then when I raced at Cecil a year ago.

I dailed a 10.84 and the car spun some in the firstround, but I still won, running 10.89 on my 10.84 dail to the other cars 10.24 on a 10.20 dail -- but I had 3 hundredths better light then the other racer did and I won. In the second round I thought I left just right, but I must have staged too deep, as I went red by .044 and wasted a 10.85 on my 10.84 dail.

The video to the right shows my Plymouth racing a Cuda in a time trial. The 1963 ran 10.85 @ 124. Note: the exhaust sound heard is the Cuda with open headers! My Sport Fury was all capped up and you could hardly hear my Plymouth.

We had a nice day in mid November (about 60 degrees) so I took the Mopar out for a nice cruise and, as always, the Plymouth ran great! My 1963 Sport Fury is really a nice driving car and I love driving it as much as I can.

Ron and 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury

Contact Ron:  1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, contact owner


Mopars and family; it does not get better!  smile!

Gary H.

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