1985 Plymouth Gran Fury Salon 318 2bbl V-8 from North America

Summary:

One of the best cars ever made

Faults:

The carburetor is getting weak.

The inside driver's side door handle broke.

The differential had to be rebuilt.

The front end alignment is really messed up.

One of the back up lights won't work, even with a new bulb.

Starting to rust around the rear wells.

The power steering pump had to be replaced.

Other than that just average stuff (spark plugs, oil, tires, etc).

General Comments:

I bought this car from the grandson of the original owner, in good condition with low miles, with some cosmetic issues (the paint was faded, some of the interior trim was sun baked, and the headliner was sagging so badly I had to take it off).

This car has been very dependable through the years, and a lot of fun to drive; the crushed velour seats are like couches, and the whole interior is really beautiful and high grade; nothing like the uncomfortable and cheap plastic interiors on modern cars. Even the color (red) is so much nicer than the black or grey you'd find nowadays.

Cruising on the highway is the best with the great ride and 2.26 rear, and gas mileage is much better than you may think; I've gotten over 30 MPG. Mileage around town is another story though; one big issue is the fuel tank is too small, so the cruising range is limited.

Visibility is great with large windows all around, and these cars are great in the snow; I've been though several snow storms and icy roads and always made it home.

What can I say about the 318? Probably the most reliable engine ever made, however the carburetor was built to run with the lean burn computer, and as a result is very complex, though mine worked well until about a year ago (needs to be rebuilt).

For the first four years, I lived an area where roads had tons of pot holes, so the alignment quickly had issues and now the front tires don't last long... also in those years rust started in the rear wheel wells (every car in the area rusts quickly with all the road salt...).

This car was built pretty stripped down (no A/C, no cassette deck, no power anything etc). Things can always be added from other Chrysler M-bodies easily, for example: I added a power split bench seat from a Dodge Diplomat, and shag carpet from a Chrysler Fifth Avenue. I also installed a factory cassette and CD player from a late '90s Dodge Caravan (the plugs are the same from '84-'02). I can't say enough good things about this car, and I'd never even think about driving anything different.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd March, 2018

24th Mar 2018, 20:17

Good review with a lot of details. I'm not a Chrysler fan, but the 318 was one of their best engines. Easy to work on too. Just be careful how you compare old vs new; some people on here can't handle it when an older car gets praised.

26th Mar 2018, 11:22

Yeah, and other people can't handle it when someone points out that older cars break down just as much as newer ones do, if not more so.

1985 Plymouth Gran Fury Base 318 V8 from North America

Summary:

Best car I've ever owned

Faults:

Minor inconveniences throughout ownership (i.e. knobs and emblems falling off, lights going out, etc.)

Transmission went out at 185000.

General Comments:

My 1985 Plymouth Gran Fury was the best car I ever owned. Bought it in September 2007, ran amazing, got 24 mpg highway, 20 mpg in town with the 2 barrel carb.

My only mistake with that car was putting the 4 barrel manifold and carb on it, broke a tooth off the distributor in the process and it never was the same again.

I had 2 choices as far as timing, either decent gas mileage and crap for power, or the balls off a bucking rodeo bull and terrible mileage. I was 17 at the time so I decided power was the way to go. Once that 4 barrel went in I was racing EVERYBODY. The carb I got for it was a little screwed up, I got about 6 mpg in town, but once it was out on the open highway I was getting 45-50 mpg.

Once the tranny went however, I couldn't afford to replace it due to the fact that I was a poor high school student. So instead of keeping it until I could save enough money, I decided to scrap it so I could buy a commuter car for school (1996 Oldsmobile Achieva, not a bad car but that's what this is about anyway).

The biggest mistake of my life was swapping out the 2 barrel for the 4 barrel. I miss that car, but I've found an '89 that I'm going to buy and restore to the beauty that was my first and favorite car of all time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2009

21st Feb 2010, 16:19

My name is Justin, I am 23 years old and I bought a 1984 Plymouth Gran Fury when I turned 22 as my "birthday present". It was a cheap 360 dollar vehicle that I negotiated from a private seller right here in good old North Dakota. His Grandma drove it the entire lifespan up to 99,000, then he sold it to me.

I still own this. It has had some issues as far as the alternator going out, battery had to be replaced, new distributor and spark plugs.

I hit a deer in September of 09, and it barely damaged the car considering I was going 70mph when I hit the deer. It has been repaired since, and it now has 110,613 miles on it, and just yesterday I drove 400 miles going to Fargo twice to see my girlfriend.

The drive is quite comfy and cozy. It can and will drive very fast. My top speed I have attained is 107mph, but it is not smart to drive this type of vehicle that fast, especially considering the age and miles. I would still like it to last a few more years.

Gas mileage is fluctuated based on how you drive this vehicle (as with any). I always fill up the tank (18 gallons), and in the winter I get about 150-200 per the 18 gallon tank... which equates to about 10 mpg!! Not the best, but it works with low cost otherwise...

I think that your comments about your experience with the Gran Fury is poor research...

Do not buy this car if it is overpriced. It is a "classic" but not entirely. They do drive well, and the V8 does have some darn good power, but in comparison to modern cars, it does not even come close.

Be sure to always get an oil change often, this does burn a lot of oil, and make sure you warm it up in the cold weather.

9th Jul 2010, 00:57

I bought my 1984 Gran Fury the year my daughter was born, 1993, and have had it ever since. I'm the third owner. Bought it with 69,000 on the clock, and now there's 162,000.

Properly tuned, it will get 17 mpg/city & 22 mpg highway. Original engine & transmission. Burns very little oil, still quiet as a church mouse, rides/drives as smooth as ever.

Most of the $$ I've spent has been cosmetic -- new paint, vinyl top, head liner; not much on mechanical parts until recently, and those mostly normal wear & tear-alternator, water pump, timing chain, fuel tank.

It's been very reliable over the years, and I can't see myself ever being without it. She's a sweet old ride, and they just don't make anything like it anymore.

22nd Mar 2016, 17:59

So by swapping a 2-bbl for a 4-bbl carb, you went from 24 MPG highway to "40-50 MPG"?

Was that only when you weren't "racing everybody"?