340 And A 4-Speed! 1971 Plymouth Duster

1971 Plymouth Duster

This amazing, all original 1971 Plymouth Duster is currently for sale at a shocking sum of $8,600 with only two bids at the time of writing. The reserve has not yet been met. It is located in Safford, Arizona. A VIN is listed, along with 84,879 miles, and a clean title. They also note that the original build sheet and dealership paperwork come with the car. Thank you, Patrick S., for the tip. You can view more on eBay.

1971 Plymouth Duster

Beneath the hood of this beast is a 340 cubic inch V8 that is connected to a 4-speed manual transmission. Some mechanical work has been done recently including a rebuild of the original Thermoquad carburetor. They have also installed a new timing cover, fuel pump, and water pump. It is said to run and drive although they note that the engine smokes while idling. Hopefully, that won’t be an expensive fix.

1971 Plymouth Duster

Inside, there is a lot of wear and tear. Most notably the front seats and dashboard.  The hot Arizona climate has not taken kindly to the soft dashboard and seats, and has baked them all until they have puffed up and cracked. Car interiors are not supposed to be pastries. According to the listing, anything soft, including the headliner should be on the list to replace. The back seat does not appear to be too bad.

1971 Plymouth Duster

While this car will need some work, it is a great candidate for restoration. The seller has provided photos of the underside of the car. While there is a lot of rust, much of the frame and body is surface rust. The suspension, drive line, and other components can be replaced. It looks like there is a small leak at the rear differential? Either way, this Arizona Duster has a ton of potential and with such a low bid price, one should really consider this project.

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Comments

  1. Miguel Member

    $8600.00 for a shell, even a non rusted shell, seems excessive.

    Replacing the whole interior will be quite costly.

    6
    • slickb

      Don’t be so negative son

      28
      • Tempo Matador Ray

        Good bones and a good candidate to freshen-up and put back on the road. Folks that lack the skills need not apply. This has got a great engine/ transmission combination. What’s not to like at this price buy-in…

        18
      • Miguel Member

        Son?

        4
      • Miguel Member

        Tempo, you are going to have to rebuild everything, so you are buying the shell.

        The ad says that all the soft parts on the interior are trash.

        That is going to be very expensive, plus an engine rebuild and a lot of other things we don’t know about.

        5
      • Fiete T.

        I just got an image of Jerry Reed in my head when I read that

        6
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Look under the shell – matching #’s a 340/4sp factory tach and….whale you see a shell so what’s the use……

      2
    • Boatman Member

      “Shell”???

      • Miguel Member

        Yes, that means everything needs to be taken out and rebuilt.

        Nothing is in usable condition on this car.

  2. Classic Steel

    The valve seats are probably dried up and hence smoking when running. I would do a compression check to gauge the engine wear too. Not to difficult to repair and reasonable pricing.

    Has anyone called Al Bundy to see if he lost his car again? 😂

    A 340 mopar four speed is cool 👍

    18
    • cmarv

      Never seen a valve seat dry up .

      10
      • jerry

        thats valve stem seals he’s talking about! easy fix on small block mopars if you have a air compressor and a valve spring removal tool done a few of these years ago love chev and ford guys who know little about mopars!

        8
      • cmarv

        Jerry ,
        I know about Mopars and valve seals . I have bought , sold and rebuilt many Chrysler , Ford and GM musclecars in my 30 years of owning a ASE certified garage and dealership . My comment was in jest . If I need a set in my Hellcat I’ll look you up .

        3
  3. dirtyharry

    One of my favorites. This one looks “baked” and “salted.” More rust than one would expect in a desert car, the lower rear quarters must have been real, real bad since they look like they have patch panels in place.

    3
  4. Comet

    The dash pad is cracked. Pass.

    4
  5. Robert White

    Perfect Southern Tin to build on IMHO. It’s priced reasonably too given it’s an Arizona find. Looks completely original and unmolested except from the sun & heat of Arizona.

    These cars are rare & highly sought after when they are restored given that the 340 Duster four speed stick was pretty much the fastest competition muscle car put out by the factory in that era. No street racer stock from the factory was as fast as the 340 four speed in 1971.

    It compares to the Yenko Nova of the day IMHO.

    Bob

    8
    • James Schwartz

      Robert White
      Often forgotten, but I would think that a 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360 with the top performance package, would keep up with or beat the 340/4 speed Duster (from the factory).

      5
    • cmarv

      71 Hemi Cuda , Challenger , GTX and Charger ,71 Stage One Gran Sport , 71 W30 442 , and I could keep going . I had a 70 340 4 speed Duster , it was quick but not comparable to many other muscle cars of the era . The old saying went (not always true) “There is no replacement for displacement .

      9
      • Steve R

        There were probably more 340 Duster/Darts built year to year than all of those out together. They were too dogs, but didn’t sell well when compared to bread and butter muscle cars.

        Steve R

        6
      • Robert White

        Off-the-line and through the quarter mile a 340 Dust-eater four speed would humiliate a GTX or Charger. The Cuda Hemi was rare if one looks at stock from the factory sales of it.

        A 340 four speed Dust-eater was the cheapest available street muscle in 71 if we are looking at BANG-for-the-BUCK on HPs & quarter mile stats.

        Bob

        10
    • Arthell64 Member

      Looks like a well optioned restoration project. I was always surprised how well these cars drove. And most of all it’s not green

      8
    • Miguel Member

      Robert, you can’t compare a customized special car like the Yenko to a mass produced factory car.

      They are not even in the same universe.

      3
  6. Jeff

    340s left a LOT of so called MUSCLE cars nappin at the green light. Excellent for a short race on street. red light to red light which is what was Usualy the case. Big blocks would wind up winning beyond that distance. If a dash pad is beyond your finances then WELLLLL. theese cars PROPERLY DONE can and will bring 25 to 30 grand. Less expensive for an entry level guy. A girl had a 340 4 speed swinger. When we were runnin on street in late 70s. Callin it a bit rough would be polite. But it hauled azzzzz shuttin down many. so called MUSCLE CARS. Nice car to restore and enjoy.

    4
  7. moosie moosie

    Where are the bullet holes located ? I’d rather have a sunbaked southwest car then a northeast salted rust carcass . In the day these 340 Dusters and Darts either stick or torqueflite were quick on the street and always gave my 383 Road Runner a very good race including at the dragstrip. If my situation were different I’d be a bidder.

    5
  8. moosie moosie

    My best friend since 2nd grade Botchagalupe, had a 1970 340 Duster , Automatic trans, all black,a beautiful car it was his first brand new car and he loved it. I had a ’69 Road Runner 383 a/t, that ran consistent 13.2s & 3s at the track, open headers and slicks, basically pretty stock. His completely stock as it rolled outta the factory 340 Duster ALWAYS gave me the closest race, me beating him by no more then a 1/2 car. They were very potent cars.

    7
  9. TimM

    A 340 four speed car is definitely worth the effort to bring back and the price seems reasonable compared to what we’ve seen rust buckets with no motor or transmission go for!! The paint color is nice too!! I would try to do a restoration on it to put it back to original!!! Ok maybe some disc brakes all the way around!!

    6
  10. jerry

    thats valve stem seals he’s talking about! easy fix on small block mopars if you have a air compressor and a valve spring removal tool done a few of these years ago love chev and ford guys who know little about mopars!

    2
  11. Leslie Martin

    Having owned a ’69 340 Swinger 4-speed and a ’71 340 Duster 4-speed just like this one (only in Hemi orange), all I can say is these A- body Mopars are seriously underrated. I remember that I used to surprise a lot of hotted up Camaros and Mustangs back in the day. Even with the stripes and dual exhaust tips, these cars were lethal sleepers. With a set of headers, a purple stripe cam and a properly tuned Thermoquad, a 340 Duster could compete with almost any new smaller muscle car in it’s class in ’71.

    I wonder if “rust free” means he’s not charging extra for the rust that comes with it. Because that certainly IS a lot of rust for an AZ car. But what makes this one worth saving is the rare build configuration. For one thing, it’s an LA built 4-Speed car with the very rare dark gold metallic paint. But decoding the fender tag shows it came with a lot of other goodies too:

    A31 3.91:High Performance Axle Package (Sure Grip)
    C55 Bucket Seats (low back, originally black vinyl)
    M21 Roof Drip Rail Moldings
    N41 Dual Exhaust w/o Tips
    N42 Chrome Dual Exhaust Tips
    N85 Tachometer
    R11 Music Master Radio AM
    V6X Black Longitude Sports Stripe
    V8X Transverse Stripe – Black

    That’s about as nicely equipped 340 Duster as your likely to find. It needs a lot of help, but it looks like most of the unique and hard to find pieces like the shark tooth grille, 5 on 4″ bolt pattern Rallye wheels, and bucket seats appear intact. Everything else is readily available in good used or repro parts.
    Assuming the 340 and A833 trans are numbers matching, and the reserve isn’t too high, this could be a great deal for someone willing to do the work to bring this car back to it’s former glory.

    I would strip it, do the body work, paint it, freshen up the engine, and suspension, and replace the brakes with front disks and booster. Then I’d throw on a Tuf wheel and original Twister functional dual scoop hood just for fun. That would be a great Friday night cruiser worth bringing back from the dead.

    9
    • belinda

      I agree with your post for the most part. As to the rust, well it looks to be a lot of surface rust. Having spent some time in the deserts/Great Basin in the west, many roads/drive ways are unpaved. While well maintained, still a lot of rock and sand. Over labor day I was on a mining road, wide and smooth. We could run up to 60-70 mph on clear parts. The noise of the gravel was as loud as the radio. Perhaps a prior owner drove it on roads like this. This could account for the rust under the car and primer spots on the rear quarters? Not so much rust, but all the paint “sand blasted” away my the road.

      • moosie moosie

        One year while I was on a motoring vacation thru the Southwest while on I 40 in Arizona-New Mexico I ran into a sandstorm which before I got to the area made me wonder where all the highway snow plows were racing to .I came to an area where the conditions reminded me of driving in a blizzard in my home state of New York. At the next gas stop while walking around my fairly brand new (2 months old) ’75 G-10 Chevy van to stretch my legs I happened to see the front of the frame which was now a shiny paint free bare metal, the front most crossmember, both lower control arms, steering linkage, it was bare metal, no paint left on any of it, mother nature had given the front undercarriage a free sand blasting. So left untreated it would eventually turn all to rust which is what probably happened thru out this Dusters time on earth, it being an Arizona car its whole life.

        1
  12. Redragula

    On the + side it’s got an uncut rallye dash and what looks to be an unbroken original sharktooth grille (both very hard to find)

    4
  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Rapid Transit System…….look it up….this has been for sale before so I wounder what the reserve is. If it was a GM Nova it be pushing what $15,000 ? Or a Mustang…oh wait that was the BIG car………

    1
  14. Troy s

    Nobody did “cheap” better than Plymouth, first with the no frills Road Runner 383 then the 340 Duster a few years later. That was their stronghold on the super car market. Nobody else could pull it off with the same success.
    Enjoy the bench racing above, that what it’s all about for me anymore…I must say, especially when it comes to manual transmission cars, that driver skill plays a big part of who’s faster than whom. Other quick cars from ’71 to me would be the Boss 351 Mustang, the Trans Am with the 455 H/0, not to forget the rare 429 cobra jet Mustang, I won’t even bring up the obvious Hemi and six pack Mopars.

    5
  15. PeteMcGee

    This car would be stunning restored to factory original. Hope someone can get it rescued and restored! A lot of times here on BF we say “not worth cost of restoration”, but depending on ending price, with these options this one might actually be.

    1
  16. Del

    Bob covered it.

    These were very fast in either auto or 4 speed.

    Embarassed many big block so called muscle cars.

    Seller holding out for too much cause everything needs attention.

    But eventually this will get a full resto. It deserves it.

    1
  17. Dave Rhodes

    you are looking at 25 gs easy to restore it ???

    1
  18. 68custom

    Why has no one else noticed the blue oil pan and short block. Could the 340 have been replaced with a later small block. Enquiring minds wonder what gives. But it’s a neat car regardless and reasonable is the price!

    1
  19. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It sold for $10,600, and after the seller revealed that it is not original engine. It has a ’69 340.

    I followed this one because it looked like an interesting, original car. I wouldn’t want to take it on, but congrats to buyer and seller.

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