Barn Find Twister: 1971 Plymouth Duster

The Duster was a popular variant of the Plymouth Valiant compact. From 1970 to 1976, it was a fastback coupe that had its own sheet metal from the windshield back. The performance version was the Duster 340, but for buyers who wanted the racy looks of the 340 without the  275 hp engine, they could specify the Twister option. This is one of those cars, a ’71 Duster Twister that looks the part of a performance car but with a 318 2-barrel V8. However, it was out of commission for 33 years before the seller injected some life back into it. As a project, this Mopar is in Corvallis, Oregon, and available here on eBay. The current bid is $7,500 (unmet reserve), but if you can’t wait, hit the Buy It Now button and give the man $15,000. Another great find brought to us by T.J.!

Between 1971 and 1973 if you wanted to look like you were going fast without doing so, you could order your Duster with the A51 Twister Package. Using Plymouth’s entry-level engines, including a Slant Six, the Twister was an appearance option group that included special side stripes, a hood with non-functional hood scoops, and the 340’s special shark-tooth grille. The original owner of this Plymouth kept going with the image replication by ordering high-back bucket seats, a console, and dual exhaust.

One online source says that as many as 40% of the non-340 Dusters sold in 1971 had the Twister Package. But that makes no sense. More people bought the Plain-Jane Duster than anything else, so something like 10% seems more reasonable. When the seller’s car was new, it had Hemi Orange paint with a black vinyl top, as powerful a statement as any Duster 340 would make. But that was covered up long ago by some now-flaking purple/gold custom paint. That was before the car found itself wasting away in a dry barn in 1989.

The drivetrain has been confirmed as numbers matching and the car starts and drives around the block with no issues. But you must hot-wire the Plymouth due to no power going to the ignition key. The seller has rebuilt the brakes, changed the exhaust system, and dropped in a new gas tank. Loads of spare parts will be included with the deal, maybe enough to start restoring a second Duster, if you were a mind to.

Though covered with years of dirt and dust, the seller advises the body is mostly good. One small dent is present, and rust is limited to a few little holes in the floor and trunk pans. The vinyl top is a lost cause and starting to peel away. And the interior will need a complete makeover including upholstery, carpeting, and the headliner. Someone ripped out the radio, so you’ll have a hole to fill there, too. This could be a neat Duster to restore and may be the dustiest of Dusters we’ve seen lately.

Comments

  1. Grant

    Had a 70 Duster, 225/3sp in the mid 70s. Great car, couldn’t have asked for anything better. I had a half decade earlier came from South London, England where I didn’t even drive. Having to learn on an old Ford farm truck scared the Dickens out of me, but by the mid 70s this Plymouth and I were the closest of friends. Still, compared to British cars, even the Duster seemed huge. Felt very luxurious to me. My wife, an all American farm girl thought I was silly for thinking that, she felt the Duster was cramped, but I smiled all the way to my employer with a smile on my face.

    Like 19
  2. Rw

    Another set of shin getter dual exhaust, for maximum efficiency need slash cut.

    Like 5
  3. Mikey P

    I had a ’71 Duster Twister! It was green and white. It was that car that was bought and sold between friends many times. Mine had the slant six. I always thought the Twister package was all the 340 looks with a slant six engine. I didn’t know they actually came with 340’s? It was a fun car that we couldn’t kill!

    Like 3
    • Michael Berkemeier

      They didn’t. They were Slant 6 or 318 2bbl only.

      Like 2
      • JIMMEY ROWLETT

        Yes they did. I had one.A1971 340 twister duster,automatic,blue,hood scoops with 340
        Markings on the side with stripes and the tasmania devil.

    • Donnie souder

      No they made the 340 also I had a orang one black stop 340 with. 727 torque fight automatic buckets an console ran out pretty good for a low horse power ride oh yea it black vinyl top two i put big aluminum slot mags with 50s under the rear and 60s on the front and it looked bad as hell the girls in school loved it those were the DayZ,!!!

  4. erik johnston

    I had many duster 340,s, I also had 1 poss.2 twister’s. The first was orange with a white twister stripe and the shark grill-for sure a twister.The second that i,ve had since 2004. It was on the back of a friends tow truck covered with moss and the inside ,full of scrap metal it was on its way to get crushed.didnt think of it other then another duster bits the dust.I opened the door and was surprised to find purple paint on the jams it was primer on the outside so could not tell it was a purple car.Then i noticed a stick shift also sticking out of floor,looked at the rear end-Its a 8 3/4.no brakes to show but i could tell they where disk. I talked to glen the tow co.owner and he brought it home This one I will try for it-no more wife to piss off.So far i have had 20-30 if not more most 340 cars I cant pass them up.

    Like 1
  5. bone

    Russ, dont be like Adam and assume because it has options it was a special ordered car ! These were all over Plymouth dealerships, meant to draw in the crowd looking for a performance car, but ended up only being able to afford the looks, not the power . The dual exhaust could have been put on any time in the cars life, it would have had a single pipe when new. Not a muscle car by any means, but the 318 had good power, and was no slouch. a little teaking and you’d have a good performer

    Like 6
  6. DA

    Should have left the original orange. The repaint was poorly prepared, would need to be stripped.

    The eBay ad says, “surprisingly rust free”; I was surprised by the free rust I saw, especially under the headliner. I’d wager there’s a lot more rust underneath that cannot be seen.

    Like 3
  7. Glenn Schwass Member

    Definitely bring back the orange and get rid of the funky paint. I would check it for a lot of bondo since it was repainted. They rusted just sitting outside, before you ran in the snow and salt, which ate them alive.

    Like 1
    • Glen Gill

      I had a 75 Duster in 82 AND the left side was all Bondo and there wasn’t enough left to the right side to put Bondo on it (rear quarters). My gramps had a 73 that was white with a black stripe and 318 with the stick. All the kids loved that car. Before I got mine my Grandpa sold his. My dad tried to get it for me. But the people who bought it put it in someone’s front porch on a sharp curve ( bad brakes).

  8. jack

    Appears to be a 4 barrel carb on it not a 2 barrel, I don’t remember seeing a Twister with factory hood scoops either, not in Canada anyway.

  9. Michael Berkemeier

    $5000 at best.

    Like 3
  10. Rick G

    I have a 71 Duster now. Originally a slant 6 car but now has a 383 big block w the 6 pack ( 3X2 Bbbl Carbs) in Plum Crazy. Rust free w 727 trans. I love that car but will have to give it up before too long. It is the 7th Duster that I have owned since my first one in 1970. Wish I could include a picture

  11. D Bell

    I had a 318 duster. Had plenty of power. I had it over 140mph

    Like 5
    • Rex B Schaefer

      Yeah, right! LOL

      Like 1
      • Terry Bowman

        It was dropped out of an airplane.

  12. Russell Burgess

    Good cars. I’ve had a few of them. Not a bad price for today’s market.

  13. Terry

    Back in the upper 70’s I seen a “Twister” that had duel exhaust, a inner fender sticker, that said 340, but no hood scoops. It was owned by an older guy and he was out of town at the time, so I could not talk to him about the car. Did not know at the time how to vitrify if it was a 340 or not, so I passed on it.

  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $15,000.

    Like 2
  15. Tim

    I’ve had a 73duster now for 31years,318 engine, auto trans.Total rust free Mopar,first one I ever owned that had no rust it came from Vegas,in 94 turned it into full on drag car with a 500 ci engine,runs mid tens in Denver Colorado,still starts with ingnition key and still has original dash, and doors,this has been a great mopar

  16. Donnie souder

    No they made the 340 also I had a orang one black stop 340 with. 727 torque fight automatic buckets an console ran out pretty good for a low horse power ride oh yea it black vinyl top two i put big aluminum slot mags with 50s under the rear and 60s on the front and it looked bad as hell the girls in school loved it those were the DayZ,!!!

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