Green Gold: 1973 Plymouth Gold Duster

Green is the new gold when it comes to this 1973 Plymouth Gold Duster. This clean beauty can be found here on craigslist in the Auburn, New Hampshire area. The seller has an asking price of $6,500 listed. Thanks to Pat L. for sending in this tip!

This car looks incredible in the photos. Other than a slightly lighter color on some panels, it looks great. The seller says that there are a couple of spots, but they don’t elaborate on that, I’m assuming they mean rust spots? The opening photo shows what looks like the only Gold Duster decal, on the left front fender. The right front fender doesn’t have one, maybe it was repainted and they never replaced the sticker.

You can see the variation in paint color/shade here, too. The seller says that it has a lot of the original paint so we know that it has had some paint work done in the past. Plymouth took the sporty Valiant coupe and made the Duster and then proceeded to make several special editions, including the Gold Duster, which was added halfway through the 1970 model year.

The seller says that the 76,000 miles on this Duster are documented and they have a clean title. The interior looks great but seeing tan/brown carpet in a green car is a little strange. The seats look nice both front and rear and I don’t see any cracks on the top of the dash. It seems unusual that Plymouth would make a green “Gold Duster” but they came in several colors both inside and out.

In decoding the VIN and what’s visible of the door tag, this is a 225 slant-six which by 1973 had dropped to 105 hp. The paint color code looks correct as does the black “canopy” vinyl roof color code. This car runs and drives perfectly according to the seller. Any thoughts on this green Gold Duster?

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Comments

  1. Sandy Claws

    Darn, what a nice car. 72 was the best year, still ran well and used unleaded gas, so good for today, but I would still take this in a heart beat. Dad bought a new 76 Volare, man was that SS bad!

    5
    • Paul

      My Mom had a 72 Gold Duster and I had a 73 Duster. I agree with Sandy, the 72 was so much better. The 73 had the pollution equipment and the power was awful.

      4
  2. That AMC guy

    Never owned one but had plenty of friends and family who did. These were true cockroaches of the road back in the day with a virtually unkillable drivetrain. Usually the rest of the car would rot away with the engine still purring along. (In fact although this car looks great in the photos the usual rust belt caveats apply. Pay particular attention to torsion bar anchor points.)

    I love the aftermarket “air conditioner” under the dash of this one! If you think, though, that GM power steering is overboosted wait until you drive one of these cars – the radio volume control has more road feel!

    14
    • Angrymike

      I was going to comment on the country-air, if no one else did. I smiled when I saw it !

      9
    • Miguel Member

      That is what I call the new Nissan Versa. The cockroach.

      They are everywhere and nobody wants them around.

      3
      • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Is that like “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded?”… (ha)

        4
      • Mike W

        The carpet could very well be the original. Many dark color factory carpets faded over time to rust/ gold color. I have restored a number of them over the years that faded like this one!

  3. NovaTom

    Here in Texas that tan carpet would be normal where the sun blasted it. Should be a nice green under the seats

    7
  4. TimM

    Nice looking car at a good price!! Slant six with proper maintenance would run indefinitely!! It sure would be cool to horse shoe a hellcat hemi into this nice body and make a real nice sleeper!!!

    6
  5. Superdessucke

    Gold Dusters were very popular back in the day. They usually were dark brown. I always remember asking myself, “why do they call it a Gold Duster when it’s actually not gold??”

    6
    • Miguel Member

      I don’t remember Gold Dusters being anything but gold. I guess the memory plays tricks.

      I had a gold Gold Duster for a short while.

      2
      • Superdessucke

        There were gold ones but most by my memory seemed to be dark brown, or that forest green. Beige was also frequently seen.

        2
  6. Rube Goldberg

    Al Bundy,,,

    9
    • Tony Primo

      I almost forgot about Al’s Duster, good catch Howard.

      5
      • Terry Bowman

        I remember Al calling his Plymouth Duster a Dodge throughout the series, showing that a Dodge is a lower class auto then a Plymouth. One of my favorite shows in the time. Al did what the rest of us guys would like to do or at least thought about it.LOL

        6
    • Grey O’ Brien

      I like the episode when he took it to the car wash. He thought they lost his car. It went in gold came out red. Then he remembered it was red

      2
    • Grey O’ Brien

      I like the episode when he took it to the car wash. He thought they lost his car. It went in gold came out red. Then he remembered it was red

      2
  7. Bob C.

    A neighbor of mine once bought a 73 Duster brand new. Over time certain panels seemed to change a different shade of color as well. I found that strange since it was never in an accident. It was a super cheap model with dog dish hubcaps and no radio.

    2
  8. Jeff D.

    I worked on these when they were all over the road, both literally and figuratively. Man that was an ill handling car. Ralph Nadar should have wrote his book about this one.
    But yes, they did run forever…….nice walk down memory lane here. Nice ride for somebody.

    2
    • Marty

      They actually used a wider front track than the rear to address the road manners. The factory was never completely successful but with aftermarket shocks, springs, and torsion bars they can be made to handle nicely. I think that the tires had a lot to do with the feeling of being all over the road as well.

      2
    • Bill W

      Never had problems with the handling on my 1972 Dart. Even the magazine road testers of the era complimented the Dart and Valiant handling in comparison to the Nova and Maverick.

      The Valiants and Darts of that era came with bias ply tires (6.95×14″ in 1972), not radials. And the suggested tire pressure was usually around 24-28 psi. Polyglas tires were optional.

      I ran the bias ply tires with 32-34 psi and got decent handling. Much later (20 years) I purchased a 1965 Valiant, 225 slant six with Pirelli radials. Wow! What a difference!

      The seller also gave me a set of bias ply tires so I tried them. When I got back home I put the Pirellis back on and dropped the bias ply tires at the local used tire store. No comparison – radials were so much better.

      And I have to say my 1972 Dart never exhibited the horrid handling many people claim the Chrysler compacts had.

      1
  9. Wayne

    Reasonable width wheels, just a little more tire and good quality shocks and the handling is much improved.

    1
  10. Terry Bowman

    Great Car, for a beginner. Tear it up, then buy a new one to baby. This was what most of us kids did back in the 70’s & 80’s. Then on the other hand, the older group bought them because they were inexpensive and dependable. I have even seen them with a “no heat” option, radio delete and vinyl flooring. A agree with the above comment on the carpeting fading. My black is turning grey and I keep it out of the sun, unless at shows. Then again, that’s over 500 shows. Good luck, to the new owner and keep the 6 cyl. in it.

    5
  11. Del

    Nice car.

    But if you want one, wait for a V8

    1
  12. PatrickM

    Looks good. The slant 6 is okay. But, I honestly think the seller should have furnished us with a few underside shots. It always helps when selling. Also, for a car this old, equipped as it is, I think it is too highly priced. to me, it is just an average car…an errand runner, and not worth more than $4,000.00. Of course, I haven’t checked any raters, either. Just my thoughts. But, good luck to seller and new owner.

    2
  13. JohnU

    My father had a Gold Duster that color but with a gold stripe down the side and across the trunk. After 6 months it was to “compact” for him and he went back to Buick 225’s

    3
  14. Alkemyst

    My first car was 1973 Duster with a 318. I still have it. She’s in need of MASSIVE rehab, but I pan to resto mod her into the Duster I think Plymouth should have made. My daughter is pining for a Duster or an older car. Something like this would be a good start…

    2
  15. sluggo

    Ah! Dirty Dusters Done Dirt Cheap, The leaning tower of power! Had several of them and were good earners for resale when I supplemented my very meagre income in the military and years afterwards. In late 80s and thru to mid 90s these were easy to pick up detail service or repairs and make a profit if you kept in a certain range of affordability. slant 6 ran forever however the trannies were weak, I know personally of several that lived well into the 300,000 mile range and still racking up miles but usually going thru several trans.
    They also made respectable but often overlooked Hotrods with a 340/360. I had a 72 Nova and while a Chevy guy, basically Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouths counterpoint. I did some racing and while I like roadrace and sports cars couldnt find any of that near Military bases I was at, So got involved in Circle track. The Torsion bar suspensions on these made these the dominant cars in short track racing. Others had more HP but these had a unique and powerful advantage on dirt and paved ovals. Few survived. Nice time capsule.

  16. Karl

    The 225 slant 6 seemed like a pretty reliable engine showing up in some of the oddest places. When I was a kid our lake had a very larger sea weed harvesting machine on it and it had a slant 6 attached to it’s out drive. I also have a Tucker Sno Cat with a 225 slant 6 in it they all seemed very durable! I would sure guess this would be in the same league.

    1
  17. WH

    We had 2 Dusters in our family. A white 73 and a green 72. Both had the slant six and automatic. I believe “Gold Dusters” came in a variety of colors. It was just a trim package with tape stripes and the Gold Duster decals. I saw many in different colors back then. I’m sure if you Google it you’ll find out. I myself drove a Plymouth Scamp 318 back then. We were a Mopar family.

    1
  18. Bill W

    For 1973 Chrysler changed the front brakes on the A body going to a wider spindle. Which is why rims for the 1960-1972 Valiants will not fit on 1973 and up models. The centre hole is too small on the rims before 1973.

    The disc brake rotor diameter went from 10″ to 10.8″ for 1973. The front tread was increased from 57.5″ in 1972 to 59.1″ in 1973.

    The torsion bars remained the same for 1973, but the rest of the suspension was changed (beefed up by the looks of it).

    1
    • Terry Bowman

      Bill W, not sure what you mean by “a wider spindle”, but the bolt pattern was changed from a 4″ to a 4.5″, to match the other Mopar cars. The torsion bars was sized to the weight of the engine. the 6 cyl. had their own set as the small block had their own and the big block had their own. What was unique with the torsion bars was you could adjust the frontal height by just a little turn. For drag racing you would drop a size to lift the front for better traction to the rear. Stock cars you could adjust right or left lean depending on the track. No springs to buy or cut for different applications. The other bodies B & E, you could do the same. Not sure on the C bodies.

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