Fury Wagon is a Mix of Old and New
At last count,Terry Farrow has owned more than 54 cars since age 14. Now 56, Farrow especially loves working on muscle cars, drag cars and late-model Mopars.
He never keeps track of how much money or time he’s spent fixing them. Once they’re done, Farrow will drive them a little, but doesn’t generally grow too attached before he’s ready to sell and move on to another project.
“I try not to keep a running total of costs because then you start to think, ‘Oh, boy,’” he says. “I don’t put together cars to make money. I do it for fun and a challenge.”
One of his most recent projects is a 1963 Plymouth Fury wagon, which he found on eBay in 2012. Even if Farrow doesn’t grow attached to the car, his 4- and 7-year-old grandchildren are already in love.
“They opened the doors and didn’t understand the crank handles,” Farrow remembers. “Now they want to ride in it everywhere. It’s become a real fun family-type of car.”
Farrow remembers finding the car online with the bids coming in lower than the buy-it-now price, so he called the seller and offered about $1,600 if bids didn’t get high enough. Before long, Farrow was driving more than 600 miles from Springfield, Mo., to Wisconsin to pick up the wagon.
It only took a few months for Farrow to get the car running, a feat he accomplished after-hours from his day job as assistant manager of Rick’s Automotive in Springfield. He started the project in November of 2012, and by January of the next year, the engine could turn over, though it still had a long way to go.
“At first I thought about making a drag car out of it, but then I decided I would put a computer-controlled engine in it and make it a really easy street car,” he says.
Since then, Farrow has installed a Hemi engine and automatic transmission from a 2005 Dodge Ram, along with a new brake system, and much more. He was able to find most of the parts from salvage yards, where he’s built connections over his years of restoring cars.
The most complicated part, however, was wiring the computer system he took out of three different 2005 Dodge Ram pickups for his ’63 Plymouth—a practice that is growing in popularity, Farrow says.
“To put a computer in an early car where you have to go through the wiring and discern what does what and figure out what supplies the power … there are an awful lot of challenges,” he says.
It was the first time Farrow had taken on wiring an older vehicle with a newer computer system. He laid wiring diagrams across his kitchen table and pieced together a plan.
He soon found he had to cut out part of the car’s floor and create a new hump to make room for the wiring and late-model transmission. The car was made with buttons for manual shifting, which added to the challenge. It took four or five tries, but he finally got the buttons working as designed.
Today, the car is mechanically sound, though farrow admits that from the outside, it may not look like it’s been restored. He’s left the body just the way it was when he bought it, with all of its bumps and scratches.
“My wife asked if we were going to get it straightened out and painted, and I said, ‘Heck no! It’s got character and I like it the way it is.’ So, that’s the way it stays.”
The imperfections haven’t stopped people from showing interest in his latest project. He’s had a few offers on the Plymouth, but says he has opted to keep it, at least for a few years. It’s a decision his grandchildren are likely happy about.