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408 Stroker: 1972 Plymouth Duster 340

This is not your run-of-the-mill Duster 340. It doesn’t even have a 340 engine any longer. Instead, the little Plymouth now sports a brand new 408 Stoker V-8 that’s estimated at 450 hp. So, this is not a car you would buy for your grandmother to take to the grocery store. It’s been set up to make some serious noise at the local drag strip (are those around anymore?). Located in Temecula, California, this badass Plymouth is available here on craigslist for $13,950. Thanks to Pat L. for finding this racy Duster for us!

Plymouth rolled out the Duster in 1970 to attract younger buyers to the stodgy Valiant. It worked, they sold plenty of them, and the car was in production through 1976. If you wanted to put some giddy up in your new Duster, you ordered it with a 340 V-8, which is just what 15,681 buyers did in 1972. The seller (or someone else) decided recently to turn a 49-year-old Duster into a racer and this ’72 model is the result. All the attention was directed to the go-faster stuff as the body was left with its original blue paint and some minor rust to be sorted out later. Both the floors and trunk are said to be solid and – from what we can see – we would agree.

So, where’s the beef? It starts under the hood with a new 408 cubic inch “Stroker” engine with less than five miles on it. We’re told the estimated output is about 450 hp, so we hope the rest of the car has been beefed up to handle all that power. It’s got a 727 TorqueFlite automatic with a stall converter, 4.11 gears, and Flowmaster exhaust. To quote the seller, the car sounds “seriously pissed off!”

A roll bar has been added to the interior and the car wears DOT slicks on the back with “skinny” tires on the front. Performance seats and straps to hold the passengers in have been added, but this is a 2-person proposition. There no longer is a rear seat, giving way to integrating the roll bar with the back half of the Duster. This car is all about going fast in a straight line.

The seller indicates the car has been priced to sell “fast” which sounds like an understatement. But it will take just the right buyer to want this car, at any price. Unless you’re looking for a ready-made muscle car to show-off, but this one would surely be a handful at slow speeds. The seller says he may consider a trade for another muscle car or hot rod. He’s not interested in boats, jewelry or property (darn, I have some oceanfront real estate in Colorado that I’ve been trying to unload!).


  1. Rixx56 Member

    Needs abit of work but love the profile
    on these. That stroker tho; impressive!

    Like 2
  2. Troy s

    I like it a bunch, a bunch more if it was a street/strip car. I go along with Russ,, drag strips? What drag strips?! Southern Cal used to have no shortage of tracks, a mecca it seemed years ago. Most are all gone now, due to…,progress.
    Nice set up on the wheels, it’s blue, and the stroker motor won’t disappoint. Just needs license plates.

    Like 3
  3. Jcs

    Come on Russ. Not only are quarter and eighth mile drag strips in operation all over our beautiful country, drag racing is alive and thriving.

    So much interest in speed, there are now numerous half mile and full mile speed contests scheduled every year in pretty much every region.

    This would be a fun Mopar at the track, btw.

    Coffees smells really good in the morning.

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      Drag racing is healthy in most of the country, but not California. Sacramento was due to close at the end of 2020, but is trying to get an extension on its operating permit so it can stay open. Sonoma just ended their weekend bracket racing program, though they will continue to run on Wednesday nights, because the road course brings in more money. Fontana, Auto Club Dragway, could go away if NASCAR’s plan to demolish the speedway and replace it with a short track is approved. Property values are so high and neighbors are too quick to complain, racing is endangered near any metropolitan area of California.

      Steve R

      Like 6
      • Charles Sawka

        There is “action” here in SoCal. Maybe not 100% legal. If ya know how to do it that car could get license plates. I know it would piss off a bunch of Mustang guys !

        Like 4
      • Steve R

        You definition of not 100% legal means, 100% illegal. A spectator at a street race in greater LA was killed on Christmas Day, that means they will be busting every “organized” street race they can in the near future. When they do, they will impound every participants car for a minimum of 30 days, and ticket every modified car for smog violations or make them bring their cars to a state run inspection station.

        My buddy in the CHP says they monitor all forms of social media, when street racing gets out of hand, they act.

        As for this car, unless it has been out of the DMV’s system for over 7 years and it is sold with a title all the new owner needs to do is transfer the title, no inspection needed.

        Steve R

        Like 3
  4. Dave Rhodes

    C’mon man ! where’s the video

    Like 1
  5. Jeffo

    You don’t know my grandmother….she actually might suggest nitrous. Just saying

    Like 1
  6. martinsane

    That looks like a 70 duster to me.

    That grill and those horizontal slot taillights i thought where only from 1970. 72 were just the big square taillights.

    • DON

      Its a 72. Taillights are a one year only item , and the non flush side marker lights started in ’72 . The “sharktooth” grille , while maybe not original to the car, will fit 1970-1972 Valiant/Dusters

      • Phil D

        DON is correct about the taillights and the surface-mounted side marker lights. The taillights are ’72 only, and the side marker lights are ’72-’76 on A-bodies. The taillights that Martinsane is thinking of were ’73-76 items.

        The “sharktooth” grille is correct for ’71 and ’72 Duster 340s. It can be retrofitted to a ’70 without modifications, but isn’t correct (but much better looking, IMO).

  7. Tooyoung4heyday Tooyoung4heyday Member

    I think the Dusters are great, they can look so plain jane one minute and look totally mean the next. Chysler did a great job with this body design. This one needs a little help but is off to a great start. See no reason why this wouldn’t be a street/strip car. Presumably its the Mopar performance 408/450hp motor so probably pump gas friendly. Nothing wrong with 4.11’s on the street, they were once a pretty common gear. Am I seeing it right that there are no front shocks? Snag it up, its cheap thrills. You dont see cars this cheap that run very often.

    Like 6
  8. jay bree

    Always racing on an empty street. Yeah, dangerous yadda yadda….

    Like 1
  9. jay bree

    The biggest mystery:



    Look at the welds on the rear roll cage feet or plates if You will. Looks like just tack welded in? Pic 20 and after. Basy fix though.

  11. bone

    If I were looking for another Duster , I would really want to make sure it was originally a 340 car. Many times sellers confuse the second “H” in the Vin # as meaning its a 340 , when it stands for “high” ,which means a 318 car . The 5th digit “H” does mean a 340 car.

  12. JoeNYWF64

    Best lookin front & rear end on any Duster.
    Deserves a ’70 dash.
    Odd there are so few left, & they sold tons of these too – yet the just-as-likely-to- rust(& did rust) 1st gen camaros abound – i don’t get it.

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