The photo in last week’s contest showed the front corner of a 1972 Plymouth Fury Gran Coupe, a big two-door hardtop with hidden headlights among its features.
The split grille of that year’s model threw off some readers because it resembled various Oldsmobiles from that era. (We miss Oldsmobile, and, for that matter, Plymouth. Don’t you?)
We admit that we had to research the Fury Gran because it was one of several cars to bear the Fury name. We were familiar with the Fury I, II and III and the Sport Fury and even the Sport Fury GT, but a model called Fury Gran was way off our radars.
Many of our readers knew what it was, however, and we don’t mind learning something at the hand of you readers.
Chosen randomly from the correct entries was the name of David Anderson, of Canton, Ga., who wrote:
“For 1972, the Plymouth Sport Suburban (station wagon), Gran Fury Coupe and Gran Fury Sedan all came with the concealed headlights as standard. This could be any one of those choices, or even one of the lower non-Gran models, because later in the model year the concealed headlights became available as an option on the lower model line.
“I feel that Chrysler styling, inside and out, has always been one to show slightly more risk in an attempt to stand out from the crowd. By 1972, other manufacturers had long ago slimmed down the front bumpers from the full wraparound enclosure seen here incorporating the grille and headlights. I guess they could have been slowly morphing the front ends in preparation for the 1973 model year, when the more crash-resistant bumpers were mandated.
“Even though the 1973 Fury dropped this full front-end bumper, the more conventional-looking bumper it does have does not look like the afterthought monstrosity from most GM offerings that year.
“The first job that I got on my own was at the McDonald’s on Peach Orchard Road. I was 15, but only a few weeks from turning 16 so my transportation to and from work was mostly my own two feet. My parents (God love ’em) trusted me enough to drive my father’s 1966 Simca a few times before I turned 16, but mostly I walked.
“On a couple of those biped nights after work one of my co-workers offered me a ride home. This was the fall of 1970, and his ride was either a 1970 or 1971 Plymouth Gran Fury Coupe.
“It was also a very handsome ride and I still remember how the instrument cluster bathed the entire front seat area in a soft glow. Nothing distracting to nighttime driving, just enough that you did not have to grope for any control knob.
“I worked at that job for only a few weeks when a practical joke gone wrong on another co-worker’s 1969 Camaro (actually revenge for an earlier practical joke) required my hasty departure. But that’s a story for another What Is It?”
Other readers sending in guesses last week were:
AUGUSTA: Lowell Fritsche said: “When I first saw the picture, I said that has Plymouth written all over it. Turns out I was right. It’s a 1972 Plymouth Gran Fury. The Fury name was used on the fancier cars. This car had hidden headlights and a massive grille. Probably had a Hemi in it for a motor.”
Gary Engen wrote: “It’s a 1972 Plymouth Fury. These cars were large, as were many in the early ’70s commonly called the ‘land yacht’ era for American cars, particularly for Chrysler.
“The ’72 Fury was facelifted with the large chrome twin-loop front bumper design with hidden headlights as standard equipment in the Fury Gran Coupe and Gran Sedan models. Engine choices included a 440-cubic-inch gas-guzzling V-8.”
Tom Turner wrote: “I am guessing this might be a 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass.”
EVANS: Larry Heath wrote: “1972 Plymouth Fury Gran (sedan or coupe). This was the full-size Plymouth and was more of a luxury-type vehicle. The performance Plymouth was still based on the ’Cuda or Satellite model.
“The Fury series was similar to Dodge or Chrysler full-size cars and came standard with a 318-cubic-inch V-8 engine. Engines were available up to the 440-cubic-inch Magnum engine.
“In the early 1970s, I had a rental Fury for a few days. I recall it having a rather soft ride and sluggish steering. These vehicles were also commonly used as police vehicles during this era.”
Wayne Wilke wrote: “The What Is It? car is a 1972 Plymouth Gran Fury, which is the model that came with the hidden headlights as standard equipment. 1972 was the first year that all full-size Plymouths came standard with V-8 engines and TorqueFlite transmissions.
“Before 1972, six-cylinder engines and standard-shift transmissions were available. Full-size 1972 Chrysler Corp. cars were all long-looking with expansive flat areas (hood and trunk), and many said that they looked like aircraft carriers.”
MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski wrote: “This week’s vehicle is a 1972 Plymouth Fury Gran coupe.”
PERRY, FLA.: Larry Anderson said: “The closest thing I could find is a 1972 Plymouth Gran Fury.”
WAYNESBORO, GA.: Terry McClennon Sr. guessed it might be a 1967-68 Oldsmobile 442.