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    Plymouth Gran Fury (3rd gen) 1981-1988

    The Plymouth Gran Fury is a full-sized automobile that was manufactured by Plymouth from 1975 to 1989. The nameplate would be used on successive downsizings, first in 1980, and again in 1982, through what would originally have been intermediate and compact classes in the early 1970s, all with conventional rear-wheel drive layouts. By the time Chrysler ended M-body production in December 1988 (1989 model year), they were Chrysler's last remaining rear-wheel drive cars, with a V8 and carburetor, a configuration used since the mid-1950s. Plymouth did not have another rear-wheel drive car until the 1997 Prowler roadster.

    After Chevrolet ended production of its full-sized Caprice sedan in 1996, Ford continued production of its V8 powered rear-wheel drive Panther platform models through September 2011. In 2013, GM announced the end of Zeta platform manufacturing in Australia by 2017. At the end of 2001, the Plymouth nameplate had been discontinued, but in 2005, Chrysler's 300 and Dodge Magnum, as well as the 2006 Charger and 2008 Challenger, brought full-sized V6 and V8 powered rear- (and all-wheel-drive) sedans back to their lineup, thereby leaving Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as the only American manufacturer of full-sized V8/RWD passenger sedans.

    Before 1975, the top line models in Plymouth's Fury series were known as the "Fury Gran Coupe" and "Fury Gran Sedan". The Fury Gran Coupe model was introduced in 1970 as a highly trimmed pillared coupe. It moved to the two-door hardtop body for 1971, when a "Fury Gran Coupe" hardtop sedan was also available, renamed "Fury Gran Sedan" for 1972. The Gran Coupe and Gran Sedan models continued in 1973.

    Third generation (1981-1988)
    In 1982, Plymouth downsized the Gran Fury again, this time sharing the mid-size M platform with the Chrysler Fifth Avenue (called Chrysler New Yorker/New Yorker Fifth Avenue for 1982 and 1983) and the Dodge Diplomat. In addition to the R-body Gran Fury, the M-body Gran Fury replaced the M-body Chrysler LeBaron, which had moved to the compact K platform that year. Now considered a mid-sized car, this generation Gran Fury was close to the exterior size of what was once the compact Valiant and Volaré but offered more interior room. The M-body was in fact heavily based on the Volaré's F platform. Like its predecessor, the 1982 Gran Fury was introduced later than its Chrysler and Dodge siblings; the Chrysler LeBaron and Dodge Diplomat had used the M-body since 1977.

    1982-1989 Plymouth Gran Fury shared the Dodge Diplomat's front and rear fascias. They were virtually identical with the exception of badging. Once again, the third generation Gran Fury was available in base and higher-end "Salon" trim. As in previous years, the higher-volume Gran Fury base model catered more towards fleet customers while Gran Fury Salons were geared more towards private customers and offered options such as full vinyl roofs, velour upholstery, turbine-spoke wheels, power windows, and power locks.

    Although available to retail buyers, Gran Fury was far more popular with police departments and other fleet buyers, primarily since the car was reasonably priced and had a conventional drive-train with proven components that could withstand a good deal of abuse. The Gran Fury, however, was much less powerful than both its Big Three competitors as well as the Chrysler Corporation's earlier police offerings. The most powerful engine available to police departments was a 165 hp (123 kW) iteration of the 318 ci V8, capable of an 18.16 second quartermile in period testing - slower than the 90-hp Volkswagen Rabbit GTi.

    This generation of the Gran Fury sold in respectable numbers. However, despite having the same base prices as the Gran Fury (just under $12,000 USD for their final year), the Diplomat always outsold it, usually by several thousand units each year. The Chrysler Fifth Avenue's total sales were always more than that of the Gran Fury and Diplomat by far, even though it generally cost about $6,000 USD more. This last car to carry the Gran Fury nameplate remained largely unchanged for its 7-year run. Declining sales, a lack of promotion, and technical obsolescence—the platform dated back to the 1976 Plymouth Volare and Dodge Aspen—eventually contributed to the model's demise in early 1989. That year, a driver-side airbag became standard; this would be the last RWD Plymouth until the introduction of the Prowler. While Dodge offered the 1990 Monaco, and later the 1993 Intrepid, Chrysler never replaced the Gran Fury with any other large car in the remainder of Plymouth's lineup on through to its demise in the 2001 model year.

    Source: Wikipedia
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