1970 Plymouth Duster Project

1970-Duster-Project

As the prices of the “big” muscle cars keep going up, the less popular models start to look more attractive. Sure a ‘Cuda would be nice, but the cost of good ones make them unattainable for many. Luckily, there were cars like this 1970 Plymouth Duster built. It may not have as much power as its big brother, but with a V8 and rear wheel drive, it still offers some of the American muscle flavor we all crave. This one has been in storage for 15 years so it needs some engine work and rust repair. Find it here on eBay for $4,000 in Greencastle, Pennsylvania.

1970-Duster-Project-318

The Duster was built to compete with Ford’s Maverick. In base form it came with an economical six-cylinder, but we obviously prefer the V8 equipped cars. This one is fitted with Chrysler’s 230 horsepower 318. This was a workhorse of an engine and provided plenty of power for this compact chassis. The 340 was also available and it bumped the ponies up to 275. Someone has obviously messed with this one. The seller claims that they still have all the parts that were removed though.

1970-Duster-Project-rust

Plymouth’s Valiant provided the base for the Duster. A fastback body was put in place and some catchy twister stickers were printed up for the back. This car looks great on the top, but rust has eaten through the quarter panels. The seller is including some new sheet metal, but we noticed bondo down there so we can help but wonder if there is more of the nasty stuff hiding under that orange surface.

1970-Duster-Project-interior

The black interior looks good with the exception of the driver’s side seat. The seller claims that the car only has 41k miles on it and that it is 100% original. We do wonder if a cosmetic restoration hasn’t happened at some point, but we could be wrong. If you are in the area and are handy with a wrench, this might be a good buy. Just be sure to inspect the body for rust and then expect it to be even worse. Even with this one’s many flaws, we hope it gets back on the road soon. Do you think the asking price is realistic considering all its needs?

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Comments

  1. paul

    these were junk.

  2. Peter R

    I was never a fan and for what it looks like it will cost to fix this one you can buy a much better example Personally I would prefer a Nova with a SBC

  3. dick bennett

    without looking Im pretty sure its going to need a lot of sheet metal work especially in the trunk i’ll bet the rear spring shackles are about ready to come through the trunk cause the shackles rot and the trunk is usually rotted out by this time and seeing the rust on the lower rear quarters it just may have been filled in with bondo at one time id pass for that price for 4k you can still find mustangs in decent shape from the early 90s

  4. Jamie Wallhauser

    When I was 17 the local pharmacy I worked for had the same car, but even less equipped with the slant 6, dog-dish hubcaps and what can only be described as “dirty cream” paint. I loved the sloppy steering and careless performance as I careened around town on deliveries. While looking at this car brings back fond memories, it is also in pretty rough shape; nowadays $4K can buy any number of attractive, daily-driving collectibles. $2K is more realistic for this ‘ole Duster as it’s going to take some effort to stop her from rusting away.

  5. bar_king

    Is this AJ’s car?

  6. scot

    ~ bought a V8 740 from a young man whose next project was a new generation hemi in this body style. if his effort on the Volvo serves as witness to his budding ability and his father’s teaching the Mopar will fly! you out there, Kyle or Rod?

  7. Jeff

    When I was in HS a co-worker had a 360 I believe in his (73′ or 74′ ?), 4spd and it was peppy but was a black rabbit in a herd of white (outcast).

  8. Ted

    In 1985 I bought a 1972 Duster from a co worker for $200.00 a little rough though ran fairly well. Didn’t keep it long about 4-5 months, as wound up selling it after something happened to the engine cant recall what it was.

  9. braktrcr

    I don’t have sound on this computer… does he say in the video why the engine is partly disassembled? 10 more years this car will be worth bucks not quite yet

  10. FRED

    THERE WAS A GUY NAMED RED THAT HAD FREAKY FAST BROWN DUSTER WITH THE 340 IN IT..BEAT EVERYTHING AT THE TRACK. I THOUGHT IT WAS SO COOL THAT IN ’76 I ORDERED A BRAND NEW ROAD RUNNER. IT WAS STRANGE THAT YOU COULD NOT GET IT WITH A FOUR BARREL CARB, FOUR SPEED AND DUEL EXHAUST,BUT YOU COULD ORDER A DUSTER WITH ALL THAT. I CALLED IT A VOLRE WITH THE BEEPBEEP HORN.THE ONLY UPSIDE TO THIS IS THAT CAR CRAFT BUILT ONE UP AND I DID EVERYTHING THEY DID BUT CHOSE MY OWN WHEELS AND TIRES.WORKING AT FIRESTONE I DID ALL THE WORK WITH THE HELP OF EVERBODY IN THE SHOP.AFTER DOING ALL THE ENGINE AND TRANNY UPGRADES IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD RUNNERI EVEN BEAT THE FREAKY FAST DUSTER AT THE TRACK.

  11. Rancho Bella

    I tend to be rough on certain cars with a stabbing opinion as to their quality. Paul (first opinion at top of page) is 100% correct.

    And, I will add the design is odd in the sense that it has big over hang in the rear and in general seems out of whack……….you just wonder…….who in the heck made the decision to build them and what design school did they drop out of……………

  12. Robert King

    After owning one of these plus a few ‘cudas, I can testify they were pretty peppy. Whoever said they were junk has obviously never owned one. I also have owned a 73 nova street machine back in the 80s when they were popular. never really liked it, and broke down until one day in front of the local chrysler dealership the engine threw a rod and I just decided to sell it to the dealer for $1200. To say the least I went back to chrysler and have not strayed from my company since, I feel they have pampered me ever since I first walked into thar dealership back in 1978. Currently I own, two chrysler new youker se customs, one 1971 ‘cuda, a 1971 and a 1974 charger, plus a 1970 roadrunner superbird clone from my dealer

  13. AMCFAN

    Chrysler did a poor job on sharing parts on the Dart, Demon and Duster. They all looked like clones of each other. At this time Chrysler engineering was on a downward spiral. These cars rusted while on the showroom floor.Fenders doors front frames. I have never seen one w/out rusted off quarters….ever. Dusters running good?? So did the V8 AMC Gremlin and Hornet V8’s. In fact Car Craft did an article in 71 in a heads up race against a 340 Demon and an SC/360 Hornet. Car Craft called it a hopeless miss match…untill the AMC beat the Mopar. Too bad AMC never marketed the SC/Hornet as only 750 were made. I had a one of 3 known and only 12 built Hornet SC/360’s with a 2V carb and manual. Funny even with the 2V carb it would still run a Duster. I owned a 340 4 speed so I know. The cost and fun factor for me would never be any Nova (doesn’t everyone have one already??) Give me a Javelin.

  14. Ron

    I owned a 74 burgundy Duster with a slant 6. I bought it in 78 for a grand. great car but like others have said the quarters rusted. With the cold Michigan weather I blew the engine. I have seen others with a total redo and it brings back memories. A friend has 2 1970 Challengers and 2 1970 Cuda’s (ones a convertible) sitting in his barn. I offered to buy one but he wont part with any. He has collected 9 440 Hemis along with spare body parts. Quit a collection I might say. Too bad he doesn’t have the time to work on them.

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