Matthew Keij



Poortvliet, Netherlands
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Faulkner
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Matthew Keij

Post by Faulkner » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:29 pm

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Here are just a few pix of Matthew's extraordinary Sport Fury convertible. Read all about his prodigious efforts to correct issues, rebuild the engine, etc. throughout Forum. More pix, Matthew! I will place them here.

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"If it's new, Image Plymouth's got it!"

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Faulkner
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The former owner

Post by Faulkner » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:45 pm

Matthew's convertible was acquired in 2010 from Roger Howard, a former member of this Forum. For the sake of posterity - and just because, I never throw anything away that's all things '59 Plymouth! - I post some pix and commentary from Roger here. -Dan

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Roger says, I bought my Belvedere convertible, sight unseen, from Exner-era Mopar vendor Dave Donley, who resides in MN. He had purchased the car from an Iowa carpenter, had hauled it home, and advertised it in Hemming's Motor News, where I spied the ad.

Since the car spent its entire life in the central Iowa region, it was easy enough to write to the Iowa DMV and request a list of prior owners. However, the list arrived with the prior owners' addresses blanked out, due to new privacy laws!

I probably should not admit that the marker they used did not sufficiently hide all information, so with the help of Anywho.com, Reverse White Pages, and some other Internet services, I tracked down and contacted eight of the nine previous owners, or their survivors. I gotta say survivors, because, remember, this Plymouth was new 45 YEARS AGO!

I won't bore you with specifics. Let me just say that this was a 'fair weather car' to most of its owners! Each owner (except #8) owned the car for two years or less. Most of them were not even 20 years old at the time. One owner took it to Yellowstone where the head gasket blew. Two owners reported electrical problems, melting wire insulation, and a horn that would sound by itself upon left turns.

Another owner admitted the car was used primarily for 'parking"' if you know what I mean. In fact, that particular woman married her mechanic, sold the car, then bought the car back, ( for more fun?)! The car spent most of its life around Fort Dodge.

The owners who owned it the longest (16 years) were neighbors of the 'parkers' just mentioned. These new owners (#7) had over 125 cars on their farm, according to the widow. She told me she didn't recall the car..her feeling was it was probably stored with many others, awaiting restoration that would never come.

Owner #8 was a retired man who wanted to restore it, but again it didnt happen. He sold it to the carpenter (#9) who began a restoration only to give up in the face of such a big challenge.

So I am #10. They must use salt on Iowa roads, as the car was very nearly unrestorable..frame and body rust were extensive! The car was, however, complete, and we were able to splice it together with a SF hardtop to come up with the Sport Fury convertible it is today...(WA State Rules state that the frame and drivetrain define the title of the vehicle.)

Purchased June 1994, as a Belvedere convertible, bought sight unseen from Iowa... it arrived at my house so rusted out that the leaf springs had broken in transit. Virtually no floors, or rockers. Body and frame were rusted beyond reasonable repair. Uh-oh.

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...I then located a stripped-out junkyard Sport Fury hardtop, and the two cars merged into one. It is now titled in WA as a Sport Fury convertible. The car still needs top and boot canvas, and inner door panels, and of course the 'bugs' worked out of it (leaky P/S, needs front end re-build)... The interior upholstery was re-done as original, thanks to materials supplied by SMS Auto Fabrics, Portland, OR, and Original Auto Interiors, MI.

It has a 1961 Chrysler 361 w/ torqueflite. Some of the options are factory a/c, Mirror-Matic, dual antennae, power windows, power seats, and front bumper wings.

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I also have the Autronic Eye, but I have not decided whether to install it. I had the radio improved by FLFrank...he revived it and added a CD input jack. The car is licensed and insured, but it is still in the 'local road test' mode!

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"If it's new, Image Plymouth's got it!"

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Inaugural Run 5/31/04

Post by Faulkner » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:47 pm

"This first picture was taken on the ferry to Vashon Island, WA."

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"As this was my inaugural run (first time more than 3 miles from home), I was a bit nervous, but the car proved dependable. The one thing that happened was the power window master acted up again, and I could not close the drivers window for awhile. Fortunately it did not rain!"

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"Here is the list I compiled after I got home:

1) windows are not aligned properly (means pulling seats out and doorpanels off...ugh)
2) must get the proper size fan belt!
3) one headlight burned out
4) brakes need tightening (pedal goes almost to floor)
5) torsion bars need tightening (note how low it sits in front)
6) need different headlite switch...dash lites won't come on
7) one sunvisor hook broke off
8 ) steering needs to be tightened..could mean new balljoints, etc.

That ought to keep me busy for awhile!"
"If it's new, Image Plymouth's got it!"

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Puget Sound Regional Chapter Meeting 6/6/04

Post by Faulkner » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:49 pm

Roger says, "Each month our Puget Sound Regional Chapter has a meeting. This time they combined it with an annual picnic that one of the club members throws. The meeting was held in Snohomish, WA." Roger reports that the car was very well received...

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"If it's new, Image Plymouth's got it!"

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Roadtrip to Kennewick, WA 6/26/04

Post by Faulkner » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:51 pm

"We have this evening returned from our roadtrip to Kennewick, WA. Roundtrip mileage approximately 500 miles. Entered a show with 500 others cars, was one of 50 who got a 'cool Ride' plaque, which included a turn to drive down the main drag while the announcer read our names.
The car performed well. Several things do need attention, that is for sure. The speedometer reads 20% higher than actual. The power brakes don't feel very powerful. (I will install the Karps re-built booster). And these old convertibles are full of roadnoise... both wind and engine! My ears are still ringing. But it never over heated, even though the air temperature was over 100*. My wife wants me to complete the a/c installation ASAP!
This week I will try to flush and refresh various engine fluids..(radiator, and oil), and attend to the various leaks and loose screws..."

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Puget Sound WPC Club Newsletter, 12/04

Post by Faulkner » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:55 pm

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Roger's car was featured in the December '04 Newsletter of the Walter P. Chrysler Club, Puget Sound Chapter. The editor, Larry Zappone, graciously consents for the article by Hank Palmer to appear here.
Hank Palmer wrote: IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS

In mid-1956, the Chrysler Corporation introduced Plymouth’s Fury as a two door hardtop. In 1959 the Fury model line-up was expanded to a “regular series” with several versions. At the top of the line was the Sport Fury, a two door hardtop and convertible in the $3,000 to $3,300 range. In the Puget Sound WPC we are fortunate to have a member who owns a Sport Fury convertible, because only 5,500 were ever built.

Meet Roger Howard. Ten years ago, Roger purchased his car from a man in Ottertail Minnesota for $1,850 (which hardly seems fair when you consider the original price of the car). Since then Roger has spent countless hours finding parts and putting together a Fury that is full of options. This car is loaded, with a 361 cubic inch “Commando 395” (an $87 option in 1959), air conditioning, power windows, and much more. If Plymouth made it for 1959, Roger found it, restored it, and put it on the car. The anodized side moldings are beautiful! The chrome is all renewed. To put it all together, Roger purchased 5 cars to find everything he needed. His wife must be very supportive of our hobby! There are several things that stand out about this machine. We took it for a ride and the Sport Fury lives up to its name. The ride is “taut”compared to the typical cars of the period. It is surprisingly nimble in the corners even though it is a large car. Plymouth advertised the Commando 395 to have 305 bhp @ 4600 rpm with 395 ft pounds of torque. It has lots of power! But what stands out most about this car is the meticulous attention to detail Roger paid to the restoration. He went the extra mile to recreate this car in its original form... From the seat material to the buckles that garnish the doors, the car has been restored to the condition it was in when it came off the factory line.

I was impressed with Roger’s work. Inside a photo album is a living record of the restoration. The car started out badly rusted, and required many difficult decisions about what to replace and what to keep. There were many rusted-through areas in the floor, rocker panels, side panels, and other places. The original top was mostly gone, letting years of weathering take its toll. It was not a project to be taken on by the faint of heart, but Roger persevered and prevailed. His book contains several photographs of piles of car parts discarded for want of a rust free vehicle. From this almanac one can see how it required body parts from 5 different cars! In very creative ways, Roger was able to bring back a piece of history to beautiful condition.
Roger was a great host. When you see him, ask to see his photo album. The restoration is as amazing as the car, so get the story behind the paint job. If you are driving around and happen across a big red convertible with a white top be sure to wave. There just can’t be too many ’59 Furys running around!
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Roger's Wild Ride

Post by Faulkner » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:56 pm

OK, maybe not so wild. But the videography is superb!

"If it's new, Image Plymouth's got it!"

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