Matching Numbers: 1972 Plymouth Duster 340

Listed for sale here on Craigslist is this 1972 Plymouth Duster 340. Located in Detroit, Michigan, and complete with a clean title, this car can be yours for $22,900. My thanks must go out to Barn Finds reader Michael for putting us on to this Duster.

The outwards appearance of this Duster looks quite nice. I like the color and the stripes set off nicely against it, and also appear to be in good condition. The owner describes it as a survivor car with original sheet-metal and mostly original paint. I’m always intrigued my the term “mostly original paint”. I wonder which bit isn’t original. The other big plus with this particular Duster is that the owner does have a fair amount of documentation at hand. These include the original build sheet, bill of sale and warranty booklet.

There is only one shot of the interior of this car. It tells some of the story, but not all of it. What it does tell us is quite promising. There is some wrinkling of the vinyl on the passenger side door card and maybe some wear on the pedals, but generally, the carpet and seat look quite good. There isn’t a complete shot of the dash pad, but what we can see appears to be free of cracks and discoloration.

Given that this is a Duster 340 that the owner describes as numbers matching, there will be no prizes for guessing what lies under the hood. The engine bay itself looks to be in about the right state for a car of this age that has been described as a survivor. The engine appears to be clean, but if I’m right then it is sporting after-market valve covers. It is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. I wasn’t sure about the transmission. My original assumption was that it was a 3 speed because of the markings on the shift knob (which I admit are hard to read in the photo). However, a search on the internet located this particular car advertised elsewhere and that lists it as a 4 speed. The only thing that worries me (and this is purely personal) is that I really don’t like the plastic fuel filter on top of the engine. A lot of people will say that it’s fine, but I just have an aversion to them. I would far prefer to see a metal one.

Scouting around the internet at what’s for sale at the moment reveals that this Duster is priced at about the low end of average, although unmolested ones seem to be getting harder to find. I’d really like to know which parts of the paintwork aren’t original, but given the fact that the owner claims that the sheet metal is all original indicates that the car may have only received some minor cosmetic touch-ups in the past. I’m a guy who is at the business side of his 50s, but cars like this make me feel like I’m 20 again. That can’t be a bad thing.

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Comments

  1. Karguy James

    Baby blue is a tough color to sell on a muscle car. Maybe the 4spd will make up for the color. Looks like a good one though.

    12
    • Tom Nemec Member

      Well said. 4 speed is awesome. I like the interior color as well. As I go to my standard commentary…..why couldn’t people put away cars that were better colors???

      4
      • Anthony in RI

        Because what 20 year old in 1972 wanted a baby blue 340 Duster? He got a red one and beat the cr*p out of it when it was just another used car…..

        3
      • Tim S. Member

        This is partly why there’s a lack of color choices on modern automobiles. When a green, yellow or blue classic shows up, people wish it was black, white or silver.

        8
  2. Miguel

    I would like to see if it really sells for that price.

    I would think a younger person would buy it instead of the peo0ple that remember how worthless these cars always were.

    If I am right, the seller had better throw in some lessons on how to drive that stick.

    10
    • Top Jimmy

      Worthless??? As fast as a Corvette of the day. Guessing that some proud dad was spoiling his daughter for graduation and didn’t want plum purple or gimme a ticket red. I’d drive it!

      12
  3. Buddy L

    Where’s the Antenna?

  4. nrg8

    Baby blue and sagged out springs. Definately room for haggling.

    5
  5. Lance

    I personally love the baby blue color.
    A Duster is such a perfect size it can be a daily driver or a show car unlike some of the behemoth muscle cars of the past. It saddens me than an affordable compact from the 1970s in good condition can cost more than many new cars.

    1
  6. Fordfan

    The first thing to go would be the ugly cheap steering wheel , replaced with the ” tuff wheel ” then bucket seats and a console

    4
  7. Nick

    Nice car, hope it finds a good home. Price isn’t all that unreasonable, these are rare and there is a lot of mopar fans that love these. The rear panel on the 72 is a one year only, and they were notorious for rotting out.

    6
  8. angliagt

    For some reason, “Duster”, & “Matching Numbers” amuses me.
    I had a ’78 Fairmont wagon with “Matching Numbers”,but don’t think that’d
    impress anyone.

    6
    • Neal

      That’s a good one, angliagt!
      Agreed!

  9. Sparkster

    I had a numbers matching 66′ Buick LeSabre 400 and nobody cared . I remember riding my Candy apple red Schwinn StingRay over to the Plymouth dealer in late 71′ and seeing this color on a Duster and thought, Well that’s quite mellow for the times. Nice color but you have to think that some old fart at Chrysler corp in Detroit wanted a mellow color and presented this to make him happy. It’s a shame they didn’t order this Duster with bucket seats. Nice car and seems to be a good price.

    5
  10. Keith

    Oh H#LL Naw! Another worthless Mopar in baby blue! Nawwwwwwww!

    2
    • Tim S. Member

      Worthless? More value than your schtick, without a doubt.

      6
  11. Little Cars

    I drove a bench seat 4 speed Duster all summer about 4 years ago while my daily driver was in the shop for extended repairs. Two of those gears will have your fist almost grazing the dash or the front of the seat. Much better color choice of copper exterior with factory graphics and road wheels and sporting an off-white interior. Turned a lot of heads when I opened the hood and revealed a slant six.

  12. Johnny Cuda

    A matching numbers 340 Duster is quite a find. I would keep it just the way it is. When I worked at Curt’s Texaco in Framingham, MA in the late 70’s, all the guys that worked there were Chevy guys. But Jimmy with the 66 Chevelle SS396 was the one that told me that the car to get was a 340 Duster. I never did get a 340 Duster. I got Mom’s Chevelle wagon instead.

    10
    • Mopar Joe

      I know this guy.
      – Mopar Joe

  13. Jubjub

    Neat car. I’m not scared of colors so the blue is ok…bet it’s easy to do touch ups on. I also like the bench seat with the four speed. Seems almost naked without a vinyl top.

    3
  14. Ken Member

    My ’71 Demon 340 had the Rallye dash with gauges and a 150 mph speedo. This one has a basic Valiant/Dart dash. Did it change for 1972?

    I’m suspicious of this one. It might be a clone car.

    4
    • Krindall

      Last year for rallye dash was 71, all Dustos and Darts had the basic dash for 72 on

      2
  15. Little Cars

    CL post says the seller has the original build sheet. I agree about the dash. One could order a lot of combinations for Demon/Duster Dart/Valient and still not have an “authentic” 340 model.

  16. Mike R in De

    If you want to dress it up, add the black vinyl hood kit, after market wheels, maybe a rear window louver, and enjoy it. The local Plymouth dealer ordered in a load of Dusters 340s in mixed colors, transmissions. This package sold First, white second. Yes, you could get a 3 speed with the 340. Classmates of mine got one for graduation. First thing we did was back off the front torsion bars to lower the front, improve the stance. Good luck to the new owner.

    7
  17. Neal

    It would be fun to have one of these, but I’d rather save the $ and get one with a 318 or even the slant six. I do like the 4 speed though.
    I like the whole package here, just not high enough on my list for that kind of money.

    1
  18. Hide Behind

    These 340 Dusters, and their ilk, were the inexpensive route to being respected in their day, a throwback to cheap entry and even roadrunner ( which got a 340 that was faster than 383) el cheapo bodies of Falcons, Novas w/V8 and 4 speeds.
    Big difference was Dart w/340 had muscle to get adrenaline flowing.
    Big diff was while Chev and Ford were smogging and slowing down their entries, these 340′ still hauled.
    Streight line only, Bro in law rolled his three times and its sheet metal was spread over a 1/4 mile and front piece of grille in trees, all on an easy corner we
    took at over 100 IN many another vehicle.
    If auto and its equipment street nice, the price seems high, 12-15k max for a not to popular auto.

    2
  19. kelly g

    Baby blue is a strong seller here in NC, but of course we call it Carolina Blue. Would be great fun to tailgate at a Tarheels game in this Duster.

    7
    • Little Cars

      Did they do liftgate versions of the Duster, Demon or Dart like GM did with the Nova? You could do that pretty well, tailgating with one of these “Convert-triple” Mopar.

  20. stillrunners

    They did change up the carb for 1972…not a favorite amoung mopar guys – still hard to find a 340 still original to the car. On the high or top of the pricing for a A-Body. Still nice….

  21. Troy s

    Like it a bunch. Seems to me this fit perfectly with Plymouth, maybe more so than the show offish ‘cuda. That brand owned the cheap, taxi cabish, basic style of car better than any other brand. And that’s a good thing. Pontiac couldn’t do it with their GT37 cheapo, That low key image would never work for them, or most other brands. Low option low price Roadrunner and these 340 Duster’s sold very well compared to say the high dollar GTX. Glad to see there are nice examples like this still around.

    2

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