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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.


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These cars, in 340 or 360 form, were often giant-killers.  Astute enthusiast and drag-racers knew that then, but apparently today's collectors may not be as aware of their history - or their abilities.


These are attractive, but I always preferred the Dart/Scamp two-door bodies.  Unfortunately, once the Demon debuted, the Swinger 340 was no longer available.


I never owned one of these Dusters, or the ones from the 1980's.  However, my 1992 Duster hatchback was quite the fun little car, very lively with its 3.0 V6, and light weight.

New Driver

Back in the 70's I rode in a "feather duster", an aluminum-bodied (as I was told) version of the Duster. It lived at a junkyard body shop where I am sure the body man knew what aluminum was. Anyone else heard of one of those? I think that Dodge also made a "Neon Lite" that was aluminum as well, but unconfirmed.


My first car in 1979 was a '70 Duster with the "Leaning Tower of Power".  I managed to find one to restore 10 years ago it had a 383 shoehorned in the bay which is cool, a pain and scary all at once.  Alas, in a moment of weakness I sold it 3 1/2 years ago.

New Driver

As one of the lucky few that had a 70 340 Duster back in the day, I can attest to their legendary "giant killer" reputation. It literally dominated all comers whether big block or small block.

Intermediate Driver

I took my drivers test in 1984 in my great grandma's Gold Duster.  I thought she was going to let me buy it but at the last minute she decided she wanted to keep driving.  I mean, she was only 89!!!!!!!

Intermediate Driver

A quick glance at Craigslist found a Duster drag car for $12,000 and a V-8 project car for $3000 obo. 

Pit Crew

I’ve always liked the Duster, V-8’s particularly, even if they have been kind of low in the Mopar pecking order. I remember even seeing some back in the day solely badged as a Valiant, so not much respect there. They represent good value now. If only I can get past the stigma of Al Bundy’s car (although that was a Dart), and the old “is that a Hemi?” commercial where it is driving alongside a new Dodge Ram Hemi, and Of course even today, when it’s being featured in the Liberty Mutual Insurance 70’s-like commercial.


In 1974 I was finally able to buy my first car, I was still a teenager. I bought a 1970 Duster, slant 6 225 ci motor, 3 speed on the floor, with a 7 1/4 rear end and bench front seat. It was B5 Blue and beautiful. I paid $750.00 for it and thought it was a great car. I put headers on it, US Mag wheels, and air shocks to lift the back end. It looked great, like a muscle car should, but wasn't fast or a muscle car per se. I would have loved to have the 340 4 speed, but I bought what I could afford. I gave the car to my youngest brother when I could afford a "real" car, and he hot rodded it into the ground. He has another 70 Duster now and so do I. His is a 318 stroker'd to a (383?) and I have my 340 4 speed finally. He's still into the racing end of things, but I like the classic looks of the car. I got a numbers matching H Code and loving having a Duster again. It's still a giant killer and will never have to deal with smog emissions. It's cool that Mopars were so popular because you can still get parts for them. Thanks for the article.