Original 1970 Plymouth Duster 340

In the 1960s, the Plymouth Valiant was a steady compact car that sold well enough. But exciting it wasn’t. Enter the Duster, a Valiant-based fastback that could compete with the Ford’s new Maverick and others like the Chevy Nova. While a lot of Dusters were sold with thriftier powerplants, buyers could get some muscle with their stylish new wheels by ordering a Duster 340.  Plymouth sold nearly 25,000 Dusters in the first year, so it was a popular choice. The seller’s is one such car, located in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho and available here on eBay where the no reserve bidding is up to $13,800.

I always enjoy a car with a story and this Duster has one. The seller bought it from the original owner some time back. The car’s first buyer was an older gentleman who apparently still had a desire to drive a car with some guts. This Duster 340 is long on motor but short on conveniences. No power steering or brakes to help jockey the car around, but it does have a Torque-Flite. The original owner kept it as a daily driver until he was in his 90s and finally decided to let it go. Due to his advancing age, he had more than one minor skirmish getting it in and out of his garage. So it has a few nicks and dents that the seller (the second owner) decided to leave as-is out of respect for that older gentleman.

Neither owner did anything much to modify the car, so it’s pretty stock the way it sits. From the air cleaner to the exhaust manifolds, it’s the way it came from the factory. The apparent exceptions involve the rear suspension and carburetor as the buyer will receive the original parts in the transaction. The car wears wider Rallye wheels and tires on the back.

The original paint still looks pretty good, scratches and all. There is a small amount of rust beginning to develop at the bottom of the rear quarter panels and on one of the rockers. The white vinyl top, which is a nice contrast to the brown paint, looks to have held up well. The interior is also in good condition except for a worn spot that has turned into a tear on the bottom of the driver’s side of the bench seat. There is a cover over the dash, so we don’t know if that’s to hide a crack or prevent one. The odometer reflects 54,000 miles, which we assume is original mileage.

From the wording in the eBay auction, the seller may have reservations about selling the car. However, another vehicle has caught his attention and the Duster needs to go to make room for it. 1970 Duster 340s can go for up to $40,000 if they are up to snuff. This one isn’t in that league but it looks as though the winning bidder will get it for a lot less money either.

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Comments

  1. flmikey

    I think the seller got his wish for a quick sale…it’s already gone…if someone offered me a Maverick, a Nova, or this car, this would be my choice…even in brown…

    Like 18
  2. John B

    It’s often been said that the Duster was a spiritual successor to the previous A-body Barracuda, which makes sense. Always dug these, but like other Mopars of that era, their values have gotten way beyond ridiculous. That’s great if you’re a seller but sucks if you’re a buyer…

    Like 8
  3. Don H

    The old man was only 40 when he bought it, people forget that old men were once young men🤔

    Like 21
    • That AMC guy

      And inside every old man is a young one wondering what the heck happened. ;-)

      Like 43
      • Dave

        Yeah, that and wondering where that old guy in the mirror came from! 65 last month.

        Like 19
      • PatrickM

        77 last week. (OMG)

        Like 3
    • Tom

      The old man was 69 when he bought it in 1970, and drove it until around 1993. The conversation mentioned in the auction happened in 1990, when the man was 89 years old, and was talking to a 19 year old. The two 19 year olds enjoyed talking to the man, and thought it was awesome that he liked to “punch it”. It wasn’t what they expected from a man that age, but thought it was cool.

      Like 4
  4. Johnny Cuda

    I worked at Curt’s Texaco in Framingham Mass in the late 70’s. I was looking for my first car. All the guys were Chevy guys. Jimmy W, who owned a Chevelle SS396, told me – get a 340 Duster! Well, I never did. I ended up with Mom’s 70 Chevelle wagon with a 307.

    Like 6
    • local_sheriff

      …which would not be a bad vintage ride by today’s standards either…

      Like 3
      • Johnny Cuda

        Sheriff – That wagon served me well through high school and college and 5 years after that. Had a few hockey pucks for body mounts near the end in ’86.. The winter road salt took it’s toll on the body. Mopar Joe still has the 307 in his garage!

        Like 1
      • local_sheriff

        Haha, of course it had hockey puck body mounts – I had completely forgotten about that practice! 🤣

        Like 2
  5. George Louis

    Power steering and brakes were optional back then but available. I had a 1972 Dart Swinger with 318 V8 Power Disc Brakes and no power steering. Steering was alright. I also had the optional Electronic Ignition which was a $35.00 option. Neevr had a problem with the Electronic ignition and had original Ballast Resistor for 150.000 miles driven until timing chain broke and bent a valve. This car would benefit from adding Electronic Ignition.

    Like 2
    • Johnny Cuda

      George – I have a 1968 Barracuda 318 with power steering and no power brakes. The steering is effortless, brakes are ok. 55,600 actual miles.

      Like 2
  6. MOPAR Joe

    Yes I do. It makes a wonderful floor ornament!

    Like 2
  7. David Fetty

    Just for grins and giggles, and until I could build a larger small block, I dropped 3 deuces on top of a 307 with headers and a 4 speed, 71 Camaro. With a 3.08 rear, I had a guy in a Turbo Trans Am try almost all the way across Texas to pass me, east bound I 10. That car was bulletproof and loads of fun. Never did take the 307 out of it.

    Like 6
  8. Paul J Duca

    They sold nearly 200,000 Dusters in 1970…likely 25,000 of the 340 variant. Helped Plymouth reclaim #3 in the sales figures from Pontiac.

  9. John Shoe

    Thirty years ago , these were $1,500 – $2,000 cars , all day long . By comparison , Slant Six or 318 powered examples could be had for $400 – $900 , all things being equal .

    Funny thing about the brakes for the 1970 Duster 340 : non-assist disc brakes were listed as “standard”, yet , I’ve seen a few samples with (garbage) drum brakes at all-four-corners . Conversely , I’m yet to see a 1970 Swinger 340 with drum brakes on the front .

    Nice ‘VS29H0’ that’s a virtual time capsule from 30 years ago . Hopefully it’s preserved , not butchered into some Resto-Mod pig .

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