Don’t Miss This Opportunity To Snag A Piece Of Mopar Hot-Rodding Greatness, All At No Reserve.
***COURTESY OF MOTORTREND.COM***
Every once in a lifetime, a collection of vintage cars comes to auction that will never happen again. In the case of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event, Spanky Assiter and the folks at Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions will sell the estate of the late John Haynie on October 13 and 14, 2021. (Haynie, a 52-year-old Mopar enthusiast, recently passed away from cancer.)
More than 250 vehicles will be auctioned exclusively online, including the 23 Mopars previewed here. Then on October 14, a second online-only auction will disburse Haynie’s large collection of new old stock (NOS) and used parts, dealership sales materials, model cars, factory service manuals, specialized tools, factory service film strips, vintage license plates, and more.
Best of all, everything is being auctioned at no reserve. The beauty of any no-reserve auction is that each offering is guaranteed to sell to the highest bidder. There will be no unrealistic reserves to protect the estate in the event of a low top bid. Their loss is your gain. For specific details on how to register to bid, go to freedomcarauctions.com.
Living on the great Texas prairie, Haynie had plenty of space on his ranch to store his collection of (mostly) Mopar cars, light trucks, and vans from the 19381990 period. Given Texas’ arid climate, most of the 250-plus vehicles being sold are very solid and free of the usual structural rust that destroys many vintage cars. That said, most are project cars in need of basic mechanical refurbishment (dry brakes, cooling systems, dead batteries, etc.) before running again.
As the pictures here show, some of the vehicles ran before being parked while others were purchased in non-running condition as project cars. Either way, massive collections like this rarely come up for sale, and the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event is sure to be one of the car hobby’s major events of 2021. To watch a cool walk-around video, go to Steve Magnante’s YouTube Channel for all the latest. Save the dates: October 13 for the car hoard, and October 14 for the parts, tools, and memorabilia.
1964 Plymouth Barracuda
Despite the tacky slime-green paint and racing stripes, this first-year Barracuda is something of an oddball. Born with Plymouth’s inaugural 273 small-block with a single two-barrel carburetor (the four barrel hi-po 273 arrived in ’65), a three-on-the-tree manual transmission sticks a pin in the sporty car theme. And although the original buyer splurged with the extra $131 for the V-8, the $180 extra cost of the A833 floor-mounted four-speed manual transmission was a bridge too far.
Probably due to its heated Texas home, a dealer-add-on Chrysler AirTemp air-conditioning system hangs under the dash. The 13-inch simulated mag-style wheel covers (with real chrome acorn lug nuts) and wood-rim steering wheel tell us the $80 Sport Group was selected during the ordering process. This super-clean (one of 64,596) 1964 Barracuda has minimal rust and is ripe for new life. It’s Lot Item 43.
1957 Chrysler New Yorker
This massive 1957Chrysler New Yorker—sitting up to its hubs in silt—is typical of the majority of the cars in the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event. Probably purchased by Haynee as a used car, it has ripened on the vine. Although once a common sight on America’s highways and byways, today these beasts have vanished. The New Yorker was Chrysler’s top-line model for ’57, and this one has the exclusive hardtop body style, without full door frames or fixed B-pillars. With the glass down, it’s an open-air riding experience bettered only by a convertible.
Just 10,948 of these land yachts were built in 1957 (plus another 12,369 four-door sedans, 8,863 two-door hardtops, 1,049 convertibles, and 1,391 Town and Country station wagons), each with the newly upsized Fire Power 392 Hemi. With minimal rust and in virtually complete condition, this one is far too nice to use as a heart donor right? It’s Lot Item 129.
1966 Dodge A100 Sportsman Van
Most people think of Bill “Maverick” Golden’s Little Red Wagon when Dodge A100s turn up. But still wearing its factory-applied green paint, the full windows in this 1966 A100 mark it as a Sportsman. Unlike the traditional panel vans, the Sportsman is more about hauling people than cargo, and it has removable bench seats to prove it. Although we didn’t see the seats in this one, we did see the desirable 273 V-8 (replaced by the 318 V-8 in 1967) and 727 automatic transmission. As always, an 8-3/4 rear axle does duty out back. Virtually free of nasty rust, this Sportsman is one of 130,726 A-series forward-control vans built in 1966, of which 9,536 were factory V-8s. (The rest had the slant-six.) This fun machine waiting to happen is Lot Item 84. Incidentally, this auction also includes a 1967 Dodge A100 van with the rare no-window body option (Lot Item 55) and a 1964 Dodge A100 with the ultra-rare walk-through body option with doors on both sides that also happens to be the 604th A-100 ever built (Lot Item 11).
1959 Dodge Coronet California Highway Patrol
Do let the black and white paint attract you. This is a real-deal 1959 Dodge Coronet Police Pursuit. How do we prove it isn’t just a two-toned wannabe? We go to the VIN where the first four characters read “M394.” This breaks down to: M=1959 model year, 3=Dodge passenger car, 9=special model, 4=Los Angeles assembly plant. The “9” is the smoking gun. This code was only used on police models and certain fleet models. By the way, ho-hum taxis carry 6 (six-cylinder) or 8 (eight-cylinder) in this critical third position, and ho-hum V-8 family cars carry 1, 3, 5, or 7. Again, the 9 marks this as a cop car, and that’s cool, cool, cool! The “4” (Los Angeles assembly plant) suggests the California Highway Patrol was the initial buyer (explaining the black and white paint scheme). Three V-8 engines were offered in the 1959 Coronet Police Pursuit: the base 326ci polyspherical Red Ram, the midlevel D-500 V-8 383 four-barrel, and the top-dog Super D-500 Pursuit 383 with dual quads. This amazing survivor has the midlevel D-500 383 backed by a three-speed Torqueflite automatic with push buttons.
Other police-spec goodies include 12-inch drum brakes all around; heavy-duty axle, springs, and driveshaft; and a unique instrument cluster with a certified 120-mph speedometer and an ultra-rare mechanical oil pressure gauge. Best of all, it still has the red “pull-over” lamps on the front fender and rear package tray. Book ’em, Dano! This is Lot Item 66.
1967 Plymouth Fury Police Package
Let’s keep the police theme running for Lot Item 86, a 1967 Plymouth Fury I four-door Police Pursuit. Usually the Fury I (the lowest member of the Fury I, II, and III hierarchy) is a bland family machine with 318 two-barrel motivation and Disney World stickers on the rear bumper, but that’s not the case when the VIN has the letter “K” in the second spot. That’s the series code for the police package. (Codes E, L, H, M, and S appear on “family grade” Fury models, and “T” marks a taxi.) As a Police unit, this Fury I has the same 11-inch drum brakes as a Hemi GTX plus specific heavy-duty suspension, ball joints, and driveshaft. And you must love those fleet/police/taxi 15×5.5 steel wheels with their unique tab-type hub cap retainers, which wear the same generic chrome dome hub caps used on Mopar police and taxi models since 1948.
Popping the myth that all cop cars pack the hottest ammunition under hood, this one has the midlevel G-code 383 two-barrel backed by a heavy-duty 727 Torqueflite. It may be a four-door barge, but make no mistake, this K-code Plymouth squad car is much more than meets the eye. We especially dig the “Special Order” fender tag! You should, too.
1962 Dodge Police Car
Another early Mopar wearing those austere 15×5.5 wheels with hub cap clips, this 1962 Dodge Dart four-door has the all-important “9” in the second spot of the VIN. As with the 1959 Dodge Coronet Police Pursuit (Lot Item 66 in this auction), the “9” tells us this low-option four-door is a “special” series, i.e. built for police service. On lesser Dart models, this spot contains code 10 (fleet), 8 (taxi), 4 (Polara 500), 3 (Dart 440), or 2 (Dart 330). This 1962 Dart holds a special place in police car lore. Because these 1962 Darts (and their Plymouth Savoy cousins) were based on Chrysler’s all-new 1962 downsized B-Body platform, law enforcement agencies initially balked at the much smaller vehicles and longed for the larger 19601961 Dodge police models. In mid-1962, Dodge released the 1962-1/2 Custom 880 (a 1962 Chrysler Windsor with a 1961 Dodge front clip) to soothe the aches, but Dodge also continued with these midsize B-Body cop cars, and this one packs the base 318ci poly V-8 with a two-barrel carb and new-for-’62 all-aluminum 727 push-button Torqueflite automatic. This may not be the Dart’s top-dog 361ci four-barrel, but otherwise it’s cop city all the way with a heavy-duty Leece-Neville 100-amp alternator with dual belt drive to supply the juice needed to run the radio and lights.
Inside, there’s heavy-duty bench seating, a factory radio-delete plate, and a super-rare 120-mph certified speedometer. Although its sheetmetal is ultra-clean and Max Wedge restorers might be tempted to pull this one apart so a Maxie (or Maxie clone) might live, that’d be a shame. These cop cars simply don’t exist anymore, except here. It’s Lot Item 142.
1961 Dodge Lancer “Shorty” Station Wagon
Your eyes don’t deceive you. This 1961 Dodge Lancer wagon (Lot Number 102) is much shorter than usual. Long ago someone with fairly strong skills transformed this four-door wagon into a pert little two-door. A close look at the surgery zone reveals minimal scars. Inside, several inches of pure Texas prairie dust coat everything, but not so much that you can’t make out the odd mix of a clutch pedal and empty Torqueflite push-button panel to the left of the steering wheel. We’ll guess it was born a Torqueflite but the funsters swapped in a floor-shifted manual along the way. Under the hood, the slant-six and transmission are missing, but a dual-circuit manual brake master cylinder hints that someone did the upgrade years ago. It’s an oddball, and it deserves to live again! Best of all, the custom-length shorty driveshaft sits on the floor inside! This first-year Lancer is one of 74,773 built that year, of which only 9,700 were station wagons.
1959 Plymouth Sport Fury
The Fury arrived in 1956 as Plymouth’s first-ever high-performance image car—some would say it’s a muscle car. By 1959, after three years as a two-door-only fun machine, Plymouth demoted the Fury nameplate by adding four doors and wagons and allowing base V-8 engines into the mix (but no sixes yet). But when you add “Sport” to Fury (as Plymouth did for 1959), you get Lot Item 126, a 1959 Plymouth Sport Fury fastback. Also offered in convertible form (but no four-doors or wagons in ’59), the Sport Fury could be had with the base 230-horsepower 318 two-barrel poly mill, but also often had the extra-cost four-barrel 318 for 260 horses or big-block 361 Golden Commando with a single Carter AFB and 305 horsies.
The engine bay is empty on this one, but the three-speed push-button Torqueflite automatic remains, as does the factory-installed dual exhaust, indicators it was a four-barrel car of either the 318 or 361 variety. Beyond all that, the Exner-schemed Forward Look body is nearly mint and retains much of the impossible-to-find trim. We can see this one with an 8.4-liter Viper V-10, a tube frame, and a big, shiny Riddler Award trophy. All it needs is you. Of the 23,857 Sport Furys built in 1959, 17,867 were two-door fastbacks like this. The rest were convertibles (don’t you dare!).
1964 Plymouth Belvedere Sedan
This one is sad. At first it seems to be a nearly pristine 1964 Plymouth Belvedere post sedan, the stuff of Max Wedge and A864 Race Hemi clone dreams. That it is, until you realize it was rolled over on its side many moons ago. The folded front fender, lightly scuffed roof, and wrinkled quarter panel once bore the weight usually carried by the tires. But that was then. Today, these 196265 “post sedans” are in such demand folks are taking four-doors and transforming them into two-doors. Suddenly fixing this roll-over doesn’t seem so bad. It was born with a 318 poly and push-button Torqueflite with the usual bench seat interior associated with these midlevel B-Bodies. But that less-is-more vibe played (and still plays) perfectly into the factory Super Stock scheme. This thing is super solid underneath with none of the thick rust normally associated with these relics. Of the 93,529 Belvederes built in 1964, just 5,364 were two-door post sedans like this. It’s so original it still has its (final-year) two-piece axle 8-3/4 rear end and ball-and-trunion driveshaft. This thing so deserves to be reborn into a Race Hemi clone. It’s Lot Item 89.
1964 Dodge Polara 500
While we’re in a Super Stock mood, let’s examine Lot Item 111, a 1964 Dodge Polara 500. Although it lacks the less-is-more sedan roof configuration, these sleeker hardtops have their place in the 426 Max Wedge/Race Hemi firmament. And while this top-tier Polara 500’s factory-installed air conditioning, power brakes, and power steering run against the austere vibe of the hardcore aluminum-paneled factory lightweights, it’s still a cool machine worthy of revival. The big deal here is the “500” part of the Polara 500 nameplate. As in 1962 and 1963, the Polara 500 was Dodge’s sportiest offering and included then-exotic interior goodies like bucket seats and a center console with a floor-mounted shifter. It’s all still here, plus the rare option of power windows, a $102 upcharge back in the day.
There’s no engine in this one, so it’s ready for your 512ci stroker, Max Wedge cross-ram intake manifold, Max Wedge exhaust manifolds, and Max Wedge exhaust system, with those crazy bolt-on dump caps. Heck, it even has a set of skinny 15×4.5 Cragar SS wheels up front. Of the 64,900 Polaras built in 1964, just 18,400 were Polara 500s with the sexy “sports car” bucket seat gut. And remember, like everything in this auction, it sells at no reserve!
1956 Chrysler Industrial Generator
You’ve probably seen pictures of those bright red Chrysler air raid sirens used back in the Cold War to warn us to “duck and cover” if cold turned hot and the Ruskie missiles flew. Well this is yet another item in the Chrysler Industrial catalog, a portable synchronous electric generator. Although the ultra-duty EM (Electric Machinery Manufacturing Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota) generator is of interest to historians of commercial, construction, and welding equipment, it’s the Chrysler Hemi attached to it that’s got us amped up. Since 1931, Chrysler’s Marine and Industrial Division (the Marine part actually started in 1927) has offered a broad range of engines for use in tractors, fire pumps, cement mixers, street sweepers, forklift trucks, welders, irrigation pumps, air compressors, portable sawmills, motor homes, cranes, shovels, and many other devices not usually associated with road vehicles. And while most of these engines were built more for endurance than high horsepower, the mighty Fire Power Hemi was often tasked in the game.
This unit is Lot Item 300, an appropriate number because of its interest to owners and restorers of Chrysler’s Hemi-powered 300 letter car series of 19551958 (as well as first-gen Hemi hot rodders). For added rpm capability, these letter car 300s (1955 C300, 1956 300-B, 1957 300-C, and 1958 300-D) got solid lifters in place of the hydraulic lifters used on the other 90 percent of the 331, 354, and 392 Hemis. Well, it just so happens that these same solid lifters, and the all-important adjustable rocker arms that go with them, are used in most Chrysler Industrial Hemis. The small clearance bumps seen between the spark plug tube holes seen in the picture are the tip-off that rare and vital adjustable rocker arms lurk within. Today, these adjustable rocker arms are worth literally thousands of dollars to builders of hopped-up early Hemis because of their scarcity. It’s a bit sad to predict, but most likely this nifty 354 Hemi-powered generator will be purchased solely for its rocker arms by a well-grounded, positive individual. Zap!
1967 Dodge Coronet
Not so long ago, we wouldn’t have looked twice at a car like Lot Item 87, this 1967 Dodge Coronet four-door sedan. But again, the passage of time has revived interest in cars like this. To older viewers who recall them when they were either new or just used cars sitting in high-school parking lots, eyes immediately focused on the front fender emblems where three possible castings existed, “V8”, “383 Four Barrel” or “426 Hemi” (no emblem signified “lowly” Slant Six anti-status). Here we see the “V8,” which more often than not designated the boring 273 or 318 2-barrel LA series small-block. But that wasn’t always the case. Here, the fifth spot of the VIN shows the letter G; this is a 383 two-barrel car! Perched just below the 325-horsepower 383 four-barrel, the 270-horsepower 383 got a single Carter BBD two-barrel carb, 9.2:1 compression, single exhaust, and a milder cam. Note how the bottoms of the rear quarter panels are thin, crisp, and straight. There’s no Bondo in this one, and goodies include power steering, factory air conditioning, and manual drum brakes. Swap a Carter AFB in place of the twin throat, tidy up the bent grille, and this will be one heck of a daily driver for much less than any two-door!
1962 Plymouth Savoy
When new, the 1962 Plymouth and Dodge styling drew criticism from most observers. One critic called it the “plucked chicken look” wherein the shape of the underlying bones was covered by tightly stretched skin. And when compared to a same-year Chevy Impala “bubble top” or Ford Galaxie (with its formal T-Bird roof) the Mopars were certainly in a different league. But time has healed the wounds and now we recognize the 1962 B-Body Mopars as the beginning of a winning recipe of light unitized construction. Then there were the optional engines. As if the 361 four-barrel and very rare dual-quad 383/343 weren’t potent enough, the mighty 413 Max Wedge arrived with its outrageous cross-ram induction, streamlined cast-iron exhaust manifolds, and real-deal dump-cap dual exhaust system. Rated at 410 horsepower, these “orange monsters” fed power to either an antiquated Borg-Warner T-85 three-speed with floor shift or the ultra-modern all-aluminum 727 Torqueflite automatic with push-button shift controls. Instant low-13 second e.t.s resulted on street tires, and the legend was born.
Selling as Lot Item 98, this 1962 Plymouth Savoy was born with the 225 slant-six and a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission, the opposite of a Max Wedge Super Stocker. But that can be changed. A close inspection reveals minimal surface rust, let’s call it a “Texas sun tan.” The interior is gutted, but the vertical plastic parking brake lever delete cover (used on three-speed manual cars) is still present. This 1962 Plymouth Savoy two-door sedan (with the all-important less-is-more full door frames and fixed B-pillar) is one of 18,825 built. Although records are not perfect, educated sources say somewhere around 300 413 Max Wedges went into these Plymouths (plus a reported 210 Dodge Maxies in ’62). Why not build a clone? The raw material is right here.
1957 Plymouth Plaza Hemi Hot Rod
All new for 1957, this “Forward Look” Plymouth Plaza is one of the most interesting hot rods in the collection. Born a base-level Plaza with either the 277, 301, or 318ci polyspherical head V-8, it now packs something no Plymouth could have until 1964: a Hemi. Swapped in by a sneaky hot rodder at some point in the car’s history, a Chrysler Hemi of unknown displacement now lurks beneath Virgil Exner’s slick pancake-style hood. The best guess is that it’s a 354 or a 392 from a non-300 application because the rocker covers lack any Fire Power, Imperial, Industrial, or Marine markings and are also devoid of the clearance humps needed for adjustable rocker arms. We couldn’t see the machined pad at the front of the block, so exact displacement/origins are unknown. But what is known is that an aftermarket aluminum intake manifold packs a pair of Edelbrock four-barrels.
This lowly Plaza has the heart of a 300! Inside, the base bench seat interior packs another major surprise. Instead of the hefty, sluggish cast-iron automatic, a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission connects to the original style nut-and-cotter-pin rear axle. This thing is a super sleeper masquerading as a 230-cube flathead six on the outside but packing an easy-breathing hemispherical V-8. This thing could have rewritten the American Graffiti script. Like most of the offerings in the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction event, it’s super clean and solid. Park this baby in front of the sock hop then collect pink slips later. It’s Lot Item 67.
1959 Plymouth Custom Suburban Station Wagon
Chevrolet was first to use the Suburban nameplate, but we can’t forget that Plymouth shared it for use on certain station wagons, like Lot Item number 279, this 1959 Plymouth Custom Suburban two-door station wagon. One of only 1,852 made, it’s got the standard 230-horsepower polyspherical-headed 318 V-8 backed by the $189 Powerflite two-speed automatic. Otherwise, it’s basic with manual steering, brakes, and windows. One splurge item inside is the original AM push-button radio, a $59 extravagance. With its extremely uncommon two-door body configuration, this one is begging for a fun-oriented beach-cruiser restomod conversion with a third-gen 6.4 Hemi, four-wheel disc brakes, and air conditioning.
1966 Dodge Coronet 500
Although the late John Haynie’s tastes leaned more toward finned ’50s Mopars, he also appreciated his fair share of ’60s iron, like this 1966 Dodge Coronet 500 hardtop. Lot item 257, it’s super solid with excellent quarter panels, front fenders, and trunk floor. The first year for Dodge’s redesigned B-Body undercarriage and more angular body lines, the mighty Coronet R/T would sprout from its bones a year later.
This one has the G-code 383 two-barrel big-block backed by a console-shifted 727 Torqueflite and is loaded with power drum brakes, power steering, and factory air conditioning. Sweet mid-’70s road wheels with trim rings add some spice. Under the hood, amid decades worth of accumulated rodent apartments, is the 383 with its intake manifold and driver-side rocker arms missing. The orange paint on the engine suggests it’s been rebuilt and probably hopped up a bit along the way. Like the rest of the hoard, it’ll need a total revisit of mechanical systems and a major hose-out before driving resumes, but what a solid example it is in this world of rust buckets and rebuilt wrecks.
1960 Plymouth Fury Crash Car
This 1960 Plymouth Fury four-door is Lot Item 110. It may not seem like much, but without it, the rest of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard wouldn’t exist. That’s because John Haynie was a huge fan of Stephen King’s 1983 novel and movie “Christine. “You know, the one about the demonically possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury? Haynie was so impressed with the feature film he bought this very Plymouth. It isn’t a ’58, but the general Exner-era wonderful weirdness is still in full bloom. One day, Haynie was driving along in this one when blam, it crashed. Haynie wasn’t badly hurt, but he was briefly trapped by the crumpled steering column (note the deformed cowl). It’s a basic 318 two-barrel with a push-button automatic. And while the entire nose is gone, its radical twin-boom tail fins are nearly mint and rust free. Buy it as a memorial to John Haynie’s good taste in gathering these treasures, or slice off the fins and build that Man Cave couch you’ve been dreaming of.
1960 Plymouth Plaza
Here’s another 1960 Plymouth, but it’s from the opposite end of the price structure. It’s a low-line Plaza four-door sedan with the first-year 225ci slant-six and first-year aluminum-case 904 Torqueflite automatic transmission. It’s Lot Item 201 and as a 1960 represents the first year for Chrysler Corporation’s big switch from body-on-frame architecture to semi-unitized construction, where everything from the firewall back is an envelope of metal. The front clip is still of the bolt-on nature, kind of like a 1966-up Chevy Nova or any 19671981 Camaro. Another cool detail is how for 1960 only the 225ci slant-six got a sweet aluminum intake manifold. From 1961 through the mid-’70s, slant-six intake manifolds (except the rare Hyper-Pak four-barrel of 19601962) were bulky cast iron. Like most of the Great Texas Hoard, this finned flyer is very solid, and the surface rust on the body is exactly that, on the surface.
1964 Plymouth Fury Body Shell
Speaking of unitized body construction, this 1964 Plymouth Fury two-door hardtop has had its inner fender walls sliced away, leaving the lower frame rails exposed. The nose is missing, but just look at those sweet, clean rear quarter panels. Born a 225ci slant-six car with a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission and factory air conditioning, this puppy is begging to be reborn as an altered-wheelbase Match Basher. Not feeling that? OK, how about a clone of King Richard Petty’s Daytona-dominating No. 43 NASCAR racer? Either way, it’s packed with potential and is so original it still has the headache-inducing two-piece rear axles stuffed within the 8-3/4 rear end. It’s Lot Item 288, and it’s a good one!
1970 Dodge D-100 Pickup Truck
Texans love their pickup trucks, and this 1970 Dodge D-100 is something very special. It’s Lot Item 259, and what sets it apart is the factory-optional 383ci big-block and sporty bright yellow paint. Let’s remember, as far back as 1964 Dodge was building muscle trucks like the 426 wedge-powered Custom Sports Special, which came with special traction bars to tame axle hop, a full 14 years before the Little Red Express appeared in 1978.
The 199-horsepower (as listed on the metal trim tag) 383 two-barrel V-8 is missing, but its water pump, alternator brackets, center-dump exhaust manifolds, air cleaner, and other miscellaneous goodies sit on the cab floor. Built with a 3.23:1 axle ratio (Sure Grip status is unknown) and manual drum brakes and steering, factory options include air conditioning, an AM radio, and a column-shifted 727 automatic transmission. The plastic Jiffy Jet windshield washer reservoir still hangs from the underhood bracket, and the body has the usual minor dents and scrapes plus some early-stage rust-through along the roof rain trough. As interest in all early pickup trucks continues to blossom, unmolested “cores” like this are less easily found.
1981 Plymouth Gran Fury Police Package
In 1996, a survey was taken of 200 city, county, state police, and highway patrol departments seeking the most popular Mopar squad car of all time. The winner, surprisingly, was not the mighty 440 Magnumpowered 1969 Dodge Polara Pursuit, but rather the 19791980 Dodge St. Regis/Plymouth Gran Fury. Despite the smaller E58 small-block 360 V-8, cops loved these R-Body cruisers for their combo of good handling, excellent brakes, and massive interior volume. This 1981 Plymouth Gran Fury Police Package is Lot Item 60 and is one of the herd, but with an exception. While it’s got the same extra body welds, rubber floormats, heavy-duty front bucket seats, and supreme brakes and suspension, federal smog laws canceled the 360 for 1981. This left the E48 heavy-duty 318ci four-barrel as the top dog, and we do mean dog.
Much to the cops’ surprise, top speed was just 115 mph, and bad guys easily got away. The E58’s dual exhaust was gone, as well, replaced by a single tail pipe fed by a catalyst-equipped smog system replete with air injection, EGR, and all the other stuff associated with smog-era V-8s. Some 41 years later, these items make cars like Lot Item 60 more interesting. As the last year for full-size R-Body Mopar squad cars, this 1981 Gran Fury is special.
1988 Plymouth Gran Fury Ohio State Highway Patrol Car
We don’t know how the late John Haynie did it, but this 1988 Plymouth Gran Fury AHB (Police package) still has the lights, siren, and graphics it wore when it was an active Ohio State Highway Patrol unit three decades ago. Typically (by law, actually), this stuff has to be scrubbed clean before these cars are sold to the public at fleet auction. But here it is, complete with the certified 125-mph speedometer, full gauge package, and supplemental mechanical oil pressure gauge installed by the Ohio fleet garage. Other goodies include the M.P.H. Industries K55 radar unit, Federal Signal Corporation Interceptor radio and siren controller, General Electric tuning equipment, and Jet-Sonic roof-mounted emergency lights.
Under the hood is the expected ELE-code 318ci small-block V-8 equipped with a Rochester Quadra-Jet four-barrel making 175 net horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Despite the meager rating, in the 1988 Michigan State Police performance test, the Gran Fury AHB did 060 in 11.6 seconds (the Ford 55H Crown Victoria did it in 11.9, Chevrolet Caprice 9C1 took 10.6) and topped out at 117 mph (the same as the Ford 55H and 1 mph faster than the Chevy 9C1). By contrast, Ford’s rule-bending Mustang SSP cranked 060 in 6.9 seconds and topped out at 134 mph. As the lone rear-drive offering from Chrysler Corporation’s all-front-wheel-drive era, this ’88 Gran Fury AHB police unit deserves respect, and a place in someone’s collection.
Plymouth Fury I Police Model
This 1970 Plymouth Fury I two-door sedan is Lot Item 273, and it’s a real oddball. First off, it’s a rarely seen Fury two-door sedan. Dig the fixed B-pillar; most two-door Furys were sleek hardtops of the Sport Fury and Sport Fury GT personal luxury variety, and this is a police unit. (The “K” in the second place of the PK21G0D268130 VIN is the police code.) A two-door police car—did they make them? Sure! It’s often forgotten that since the advent of high-speed interstates and freeways in the early 1950s, law enforcement agencies deployed light, inexpensive V-8-powered two-door models to “intercept” speeders. Because issuing speeding tickets was the main task (not arresting hardened criminals), there was no need for a back seat or a second set of doors. In today’s world of SUVs and crossovers, the popularity of two-door police cars is nonexistent. This one is fairly typical with its G-code (fifth spot of VIN) 318 two-barrel small-block. Its red-and-white paint scheme suggests it was a fire department unit and not a high-speed interceptor. According to the fender tag, options include B41 power front disc brakes, a D36 heavy-duty Torqueflite transmission, an F15 75-amp alternator (it’s massive!), an F36 Unity articulated A-pillar spotlight, F38 roof light reinforcement, and Y39 special order (with a second fender tag stamped “special order”). That’s the good news. The bad news is the 1973 Michigan license plate found inside the car. Having spent at least three years in the rust belt, the rear quarter panels have been repaired with plenty of plastic body filler, and rust-through has blossomed around the rear window. Inside, the cool 140-mph-certified speedometer and fleet-spec rubber floor complete the cop vibe, but the non-breathing floormat has probably trapped plenty of moisture and fostered rusty floors. With only 2,353 of these lowly Fury two-door pillar coupes built in 1970, we can assume that only a splinter of that total are PK21 law enforcement units. It’s rare, it’s rusty, but it deserves to live on.
This leaves me curious—do those laws apply to this auction, as well? Would someone bidding on this risk legal complications with the associated LEO hardware? Or is it old enough that no one would care?