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Gold Strike? 1973 Plymouth Duster

The Valiant was a steady performer for Plymouth, but it was rather boring in sedan trim. Enter the Duster in 1970, a fastback version that suspiciously looked a lot like Ford’s new Maverick. The Duster proved to be a hit and Valiant sales took off. This 1973 Duster has the “Gold Duster” package, one of several ways that Plymouth would dress up the model from time to time. The seller calls it a “fresh barn find,” but it looks more like a car that’s been sitting outside for a while. It’s offered in Fayetteville, Georgia and available here on Facebook Marketplace for $5,700.

The Duster was all-Valiant from the cowl forward, but it was all-new the rest of the way back. While you could have some muscle in terms of ordering a Duster 340, most were sold with either the Slant-Six or 318 V-8 Chrysler powerplants. Plymouth was always dreaming up ways to offer “Special Editions” of their cars, and the Duster was no exception. Over the car’s 1970-76 run, numerous trim and option packages were offered, with names that included Feather Duster, Silver Duster, Space Duster, Duster Twister and Gold Duster, like the seller’s car.

The Gold Duster came with special badging, gold stripes on the sides and rear, wall-to-wall carpeting, pleated or all-vinyl seats, deluxe insulation and a canopy vinyl roof. There don’t seem to be any records as to how many Gold Dusters were made for 1973, but Plymouth sold a quarter-million Dusters in total that year (exc. the Duster 340), its second best. A photo of what the seller’s car could have looked like new is added here.

Both photos and descriptions are in short supply from the seller.  A good cleaning and some air in the tires might show a 1973 Gold Duster that has survived better than we think.  The seller does tell us it has 65,000 miles on it, but not much else. It appears as though someone has added a non-matching spoiler on the trunk and the lower rear quarter panel on the driver’s side seems to have been patched. So, anyone looking at the car should give it a thorough inspection for rust.

The seller goes to some length to describe mechanical repairs and upgrades that have been made without telling us what engine these were all done to. For example, we’re told the prior owner built the engine, including top and bottom ends, camshaft, pistons, rods and so forth. But was all this done to a 225 or 318 or something else? Whatever the case, the motor is mated to a Torque-Flite automatic. The seller’s asking price seems rather stiff considering that a Duster in top shape is worth barely five figures, more if it were a 340. If you were to buy this car as it sits, would you have struck gold or maybe just found Fool’s Gold?

Comments

  1. Fred W

    Sellers are shooting themselves in the foot when they don’t bother with a “cleaned up” shot in addition to the “still in the barn” shots.

    Like 6
    • Russ Dixon Russ Dixon Staff

      If they were asking dirt prices, that would be only thing. But $5,700 for a car sitting in the dirt with no true indication of what’s there is missing the mark by a mile.

      Like 10
  2. George Louis

    It would have been nice if the seller or the article mentioned what size engine was in this ride. Also, I question why all the engine work on a car that supposedly has 60.000 miles. The rear bumper has been replaced as the Rubber biscuits for impact protection do not match the front ones that have the chrome base meeting bumper. Also look at the fit of bumper to body on driver side rear.

    Like 3
    • Little_Cars

      You are looking at the last “could have looked like new” example photo, which shows metal bumper over-rider bases. The car for sale is fine in the bumper department. No issues.

      Like 0
    • DON

      There were two style bumper guards used in Dusters in 1973 , one has the chrome and black rubber style, the other is the larger all rubber guards .I don’t know why they had two styles for one body style.

      Like 0
      • Little_Cars

        Different assembly plants? Old stock/new stock changeover mid-year? Maybe the photo of the new Duster is a different year?

        Like 0
      • DON

        No, they are the same year . I’ve owned quite a few of these over the last 40 odd years and still don’t exactly know why. Its not production dates , trim or engine displacements but its possible different plants got different styles. The larger rubber block style seems to be the harder of the two to find . I’ve never seen a Valiant with the solid rubber ones either , just the chromies

        Like 0
  3. Kenneth Carney

    Thanks for the photos Russ! Gotta get
    started on a portrait of my BIL’s car that
    he owned in the ’70s. He bought it new
    in ’73 and by the time he finished with it,
    it was one of the baddest street machines in town. When he started with it, the car was a 318/3 on the floor. Bit
    by bit, he started building it up to the holy terror that it finally became. When
    finished. the car was a real rip snorter!
    It ran a cammed up 440 V-8 topped with
    an Eddlebrock tunnel ram with 2 very large Holley carbs on top. The engine
    also had beefed up innards along with
    a set of Hooker headers as well. The
    power was sent through a Hurst 4 speed
    with a lightning rod shifter on top. All
    those ponies met the ground by way of
    Dana 60 rear axle and some very wide
    Goodyear tires out back. Other mods
    included Ansen slot mags all ’round, a
    trunk mounted spoiler, and a custom
    hood scoop to make room for that
    monstrous tunnel ram under the hood.
    That car was his baby until he and my
    sister decided to get married. And you
    know how it went from there. I made
    him a print of the car in 2005, but their
    cat destroyed it before he and Sis could
    get it framed. Thanks to you guys, I’ve
    got what I’ll need to get the job done.
    Stay safe out there!

    Like 0
  4. Sunshine

    This listing includes the rare “Space Duster” folding rear seat and finished trunk. The listing mentions the “big rear end” which should be the 8.75 only included with 318 V-8’s of Gold Duster, and 340 only on Duster 340.

    Like 3
  5. Robert Eddins

    I never felt a Valiant looked like a Maverick.

    Like 13
  6. DrillnFill

    My dad had that same style deck lid spoiler on his ‘70 Duster back in the day.

    Like 1
    • RTS

      Never see those anymore. Had the same one on my ’74 Duster “back in the day”.

      Like 1
  7. Terry Bowman

    When selling a car, don’t leave a sheet of plywood under the car with oil everywhere while taking a photo. Car seems to be complete. No running motor, $2,000 – $2,500. A fun car to drive!!!!! I could never understand where the name “Twister” came about.The “Gold Duster” I would think, it being a high option car. Can anyone give input?

    Like 0
    • Bmac777

      Good question.
      Chrysler corp sure got their money’s worth out of the Dart /Valiant models with all the names they badged onto them.
      “Is that a Swinger? NO, It’s a Scamp !” lol
      Sadly, as years in the elements went by, most of these became
      Ruster Dusters

      Like 2
    • don

      Twister is another name for a tornado ,which was the Dusters’ logo

      Like 2
  8. Little_Cars

    Fuel filler fire?

    Like 2
  9. George Louis

    The 1970 Duster looked more like a Chevy Nova Twin than the Ford Maverick. It also was more the size of a Nova rather than a Maverick.. The Gold Duster Package was an upgrade over the standard Duster Package. It included the Gold Stripping, Gold Duster Decal, Halo Vinyl Roof. Wheel Covers,etc

    Like 1
  10. Stangalang

    I wondered the same thing about the fuel door lol..looks a tad scorched (not a good sign)

    Like 4
    • Don H

      That’s what happens when ya light a cig when putting gas in your car⛽🚭

      Like 4
      • Dave

        No…you gotta see the Jeff Dunham video where Achmed explains what happened to him. It’s hilarious!

        Like 2
  11. Pete in PA

    I also noticed the fold down rear seat “Space Duster” option. I haven’t seen one of those for a while and they were very handy for moving large items. Not enough pics or info to get anywhere near the asking.

    Like 1
    • DON

      I’ve got one in my 340 Duster ; most people aren’t even aware the option was available – in fact I’ve overheard people at cruise nights telling their friends my car is modified because they never had a fold down seat in a Duster !

      Like 1
  12. TimM

    How does anyone list a car without showing an under hood picture or at least say if it’s a V-8 or 6!!! Even an idiot can count spark plug wires!!!

    Like 2
  13. JCA Member

    This guy is a mess…

    Like 2
  14. Robert

    I TO HAD A 1970 GOLD DUSTER It had a 318 cui and a 727 trans power steering power brakes and even air condition loved that car had it when i was in high school it was Emeral green . the best thing about this package was the bucket seats and center concile . Back in the 80’s when i got rid of the car i had no idea they would become a collectors car . i sold it for 750.00 then and now there worth alot more. i also had a 72 with a slant six and it was canary yellow lol a eye sore back then lol.

    Like 2
  15. George Louis

    Those people probably think they are CAR EXPERTS. Remember same year Dodge Dart Sport introduce the Convertriple. Standard Dart Sport, then add Sliding sunroof, finally add fold down rear seat for six feet 5 inch loading platform you have the convertriple!!! Just like the Duster Package same options.

    Like 0
  16. George Louis

    The solid rubber bumper biscuits came on the low line models of Valiants ,Darts, Dusters, and Dart Sports. The high line models had the bumper biscuits that had the chrome bases that attached to the bumper and then had the smaller rubber biscuit attached to the chrome base.

    Like 0
    • DON

      But the car listed is a high line car , its a 318 Gold Duster with a fold down back seat The mint one pictured is also a high line 318 Gold Duster and has the small rubbers . My 340 car also has the larger rubber guards and a Dart Sport Convertriple I owned also had the larger ones. . I dont think I’ve ever seen any A body other than the Duster and Dart Sport come with the larger ones.

      Like 0
      • Little_Cars

        @ DON Some people may deride you for spending too much time living in the minutiae of bumper guards. But those of us who purchased little British cars in the year 1974 were confronted with a dilemma also. Mid year British Leyland added big rubber bricks to their lineup of cars destined for the US market. See examples.

        Like 0
  17. Little_Cars

    What most people remember on the 1970-early 74 Midgets. Sorry so fuzzy.

    Like 1

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