Purchase advise

Hello. I’m new to this forum and am looking for honest advice.

I have an opportunity to purchase a 1957 Plymouth Fury. It’s in really bad shape as I think it has been sitting in a garage undriven for some time. I actually wasn’t even planning to purchase it but somehow the car just spoke to me organically.

Some problems apart from the fact it has been moving (the engine does turnover). The radiator is blown to hell so you can’t really drive it more than a few miles. Obviously all the tires are a couple decades old and need to be replaced. I think the fuel pump needs to be replaced, I’m sure the shocks need to be replaced, and the interior looks like a family of raccoons lived there. I’m pretty sure the carbs are going to need to be rebuilt. The body is not straight but I think that is because of loosen bolts in the doors, and there is one minor dent I think I can fix. The exhaust system is rusted out (meaning the external parts) so that will have to be replaced. The final thing is it’s not the original color, or at least I don’t think it is, because it is red over white which I don’t believe an option on Furys.

The owner is a bit of a nut job on disability from the army or something. Apparently he is a widower or something and is all alone so I don’t really know well taken care of the car may be.

But, just when I driving along on the road with my friend I saw it and was captivated. There’s a rent-by-month shop not far from here where I can work on it at nights.

In any event the seller only wants $250 for it and I am seriously thinking of picking it up. My friend says I’m crazy but wanted to get a reality check since you don’t really see a 57 Fury every day of rhe week.

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Unless you are a talented mechanic with the ability to do nearly every task including welding and paint work OR you are rich enough to pay someone to do the work, I’d pass on this car.

Even IF you do all your own work, this is a BIG, expensive job to just make this car a “driver”.

This is a money pit with no reward at the end.


Replace one wiper blade, Christine will do the rest.


What’s your budget? Ability? Tools? This will be VERY expensive (take the stuff you listed, estimate a price, multiply by 3 or 4, same for time and repair slot rental). For example, I’d be amazed if the not-straight body could be fixed by tightening a few bolts.

Do you know, or could pay, a knowledgeable restoration mechanic to take a look and give you a realistic list of all the work that would be needed?

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Am I the only person on the forum, other than the original poster, that has read the Stephen King novel “Christine”?


Stephen King not Steven

I stand corrected. I fixed the spelling.

My guess is that even a professional restorer would give you a firm quote for restoring a car in this condition. There would be far too many unknowns and expensive surprises. If you really love this car, go shopping for a nearly-restored example, and buy this one to use for parts…but only if it has $250 worth of useful parts.

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I meant to say the restorer “would NOT give you” a firm quote.

I’m sure a restorer wouldn’t give a firm quote, but they could give a list of all the work they see that would be needed. Might be an eye-opener for the OP.

Me thinks your friend is on to something here . I am going with the find one already done or even something else that appeals to you .


One more thing to watch - this era Mopar was considered a bad ruster, even in comparison to other cars of the time.

I’m with the others - since you don’t have a place to fix it, and this particular car isn’t special to you (not a family car, that kind of thing) you’ll be WAY ahead of the game in $$ and time and trouble if you just find one that’s already been fixed up.

The '57 Chrysler products had an incredible assortment of problems when they were new, but at this point the one that the OP should focus on is their severe rust issues. If this gem has “only” as much chassis/floor pan/rocker panel/fender rust damage as most of the '57 Mopars had after just 3 years, he would be very fortunate. More than likely when the car is put on a lift, he will find an appalling amount of rust damage.

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or possibly IF he can safely get it on a lift…


That is likely to be a BIG IF.

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I was going to let this go, but I just can’t. The owner EARNED being “a nutjob” through his service, who know what he has gone through. RESPECT him.


I say listen to your friend.

As others point out, this is one of the worst cars to buy used with the hope of getting some use out of it.
I had one in college and things broke and fell off that you would not expect in a normal car.

Having dinner on a main street restaurant, I suddenly noticed the car was leaning over. Sure enough, one of the torsion bars had snapped.

The corrosion protection was so bad, the front seat anchors dropped through the floor. I remember my nephew asking his mother: “How come uncle Nick looks so short when he is behind the wheel.?”

Although the car only had 60,000 miles on it, the heating ducts rusted out, letting in water on a wet day. The windshield was impossible to seal properly, and leaked the whole time I had the car

The rear view mirror was mounted on a small pedestal on the dash and vibrated itself to pieces.

I gave it to my kid brother in college; he was handy enough to get a few more yeas out of it.

A used car that needs work? You don’t want that. Let me know where the car is located and I’ll make sure you don’t lose any money on it (I’ll bring a trailer).

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uh, I’m not so sure about that. I asked around town. His daughter died from choking on a cheeseburger while wailed on her stomach in a stupid attempt to get her to vomit. His wife apparently committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning by running a hose from the exhaust of this car in to the cabin with the windows closed. So, no, I think this guy isn’t really worthy of respect.