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Cheap Duster? 1974 Plymouth Duster

This 1974 Plymouth Duster looks as straight as an arrow and I don’t see much of any rust on this car. You have to see the engine compartment photo, it’s a work of art. I can’t quite tell if that’s very faded blue paint or gray primer or a combination of both. In any case, it’s listed here on craigslist just north of Reno, Nevada and they’re asking $3,250 – cash.

This is my kind of car, but I’m a sucker for a good ol’ Plymouth or Dodge in plain-Jane trim with a slant-six. I’m nerdy enough to prefer a Plymouth Valiant in either two-door or four-door body style because I like the notchy, blocky look, but this car appears to be a great deal. Hagerty is at $6,700 for a #4 fair condition Duster and this car has to be all of that, which means it’s half price.

It appears that the trunk lock is missing as is the right rear side marker light, and you can see some rust on the bottom right quarter panel so there’s that. The Plymouth Duster was made from 1969 for the 1970 model year up until 1976 when it was replaced by the beloved and ever-popular Plymouth Volare. I say, when it was replaced by the beloved and ever-popular Volare.

The interior looks pretty good overall but there appears to be a severe split in the top middle of the padded dash top. And, the driver’s side door panel needs help and the seat covers aren’t original but they appear to be in good shape. This isn’t a car that will be nut-and-bolt restored by too many people, this is an inexpensive drive-to-drive-an-old-car car. There aren’t a lot of photos and there’s no mention of rust or bodywork, that’s always my biggest worry.

But, look at that! Zinnnnnnng! Did anyone expect to see such a vibrant, nice-looking engine and engine compartment in this otherwise faded and somewhat bland car? The 225 slant-six looks great and this car has had a lot of recent work including, “starter solenoid, ignition switch, distributor, cap, rotor, coil, plug wires, radiator, brake master cylinder, oil and filter, fuel filter, gas tank and sending unit.” They say that it could use an alignment and new shocks, but for half price this looks like it would be a fun car to just drive and tinker with it as you have time. Any thoughts on this one?


  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    My Mom had this exact car when I was a kid. Same color interior, but her seats were stock (matching blue bench) I called it the Smurf mobile. She sold it in 1984 when the body was disintegrating. The 1985 Escort wagon that replaced it felt very modern in comparison.

    Like 3

    I would love to fly out buy it then drive it back to PA Roadkill style. I do not care for the federal bumpers and I don’t understand the black door jamb but what the heck, what else do you get for that money?

    Like 5
    • Robbie

      Probably primered the area due to the striker repair that was done. Not cleanly done, but that works to hold striker in place.

      Like 0
  3. Howard A Member

    Aaaaal,,,( Bundy)

    Like 19
  4. Victor Anderson

    I had a 1973 dodge dart (looked like this car) with same engine as my first car. Top speed was 70mph (downhill with the wind) and it handled so poorly it was dangerous lol. Was a great first car for a 16yo new driver in high school though :)

    Like 6
    • Marty Weiss

      I had a 75 Duster with the Slant six.I had no problem getting to 80

      Like 3
      • glenn c marks

        I believe I got my ’74 slant-six Dustmop up to 90, but it was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and I had so much time I could use the crown in the center of the road. Again, there was PLENTY of time between cars back then (about 1978 or so). I bought that car new and it had a seldom seen, but nice color- Burnished Red Metallic. Looked good after a waxing.

        Like 0
  5. Boatman Member

    Heater core is shot.
    Down to $3,000. What is that chrome can on the right inner fender?

    Like 2
  6. David

    Hmmmmm, Wifey is out of town, it is only a couple hour drive… But I don’t think the “he followed me home“ will work. How about “I don’t know who’s all car that is parked out front“?

    Like 7
  7. Shuttle Guy Shuttle Guy Member

    She’s in good enough shape and inexpensive enough to put some decent money into it. You’d have yourself a good street cruiser.

    Like 6
  8. Shuttle Guy Shuttle Guy Member

    She’s in good enough shape and inexpensive enough to put some decent money into it. You’d have yourself a good 70’s style street cruiser.

    Like 1
  9. Denis Burke Member

    Heater core is probably leaking.

    Like 1
    • moparnutt

      Looks like a good candidate for a G3 5.7 Hemi and an 8 3/4 rear end. Upgrade suspension and brakes and leave every else like it is. Great sleeper/cruiser

      Like 1
    • bone

      The heater core on non A/C A bodies has to be one of the easiest
      to swap out. As long as it hasn’t leaked for years resulting in a rotted floor, its no big deal

      Like 0
  10. flynndawg

    plain-jane boring point a to point b car…

    Like 1
    • EdCasala

      That’s what makes it a perfect sleeper! Drop in a Hellcat and boom! fooling everyone!

      Like 6
    • Sorel

      in an age when every car can feed your dog and cook dinner over bluetooth, a machine that just gets you from point a to point b is something to cherish!

      Like 20
      • moparnutt

        This car was made back when cars still had character, unlike the cookie cutter cars of today.

        Like 15
  11. Terrry

    This is the last year of the “regular gas” slant six, not the unleaded-only one. I had a ’75 “unleaded only” and that thing couldn’t get out of its own way.

    Like 5
    • ADM

      Well, you could run unleaded without a problem, and they also had electronic ignitions.

      Like 2
  12. JOEY V

    Looks like my ’75 Duster. If this was closer to me, I’d be seriously tempted to buy. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 2
  13. Psychofish2

    Needs shocks and alignment: read: needs front end overhaul.
    And worth doing for such a complete, tidy package.

    I used to see them sitting sort of low and with the wheels cock eyed back when they were common beaters on their fifth or sixth owners.

    That’s a very heavy duty radiator. Nice.

    Like 3
  14. DON

    The car was originally Lucerne Blue, which is kind or rare on A bodied Mopars ; then repainted black before the grey color. It likely had the blue interior as well which was common, but someone mixed in some pieces from a black interior ; the dash pad and the plastic door trim should be blue as well . The seats have been redone at one point, and are also the wrong color. Its a good deal if it runs, moves and stops , interior parts are available , a set of Rallye rims and a decent paint job and you’re good to go

    Like 6
  15. Neal in Boston

    Give it a set of Cragers with new tires and a rattle-can or professional paint job and you’re good to go with a big-butt classic. I’d love to have one of these. I’d prefer an older model with all of the interior trim and the smaller bumpers, but otherwise dreamy.

    Like 1
  16. Anthony D

    I think they went to the big fat rubber bumper guards starting in ’73? I believe the bumper guards on this car were on the ’72 and older. Am I right…or wrong?

    Like 0
    • DON

      They had both styles in 73 ; I dont know if the difference was where the cars were built , a supply issue , or just they had two different styles

      Like 0
  17. Raymond Wilson

    the door jam area on the passenger side is black also and on the door,anyway I would pay 3000 for it.could this car have been black?

    Like 1
  18. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    The seller has lowered the price to $3,000 – cash.

    Like 0
  19. Jacob marlow

    I am the seller, the door jambs and under hood and trunk and interior pieces were painted black by the original owner, hence why the seat covers are black he was trying to break up the all blue on it.

    Like 1

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