Retro Obsession: 1958 Plymouth Fury “Christine”
An autumn red 1958 Plymouth Fury rolls off the Detroit assembly line in John Carpenter’s Christine. 1983. Via.
One night as I was turning into my driveway, I saw the odometer numbers on my car turn from 9999.9 to 10,000. I found myself wondering if there might not be a story in an odometer that ran backward-the car, I thought, would get “younger” instead of older, finally collapsing into its component parts. The next day I started writing it. I thought it would be a funny short story-a kind of American Graffiti. Instead, a fairly long novel came out, a supernatural tale about girlfriends, boyfriends, and Christine.
1958 marked the third model year for Plymouth’s top-of-the-line performance model, the Fury two-door hardtop. It was the first of the then traditional gold-trimmed Buckskin Beige speedsters to come out with the rest of the lineup at the start of the model year and the last to be a single model with its status unquestioned. Via.
Optional on all models, Fury included, was Plymouth’s first crack at the new B-block, which came in at 350 cubes, two more than Chevrolet and two fewer than Ford big blocks for 1958. Two Carter four-barrels were on top, compression was 10:1 and the advertised horsepower rating was 305. This engine package was dubbed Golden Commando. Via.
FIT & FINISH
Belvedere side trim included a single, full-length distinctive horizontal molding slanting from headlamp level towards the back fender. Ahead of the taillights, the molding angled up towards the top of the fin. When the optional “Sport Tone” finish was added, a lower molding was included that ran from above back bumper and tapered towards the upper molding at the front fender tip. The area inside the moldings was then finished with contrasting colors, usually matching the roof. Via.
It’s starring role in “Christine” helped to make the 1958 Plymouth Fury a cult favorite among car collectors. Its value remains high due to this “celebrity” tie-in demand and a low production number of just 5,303.
While these Fury hardtops were originally available only in Buckskin Beige set off by eye-catching gold-anodized aluminum “Sportone” inserts, even those that are incorrectly repainted in “Christine” red and white still command $75,000 to $85,000 in top condition and are usually marketed with all the movie memorabilia added in the deal. Via.
The Moochie Chase Scene Fury. Via.
A destroyed Christine following her run-in with Buddy Repperton and his gang. 1983. Via.
John Carpenter instructs Keith Gordon on the set of Christine. 1983. Via.
Arnie (Keith Gordon) and his girl Leigh (Alexandra Paul) inspect the damage to Christine in this movie production still. 1983. Via.
A perfectly restored 1958 Plymouth Fury “Christine.” Via.