Grandma’s Sleeper: 1971 Plymouth Duster Twister

1971 Plymouth Duster Twister

One of the more enjoyable aspects of being a car buff is having an appreciation for all sorts of makes and models, especially those that elicit a particular memory. The original Plymouth Duster has always held a warm spot in my heart because my mother’s first new car was a Plymouth Gold Duster, a car she still speaks lovingly of. For someone who’s not particularly concerned with what kind of car she drives, it’s fun to hear her talk about the options she chose and how my dad felt the V8 would be too much car! Anyways, that’s why I enjoyed reading about this 1971 Duster Twister for sale here on eBay sent in by reader Jim S. There’s only one bid so far for $5,000 with the reserve unmet.

1971 Plymouth Duster Engine

Much like that Gold Duster my parents brought home in the 70s, this Duster got a little extra eye candy in the form of the Twister appearance package. It was meant to mimic the racier 340 package but was only available with the base six-cylinder or 318 V8. This particular car has the latter, but is missing the matte black hood and side stripes that gave the car some extra attitude. Credit that to some minor damage to a fender and the corner of the hood that led to the original owner – who owned the car from 1971 to 1998 – deciding the flat-black finish was too aggressive for her tastes and choosing to have it repainted a consistent shade of Sherwood Green Metallic!

1971 Plymouth Duster Interior

Although an original 340-equipped Duster will always be more valuable, I have to credit the seller with his attention to detail on a more pedestrian version. While he certainly began with a very original car with exceptionally low mileage, he also took care to preserve its authenticity even when replacing basic parts like wheel cylinders and brake shoes. Sourcing NOS parts can be a bit of a treasure hunt depending on the car, and I’m glad the seller took the time to find OEM components. He even sourced a Mopar battery! While I’m aware you can just walk over to the dealer and order a new one, most sellers opt to save a few bucks and find a generic one at Autozone. To me, this tells me something about his commitment to doing things right the first time.

Plymouth Duster Twister

This particular car seems like a great choice for an entry-level classic – a bit more unique than your run-of-the-mill Duster, a great story with its low miles and originality, and some decent options like power brakes and steering. I would return the hood to its flat-black finish and order a new stripe kit to give it the full Twister effect, and try to source the optional hood scoop and rear spoiler to complete the look. Hard to believe the original shocks are still up to the task, but I might set those aside in a safe place in favor of lowering the car ever so slightly; but that’s me. How would you treat this survivor Duster if it was in your garage? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. paul

    Put some brakes in it , these were very under braked when equipped with a V8. As for lowering the car that was easy, you just turned the torsion bars lower, not that that would help handling.

    Like 2
  2. erikj

    WoW , I love that duster . My highschool car was a 71 red 340 wedge car. sold it after school but I have had at least a dozen including a twister. Know I,m rebuilding a 71 twister that’s factory buckets with a three speed and 8 3/4 rear oya, orig fc7 in violet. neat car.

    Like 3
    • Lisa

      Looking for a 1971 duster twister. Mom always talks about one that she lost when she was younger. Her favorite color is purple 😁

      Like 1
  3. tom999p

    Cool car, but not as cool as a mustang twister

  4. David C

    I had a red with white side stripes 1971 Dodge Demon 340. LS diff., 727 automatic, black&white checked interior. It was pretty quick and a ton of fun to drive. That was 1974.
    I paid $1,700.00 for it. It had 23,000 miles on it when I bought it and it was like new!
    It was one of many I owned and loved from the fabulous 70’s.

    Like 1
  5. erikj

    Through reading the ebay listing Grandma bought it in Bellevue, Washington. If its anywhere close I will go look at it in person. That is the cleanest duster unrestored that I,ve seen for a long time. Forsure needs the black back and the scoops. I hate to say this could push me to sell mine.That would be my 4th buy through barnfinds.

    Like 2
  6. FRED

    my wifes grand parents had a yellow one with the same options. nice lil car until my brother in law thought he would try to make it a hotrod.

  7. erikj

    bought it Number 5 of of from barnfindes

    Like 3
  8. Robert

    well ill give you my opinion about this car, because low and behold i actually had this car my self . It was passed down tome from my mother in 1983 and today im still wishing i had it…aS FAR AS THE GUY SAYING THE BRAKES I DIS AGREE. they worked fine . the problem with the none 340 version was there suspension , they did not have a good suspension at all if you try to run it on a track or drive it deep into a corner the body will role so bad it felt like you will flip it so i would be fixing the suspension if it was in my hands first. and as far as the copy cat 340 duster s that were the closet to a 340 was the 1970 gold duster but the ones that were factory with the bucket seats and center concil is the one that is a rare one to find now days. they were so much more of a sport car when they were with bucket seats.

  9. Tim

    Just bought a 71 curious yellow twister 6cyl.With documentation from the dealer that it’s a real twister car a51 code on fender tag.salt and pepper seats.Mostly original owner car.

    Like 2
  10. glenda

    I had a 71 Duster Twister CURIOUSITY YELLOW with hood scoops and yellow and black stries on the hood. My kids and their friends called itthe yellow bumble bee. Loved that car.

    Like 1

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