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Ride of the Week: The ’69 Plymouth that nearly ended up in a heap
In my world, Malibu is the absolute center of car culture. I go north and south for car shows each weekend and the same goes for museums. North is the Murphy and the Mullins and south is the Petersen and Automobile Driving Museum.
Recently, I happened to be at a show at the ADM when I spotted Scott Seidlin’s 1969 Plymouth Fury. A liquid black beauty that caught my eye on the street and wasn’t even in the show. When Seidlin came up to me, he began to fill in some of the blanks.
The Fury has a 318 engine, Torqueflite automatic tranny, power top, power disc brakes and steering, but completely stock. Only 1500 Sport Fury convertibles were ever manufactured and were equipped with the base 318 engine but could be ordered with a 383 or 440. In my mind, I could seeing barreling down the highway with the 440, the rumble tailpipe music only overshadowed by the occasional Malibu wave crashing.
Seidlin, a retired lawyer, purchased the car two years ago after randomly catching it appearing on eBay from time to time.
“Having no plans for a Sunday afternoon and no particular need or desire for an obscure unloved model, I drove to Oxnard to see it and learned that the Fury had been owned by a South Bay Mopar enthusiast who grew tired of the renewal process,” Seidlin said. “He sold the car to this Oxnard seller needing considerable assembly, paint and finishing. As I saw the car, it had been repainted but needed a top, reworking of upholstery and panel realignment.”
According to Seidlin, this car is “yuuuge.” He’s 6-foot-8 and needs it!
“Its relative size feels right, but only after I had the driver’s seat removed from its 3-[inch] pedestals and remounted to the floor and tracked back another 4 inches,” he said. “My first car was a ’65 Plymouth with a 318 engine also. Having owned a hundred cars over the years including Studebakers, Kaisers, Stockers and RestoMods, I returned to my roots. I enjoy odd or unusual cars and this car is unique, as most collectors lean towards smaller Mopars such as Challenger and Cudas or Chargers and Satellites.”
Seidlin has owned two 1951 Studebaker coupes as well as the Fury. All are used for pleasure drives as his time is now his own.
“They are all capable road cars and have been driven long distances with no difficulties,” he said.
But Seidlin’s best short story in the Fury was almost his last story.
“Shortly after purchase, I drove up the coast with the top down to enjoy the day,” he told me. “Returning home to Playa del Rey, I exited PCH at Ocean Ave at the Pier in Santa Monica. As I stopped and began to accelerate into my turn, my steering wheel turned once, then twice, then three times around and continued spinning!”
It had detached itself from the steering box!
“Had it separated just a few moments earlier, I would have been rudderless at 50mph on PCH,” Seidlin said.
That must have been a scary moment for a car and his owner.
But alive and well, Seidlin wraps it up by saying, “I figured that if this land yacht and I could survive that experience, we could share a few more on PCH.”
And yes, these cars will return many great stories as you coast the routes of SoCal in search of car shows — the best being the ones you can share with others, even if it means you risked you life to save one. And they say that flying is tough.
Thanks for your time, Scottie! You rock and so does your ride!
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