Cheap 1971 Dodge Demon Project

Plymouth had a hit on their hands in 1970 with the Duster, so Dodge lobbied for their own version and the Dodge Demon was introduced for 1971. The name would carry on for two years and morph into the Dart Sport in 1973. It’s been years since this ’71 Demon stirred up any trouble on the roadways. It looks as though it has been already picked for parts and the rest left to be sold as a package deal. It can be found in Boutte, Louisiana and offered here on eBay at the Buy It Now price of $1,500.

When you opened the Dodge sales brochure to the Dart/Demon section, you might read the line, “it’s a tough little devil.” The Demon was essentially a Plymouth Duster except for the front grille, hood, and taillight treatment. They could be had with anything from a Slant-Six engine to the potent small-block V8, the 340. They didn’t sell as well as the Duster, but ended up being a third of overall Dart sales in its first year (1971). Dodge built just under 70,000 standard Demon’s and another 10,000 Demon 340’s.

There may be some optimists out there who think the seller’s ’71 Demon is restorable, but it would take a lot of work and a huge bankroll to pull it off. You’d be better off finding a complete car that needs far less work. The odometer reads 89,000 miles, which is likely when the car was given up for dead. There is no appreciable non-rust body damage, so the coffin nail no doubt was mechanical. The hood is missing, the taillight panel has issues, and both quarter panels have rust. They picked up the car with a forklift for some pics, and things there don’t encouraging. A few holes in the floorboards are peeking through, too.

The bright spot in the interior is that the back seat isn’t ripped up. One door panel and one front bucket seat is missing, and the carpeting is shot. And the dash pad would qualify for the “Most Baked Award of the Year.” However, the glass looks good and if you need any of that for a project, you may be alright.

What once was likely a 318 V8 is now only about half there and the seller doesn’t believe it’s original anyway. The transmission and driveshaft have been removed for use elsewhere. If you were to defy logic and somehow to put this car back together and get it running, at least you’ll have keys that work in the steering column and trunk lock. Since serving as a parts car seems to be the best answer, is what’s left to salvage worth $1,500?

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Comments

  1. IkeyHeyman

    Had one of these in the same color but with a brown interior, got it in exchange for painting a guy’s house. It was pretty reliable and easy to work on, but because it was a Vermont car, the tin worm put an end to it. The car featured here is crusher material at this point.

    Like 12
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Me too except mine was green/green with a 340/auto and after replacing the tired 340 with another 340 one of my Dodge buddies wanted it worse than me….but I pulled my 340 out and sold it as a roller. Than I found a 1972 340/4 speed another story.

  2. Dave

    Free would be too much $.

    Like 7
  3. DON

    The fenders were different too ; the whole front clip of the Dart was bolted to the Duster platform

    Like 4
  4. bone

    Its nice how the junkyard left the pictures of the loader that brought it out of the yard – sad to say its likely going to go back there and end up in the crusher ; other than bumpers and grille there’s really not much left that’s good .

    Like 5
  5. Arthell64 Member

    It would make a good drag car.

    Like 1
    • jeffro

      drag it to the crusher!

      Like 9
    • Steve R

      Turn key race cars are cheap, you can pick up a competitive bracket car for around $10,000 if you willing to put in the time to research what’s available by going to the local track and talking to racers to see what available. Grudge night bombers are significantly cheaper. The only people that might attempt to build this as a race car are beginners that don’t know any better.

      Steve R

      Like 5
  6. Jay

    Yep
    Drag car

    Like 2
  7. CCFisher

    Dodge wanted a version of the Duster, so Plymouth demanded a version of the Dart Swinger in return. In both cases, the shape and detailing of the wheel openings don’t match from front to rear. Plymouth used a flared, square-like opening, and Dodge used a beaded opening with an elongated trailing edge.

    Like 1
  8. Slantasaurus

    Wow, this guy doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing. If he had it listed for $7k more people would think it wasn’t a money pit and would actually bid on it. Listing it for $1500 lets everyone know right off that this is a lost cause. Actually for $1500 this is a great buy if you have the time and place to part it out. The 8.75 rear is worth at least half the asking price, the doors look good enough someone would buy them for $100/ea, Demon taillights always sell quick, as would a decent 71 grille. At this point you have at least made your money back and still have some other small pieces to make some profit. Small bolt pattern Rallye wheels will sell for $100/ea even if there are only 3, same for an A body bucket seat core. If this were in FL I’d buy it in a second

    Like 6
    • Little_Cars

      I agree that’s a “pickin’ price” and the parts are worth more than the sum total of parts. This color and wheel combo must have been the most common for Demons. Seems this and the medium blue color were all I ever saw on the streets where I grew up.

      Like 2
      • DON

        Yes, those two colors were very popular on all the A body Mopars in the 70s

        Like 2
  9. Mike

    VIN says it was originally a 225 car, so the 8.75 rear end is not original either.

    Like 1
  10. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    Pretty rusty but I’ve seen worse come back from the dead. If you had the want to repair the issues, fix em, do some upgrades along the way and drop in a engine from a wrecked 2018 Demon and start melting tires.

    Like 2
    • Chuck

      Even a Gen3 5.7 Hemi would really turn this A body on

      Like 1
  11. Phlathead Phil

    This is what I call a “Chicken Bones” car.

    Nothing but the bones and skin left.

    Somebodies ran off with the meat and then shot all four tires out.

    Dreadful sight.

    Like 1
  12. Arthur

    I don’t know if I would do a restoration on this car given its condition. However, if this car were to be media blasted and new body parts can be obtained, I could see this Demon being a recipient of a Hellephant crate engine, especially if an Art Morrison or Roadster Shop chassis was installed.

    Metal fabrication would be required, to be sure, but in the case of some g-machine projects that’s to be expected.

  13. Charles Sawka

    The cost of just the 1/4 panels and floors is enough to put it out of contention. I have a bone to pick about drag racing commenters. Have you ever seen the quality and the absolute attention to safety on race cars ? There isn’t one piece of this car that I would use on a race car.

  14. TimM

    If it was closer to me I’d drag it home!! It’s worth the price for the body in my opinion!! However paying as much as the car for towing doesn’t make it a good buy!!!

    Like 1
  15. MoPar Mike

    You naysayers and haters are clueless, I’m grateful none of you acquired this treasure trove of parts only to scrap if for $100 . Complete 8 3/4 rear-end, disc brakes, V8 K frame and motor mount brackets, complete grille assembly, taillights and the extra tail panel far exceed the asking price.

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars

      @MoPar Mike or Demon Cleaner –are either of you going to jump in and buy it? I was surprised this morning on eBay it is still sitting there for $1500 with ZERO watchers.

      Like 1
      • MoPar Mike

        If it were close to me yes. If I needed the parts it has to offer, I’d travel. I don’t need it but someone does.

      • MoPar Mike

        147 watchers

      • Demon Cleaner

        I’m watching it. Very tempted- I have a lot of the parts it’s missing from owning 3 over the years. I have plenty of other projects though.

        Like 1
  16. Demon Cleaner

    I’m going to disagree with most of the replies here. I think it’s a pretty good deal for the car. The 8 3/4 A body rear is worth good money by itself. I think for the right person it could be put back on the road without too much expense. Maybe not as a show car, but Roadkill style at least.

    Like 1

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