Al Bundy’s Ride: 1970 Plymouth Duster

History demonstrates that in dire times, a hero always rises. Leonidas lead the delaying action that allowed Greece to defeat the Persians. George Washington defeated the British at Yorktown to secure America’s Freedom. Winston Churchill rallied Britain to save the Empire from defeat at the hands of the Nazis. In our time, Al Bundy rose from our televisions to fight a valiant delaying action against political correctness. Every week, Al entertained us and showed us how to defeat disgruntled customers, snooty neighbors, and even what kind of car to drive. While his place in history has not been written in stone yet, historians will be kind to this touchdown machine from Polk High, and his future disciples will covet any relic associated with him. Unfortunately, his faithful steed has been lost to history. Take heart fellow shoe salesmen, there is a way to connect with this great man. Listed here on craigslist out of Cornersville, Tennessee is this period correct 1970 Duster. While it is not Bundy’s exact car, it is close, and it can be yours for just $3,900!

Scholars have analyzed the historical records of the Bundy family, and have been confused by a number of contradictions when it comes to Al’s car. While Al calls it a Dodge in many episodes, the car pictured was actually a Plymouth Duster. Even more confusing are the changes the car went through during the duration of the historical records. Colors ranged from bronze to brown to blue to red, and the year of the car has been stated to be anywhere from a 1970 model through a 1974 model. The motor is equally confusing. Most feel that the car had a Slant Six, but one episode revealed that a 340 sat under the hood of this famed chariot. The only certain thing is that Al had racked up almost one million miles, which would logically mean that he had a Slant Six under the hood. These motors were totally indestructible, and many don’t know that the T-1000 Terminator was made of Slant Six parts. That’s why they couldn’t find a way to completely destroy it.

This particular Plymouth Duster has a fairly interesting story. The current owner purchased it from an older lady who assured him that she had never been in an accident in this car. He claims that the car has no dings, even though there are a few visible in the photos. As far as rust goes, the car is almost rust free except for a small spot in the center of the trunk. Even the inner fenders are free from rust, which is a small miracle surely made possible by Al Bundy’s benevolent goodness. Under the hood is the bulletproof Slant Six Mopar mill that countless teenagers have tried to kill, but all have failed miserably at the task. Backing it up is the equally legendary Chrysler Torque Flight automatic transmission. While it appears that the clear coat is failing on the upper regions of the car, a true Bundy devotee will likely repaint it to their favorite color from the historical records and add the rust trapping half vinyl top that appears in a number of episodes.

While I write about cars frequently, it is a privilege for me to be able to pay homage to a legend. While all of us lament the apparent loss of the original Bundy car(s), I feel the time is right for a new hero car to rise. The roads are infested with Bandit Trans Ams, KITT knockoffs, and A-Team vans. I have even seen two different Scooby Doo Mystery Machines. Adults and children alike need to be reminded that a man once showed us the way to deal with those who would dare oppose, insult, or offend us. The nation would sleep better at night knowing that a car like this is roaming the cruise ins and car shows spreading the wisdom of Al Bundy. Hopefully the new owner will complete the ensemble by donning either a Polk High football jersey or the standard grey slacks and button down plaid short sleeve dress shirt Al wore in the shoe store. A dollar bill on a string would be the crowning touch, just in case the future owner is reading this.

Get Daily Email Updates:

Comments

  1. Dave G.

    Don’t let this distract you from the the fact that Al Bundy scored four touchdowns in a single game while playing for the Polk High School Panthers in the city championship game versus Andrew Johnson High School, including the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against his old nemesis, Bubba “Spare Tire” Dixon.

    29+

  2. jw454

    Yes, the seller and I have a different interpretation of the word “Ding”. Anyway, My question is how did the right front marker lamp housing get to be red on the inside if it never had any repairs?

    3+

  3. Neal

    Thats a fun write up.
    Baby’s got BACK.
    I grew up with these Mopars, specifically my family’s ’73 Dart Swinger and a cadre of other Dusters, Scamps, and Valients on my block and in my extended family. Someday I’d love to jump into the vintage car experience with something like this. Original condition like this example would be great, but it sure would be tempting to put some period Cragars on it for fun.
    The Dusters and Dart Sports have that, um, how do you say it? “Big butt” look that some people like. Can you dig it?
    Nice find. I’m just not ready yet. And I’m holding out for a Scout, but a vintage Mopar might be next on my list for dreaming.

    2+

    • Ed P

      Your choice of wheels would be plain steel or aftermarket “mags”. That would give you quite a variety to choose from.

      0

    • AL Saunders

      For the older guy’s out there, I remember my dad picking up a new 1963 Plymouth Belvedere station wagon with the 225 slant six push button transmission, radio delete at Islington Chrysler in Toronto. What a workhorse 8 passenger vehicle it was. It didn’t go to the graveyard till 1980. The good old day’s. Option might included the 392 hemi?

      0

  4. LAB3

    Clear coat didn’t come into use until the 80’s, that’s been well established on here more times than Kelly’s top came off in the back seat. Joking aside, this car is a nice example. Keep it as is or drop a hot engine in, your choice.

    13+

    • DrinkinGasoline

      From the manufacturer’s that would be correct but it was widely used by the dealer’s body shops as well as independent body shops. My 76 Grand LeMans was clear coated by the dealer when new. The original owner requested it prior to delivery and provided the paperwork when I purchased it from her.

      3+

    • angliagt

      You don’t remember all the early ’70’s Mazda RX2s,
      3s,& 4s?

      1+

  5. Keith

    The Dodge model version was the Demon which only lasted for 1971-72 mainly because Chrysler was receiving a lot of letters from religious organizations condemning the “Demon” nameplate as “Sacrilegious” so Chrysler scrapped the Demon and stuck with the Dart as their “personal economy coupe” I had a friend in the early 80’s who had a yellow Demon with Crager wheels which was a very nice car. Long live the Duster and the Demon!

    9+

    • Neal

      Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about (in my comment)!!!!!

      2+

  6. Jonathan

    Wants top dollar. No engine pictures. No interior pictures. Typical …

    6+

    • Steve R

      That wouldn’t be close top dollar where I live.

      Steve R

      2+

  7. Anastos

    Al’s Dodge actually did go over a million miles…

    3+

    • 68 custom

      I think he accidentally let it roll past the million mile mark and the free new Dodge he was going to get was withdrawn since the Duster now showed only one mile on the odometer!

      1+

      • grant

        Except that with a 100k odometer that would have happened 10 times over the years…. sorry I know, it was a tv show. Idk, stuff like that, as well as Unnecessary Capitolization of Important Sounding Words just bugs me….

        3+

  8. VR LIVES

    One of my close high school friends came from a large family (12 kids), and his chain of high mileage cars included a VW bug, a 73 Mercury Capri, a Pinto, and a 74 Duster. All fine cars in their own right, and many a story with each car. The Duster was one of the best because you couldn’t kill it mechanically. Eventually the body was the reason it was put out to pasture. When both fenders rotted out so bad we had to carry jugs of water to clean the windshield, it was time to say adios. Great memories.

    4+

    • Neal

      Things couldn’t ever get that bad with the rot in Penna. because of our strict state inspections.

      1+

      • Ed P

        Just a few miles south, in Maryland, annual safety inspections don’t exist. Just do some duct tape body work and you’re golden.

        2+

  9. Allan

    The Dodge Demon was renamed “Dart Sport” and continued on through ’76. I had a ’75 or ’76 with the 360ci while in High School. Cherry Bomb mufflers and a lot of tire smoke….. Good times.

    6+

  10. JimmyJ

    I blew up a slant six… once
    True story!

    1+

    • Angrymike

      I really thought that was impossible, I had a friend that beat the living daylights out of one on a daily basis, it just wouldn’t kill ! Slants were like the 318, if you changed the timing chain every 100k miles they’d run till the body would rot off the car !
      I must congratulate you, you or the previous owner must have been really hard on that old engine ! 🙂

      2+

  11. C Carl

    I drove a slant six on 2 cylinders once. Overheated it to the moon. It still ran when I sold it.

    2+

  12. Don H

    There should have bin an episode were Al built a red 340 duster

    1+

  13. Pursang

    Kelly Bundy.

    My work is done here.

    5+

  14. Stephen Dycha

    I overheated a slant six once so badly it wouldn’t shut off. I put it against a block wall and stalled it in park.

    5+

  15. Nrg8

    2 episodes. One was a scene with 2 rednecks on a porch, the Bundys pull into town. First redneck says ” Dodge is a fine car , done killed my wife”. The second was when he washed it and forgot what the color was cleaned.
    And Kelly, the new Allante!

    1+

  16. Rustytech

    You can blow up anything if you drain the oil and coolant, then mash the throttle to the floor in neutral! But with slant 6 it would still take longer than most people’s resolve. This is a good, mostly rust free body, This price would be a bargain in the rust belt.

    4+

  17. John T

    Very first car I ever owned way back when, looked very much like the one featured above except it had numerous dents dings and scratches none of which affected being able to drive the car. Mine was also green, but it was a dark green with black vinyl interior. It also had the wonderful bulletproof slant six, but it was the smaller 198CID rather than the 225. What I liked most of all was that it had the factory 3-speed on the floor, even with the bench seat. I believe that the floor shift was the only option as it had no p/s, no p/b (drums all around), no a/c and I even had to put in my own radio. This bare bones 1970 Plymouth Valiant Duster was 5 years old when I acquired it and I ran it for another 5 years without any major problems until the underbody rust got to it especially behind the rear wheels. It served me well, I just had to keep gas and oil in it and do routine maintenance. The Al Bundy special shown above is awfully tempting but it would have to be a 3-speed manual for old time’s sake. I hope whoever buys it will drive it as is and run it into the ground the same way I happily did with mine!

    2+

  18. Ed P

    Jeff, You do have a way with words. I had a good laugh while reading your story. BTW. Only cockroaches and slant sixes will survive a nuclear conflagration.

    2+

  19. Nrg8

    Both rockers are missing the seam from the rear quarters to the rockers. Rear quarters are lumpy from filler. I imagine trunk is about to have springs go through. Love theses cars but little ladies that bought these new have passed like my grandma. Hers was soft yellow with black interior. 17000 thousand miles for chuch and shopping in a small town. I stupidly passed cause it was a six….

    2+

    • John T

      I feel for you, man. Sorry I have run out of Kleenex, Maybe Scotty G still has some left.

      0

      • Nrg8

        Yeah. Coulda woulda shoulda. At the time i didn’t have the crystal ball. I had 73 mach1 with a 70 429cj in it. No where to store it. It did have the 4 speed OD in it. I remember the reverse light lighting up the interior with its amber glow….

        0

  20. Mountainwoodie

    Ah strippers! Al Bundy would love to ride this one.

    2+

  21. Howard A Member

    “Married with Children” broke every rule that would bend on TV. One of my all time favorite shows. Katey Segal’s “AAAL” still goes through every man like a dentist drill. So many jokes were made about the Dodge. I believe there were 3 colors used, a gold, a red and a blue, all with half vinyl tops. This car is as exciting as watching golf on TV, but for the time, basic point A to B transport was needed, and this was it. Great find.
    And to be clear, Al Bundy was every man who was “Married with Children”s hero.

    5+

  22. Marty Wilke Marty Wilke Staff

    Great write-up, Jeff.

    Who else remembers Al saying “Seventeen more payments and this baby is all mine!” ?

    1+

  23. DM DeLuka

    The Slant six we had didn’t have the A727 torqueflite, but a lighter weight similar tranny. Both engine & trans were bulletproof though. I preferred the 1971 Duster 340 high performance with 4 speed that came later. Why didn’t we figure a way to keep one of them?!

    0

  24. Bruce Fischer

    I remember Al always pushing the car back home in to the Garage. LOL My dad had a green one with the slant 6 cylinder then gave it to me .You couldn’t kill those 6 cylinders and as you all said it was the body that gave out 1st to rust being in N,J. Bruce.

    0

  25. Jim

    I bought my 1970 Plymouth Duster new in August 1970. Mowed lawns while in elementary, junior and senior high schools to save and pay for it. It was advertised for $1899 as a “come on” deal from a dealer in El Monte, Calif. The saleman tried to talk me out of paying cash for it. Even lied that he had already sold it before I got there, but then said he was “mistaken” when my dad asked to see the sale paperwork. It came stock with a 318 V8 and a 3 speed stick shift on the floor. All black with blue interior. Loved that car!

    0

  26. Steve B

    Great write up Jeff!

    1+

  27. PAPERBKWRITER

    I had a slant 6 back in the day and the valves went out. I sold the car for $50.

    0

  28. Lon

    I ordered a red Duster in 1970 right after my high school graduation. Black bench seats, three speed on the floor with a slant six, factory mags. Looked great, ran terrible could not keep a clutch in it. Loved it! Kept it for four years and traded it for a gold 1972 Monte Carlo with black vinyl top and black interior. You don’t see many of either one of them.

    0

  29. Steve

    Living the dream 225 slant six and all

    1+

  30. Bill T

    After a driveway oil change a neighbor kid with a slant six got distracted and forgot to add oil. He drove that car into town, ran errands, came home and commented it was ‘running awful hot’. Let it cool down, checked the coolant, it was fine. Pulled the dip stick, no oil. Went to his garage… where he realized he forgot to add the oil, added it and drove that car for many years after that. We nicknamed him “Dipstick”, the name stuck and after all these years I get to tell the story again. I am going to see if Dipstick wants to comment. LOL!

    0

    • Joe Howell

      Are sure it wasn’t something that rhymed with “Dipstick”? 🙂

      0

  31. JRP

    One of the best writings yet! I Read it this morning and I know I’m going to be chuckling all day. All hail Al Bundy!👍

    0

  32. Joe Howell

    “I was Al Bundy”

    1+

Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.