Published: 27-Jun-2012 15:13
It may not be the most modified vehicle we’ve ever featured in NZV8, but Catho Vincent’s ’66 Plymouth Fury is potentially the brightest. Like the lady herself, the car is certainly no shrinking violet and sure knows how to turn heads. Over the last few years the car has been a common sight at events around Waikato and the upper North Island, and just like Catho, it’s often heard before it’s seen.
Sometimes you’ll hear the massive Pioneer/Fusion/Soundstream audio system from a block away, but chances are what you’re more likely to hear is Catho and her girls laughing their heads off, having the time of their lives. It’s this infectious laughter and personality that have rubbed off on the car and everyone involved with the build, and helped to make it the attention-grabber that it is. Sure, there’s been ups and downs along the way, but now that she’s got her dream car, she’s making the most of it and sharing the happiness the car gives with as many people as she can.
Cars are a family thing for the Vincent family, with Catho’s recently departed dad being a big supporter who loved nothing more than getting out in the Fury with Catho and her kids. It was husband Mike’s obsession with Mopars though that saw the Fury join the family for a long, slow trip up the country after it was purchased sight-unseen from Dunedin. At the time, the body wore faded blue paint and the interior was shot, but as the huge amount of rubber under the back guards showed, it was a good runner and it was as rust-free as they come. A set of 18×9-inch Foose Legend rims from Top Town along with reset rear leaves and lowered torsion bars soon sorted the look of the exterior.
The short-term fix for the interior (which ended up being a three-year solution) was to cover every surface in long pink fleece. We’re sure many people asked “Why pink?” at the time, but that was the only colour the exterior of the car was ever going to be. Catho admits that poor hubby Mike must have had balls of steel to drive the car around, fluffy pink dashboard and all.
When the time came to give the car a major overhaul, she enlisted the help of ‘Pistol’ Pete Blanchette to fill in the huge holes in the bodywork, which had once been mounting points for assorted chrome trim.
Catho is forever grateful for the time spent in bringing the long panels back to perfection, a task that was performed with the body in bare metal.
Jason ‘Magoo’ McGuire was the man on the end of the spray gun, and responsible for not only applying, but also mixing the custom Glasurit ‘Catho’s Pink’ colour, a big job by any means. The colour was always going to be the ‘make or break’ of the car, and as you can tell by the retina-searing finish he’s achieved, it’s fair to say it makes it.
Upon reassembling the engine bay after the paintwork was completed, hubby Mike gave things a bit of a tidy-up by removing wiring and replacing items as necessary along the way. While the engine itself is the same 383ci big block that the car came with, it’s now fitted with a few performance parts such as a Street Dominator manifold and 600cfm Holley Carb. Catho’s dead set on getting a new exhaust to make the car sound a bit more powerful, if nothing else. For now though the reality is that it’s got more than enough power for the type of cruising that she, her girls, and her family are known to do.
Speaking of which, the fleece interior they used to cruise in is now a thing of the past, and in its place is a shiny new coat of black vinyl on every surface besides the dashboard, which is painted to perfection to match the exterior. A Grant steering wheel replaced the old worn, bus-sized item and of course the factory stereo has long gone too.
Beach Hop attendees will have seen and heard the car, and quite likely have noticed the pink-haired ladies it carriages most of the time, or perhaps the kids wearing hats made of balloons, on other occasions. Events like this are what it’s all about for Catho and family, being out and about having plenty of laughs and making everyone around her and the car smile. Sure, it may not have a huge amount of power, or be extensively modified when compared to others, but I’d bet you anyone who rides in the car couldn’t care less, as they’re guaranteed to be having a blast anyway.
Words Todd Wylie
Photos: Adam Croy