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Hagerty Employee

The Plymouth Duster is Mopar’s underappreciated mini muscle car

Like plenty of other budget-minded cars of the era, the Duster has been dismissed by many collectors who demand only the meanest muscle cars. It may be time for Dusters to shine, as enthusiasts new to early-'70s cars are beginning to recognize their appeal.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/buying-and-selling/the-plymouth-duster-is-mopars-under-appreciated-min...

26 REPLIES 26
Detailer

Had a 1973 Duster with the Gold Duster package - fold down rear seat, vinyl roof, special stripes. Slant six with no A/C and no power brakes. Had it until 1986 and it was nearly trouble free. Chrysler made a big mistake by replacing the reliable Valiant/Dart with the trouble prone Volare/Reliant, a model that could have benefited from a little more development time.  

Pit Crew

Walter_mitty, the Feather Duster was not ALL aluminum, just the hood and trunk lid. I believe it was 200 lbs lighter overall. I had a '76 Dart Lite, which was the Dodge version, with a Slant Six and a 4-speed overdrive. 33 MPG at a time when mileage averages were at about an all-time low, and room for 5 people somewhat comfortably. (6 if someone didn't mind getting whacked on the kneecaps.) the first car I kept until it was paid for, and I had just turned the odometer over, and it was reading 600 miles when it was T-boned by a Vista Cruiser wagon.

Pit Crew

Dad bought a '73 Duster brand new for $2700 as a second car in a growing family of budding baby boomers. Police car gold, cookie cutter hubcaps, am radio, 225 ci slant 6, 3-in-a-tree manual, no cigarette lighter since that was optional (a decision not appreciated by our Kent-smoking mother). Ventilation was via manually opened vent box doors in the footwells, no A/C for us. Vinyl bench seats - I think the only option on the car was the carpeting, such a splurge. But the Duster pulled it's weight and taught 5 kids how to drive a manual transmission without ever complaining - a solid machine from a simpler time.

Passenger

I currently own a 70 340 4-speed. It's a blast to drive and I get lots of positive comments. Great car.  

Intermediate Driver

Underappreciated?  

 

Not by me... When I was a poor Sailor and needed another car for my family I purchased a Duster 340 (without even carpeting...) for about $2650 out the door in Oregon.

 

Relative good economy, great fun and loved the looks.  I called it the "true" Barracuda for 1970 as the dash and most of the innards and all reflected what was in the year before.  Loved the new 'Cuda and Challenger as well, but $500+ dollars more was $20% more for basically the "same" car and drivetrain.  PLUS... that trunk!  HA!

Intermediate Driver

Unfortunately when I first started driving dusters like novas were largely POS beaters with 6 cylinders that people bought when they couldn't afford real muscle cars and that image is still stuck with me a little. All you need to do is add brown or puke green paint, a cracked interior with stuffing coming out, and armrest laying in the console, and some rust and i'm in nostalgia land

Pit Crew

I had two of them, a'71 and a '73. very interchangeable!

Pit Crew

I’m a Pontiac man, but never turned up my nose at a Mopar, guy in my neighborhood had a brand new 72 340 Duster 4 speed car, hood was flat black said 340 Wedge on it, well around 1973 when I was 12, he had to be 18, his brother was 16, he pulled the 340, out of the Duster, and put it into his Mother’s 71 Satellite wagon, for his brother to drive, also pulled the Plymouth Rallye wheels, correct me if I’m wrong, and put those on the Satellite, even installed dual exhaust, and the 340 Duster? Well that got a 440 in it, with a lot of massages and I’m sure some cutting, and the hood locks on that flat black hood never were removed in public again, car was beautiful black w white bucket seat interior, Keystone classics, she was a terror

Pit Crew

The owner of the pictured car must be a lifelong Ford or Chebby guy. They are the ones that had to use traction bars on their hopping rears. Mopar had the Super Stock suspension that included special springs, an elevated pinion snubber and shock springs. This set up would usually equate to an advantage of two car lengths out of the hole. Now, the single leaf springs and bars from Calvert work even better and weigh much less. Wanna consistently beat Fords and Chevys, do it right.

New Driver

As another lucky Duster 340 owner from 1971, that little high winding small block crushed a lot of it competition (even big block Chevy, Fords and Mopars). A slightly tweaked 340 easily ran in the low 13’s and factory stock on poly glass Goodyear’s routinely ran low 14’s. I’ve been Privileged to own two 71 340’s and if you want bang for buck, find that A Body and go have some real fun.