Golden Project? 1975 Plymouth Duster 360

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Well, I know what gold dust is and now that I think about it, I do remember Plymouth making an upscale Duster known as the “Gold Duster”. And what do you know, Pat L. has discovered one hanging out in San Jose, California and it’s looking for a new home. This example has undergone some modification so it’s not as originally intended, let’s see what’s here. This 1975 Plymouth is available, here on craigslist, for $10,500.

One of the first things that I noticed about our subject car is its surface rust coated roof but if you note closely, the C-pillars aren’t affected. That’s because the Gold Duster came equipped with a goofy-looking half vinyl top covering that didn’t extend over the entire roof. Fortunately, it has been removed – so much the better aesthetically and preservation-wise – those things are rust incubators. And while the exterior images aren’t great, what’s underneath doesn’t appear to be too disturbed. All-in-all, the body appears to be sound but that’s often the case with California domiciled vehicles. I’m not certain what all of the black spots across the driver’s side represent – primer over bare spots perhaps?

Unavailable to the Gold Duster was a 360 CI “LA” engine as a 150 net HP 318 V8 was as frisky as a Gold Duster could get. This example has undergone an upgrade to the engine that was only available in the Duster 360 and the seller claims that it “Runs and drives very well“. Little is said about the ensconced motor but the visuals indicated a Holley carburetor and an aluminum intake manifold are in place. Also mentioned is an 8.25” differential channeling power to the rear wheels but I can’t say if that’s good,  adequate, or bad for this set-up so I’ll ask one of our many Mopar aficionados to chime in on that matter.

The interior images aren’t very revealing though the tan vinyl bench seat upholstery shows pretty well. There appears to be an oversized A-Pillar attached tachometer that has been added and some under dash engine gauges but beyond that, it looks like stock Duster, no, make that Gold Duster, territory.

The surprising thing here is all of the extra parts included in the sale, there are boxes of items, even an engine block which ostensibly could be the original 318 – there’s no explanation offered. Wheels, radiator, stainless trim, etc. there’s a little bit of everything!

The seller concludes with, “I want to sell because it just sits“. That’s a fair enough reason, interest lost perhaps? I know I have encountered that feeling more than once. It seems that some exterior aesthetics are all it would take to make this compact Plymouth truly presentable – who knows, it could be a fun ride, right?

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  1. George Louis

    The black tape holding on the trunk trim panel was “NOT” a factory approved Engineering Change. This car has been violated, pass on this one.

    Like 1
  2. Phil D

    A malaise-era 360 2-bbl wouldn’t have been significantly more powerful than was a 318 back in 1970, when the Duster was introduced. Those would likely have had an 8 1/4″ axle behind it from the factory, and this is an automatic, to boot. That axle should be fine in this car.

    Like 1
    • Chris

      Agree. 8.25 can handle a lot. Would be much better with a Sure Grip installed, but even open would be fine without a lot more power and/or heavy abuse, esp for street on street tires.

      Like 1

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