Midget Muscle: 1971 Plymouth Duster Shorty

Update 4/29/22 – After nearly six months, this mini muscle car has been relisted here on eBay. Do you think it will find a buyer this time around?

From 11/9/21 – This Dart may not be a barn find but it deserves an honorable mention for being awesome. It was built in the seventies as a show car and was supposedly even featured on the cover of a Mopar Magazine back in the day. The shortened silhouette may not be for everyone but it might be the perfect way to stand out in the muscle car crowd. Find it here on eBay where bidding ends soon!

You’d think there would be a tiny engine under the hood but there’s actually a 360 V8 in there! I’m sure the combination of high torque and short wheelbase provides some interesting driving characteristics! It would be fun to take this thing out in a big parking lot to see how it handles sharp turns while pressing the gas pedal. This might be the only muscle car where turning is more fun than accelerating.

With the tuck and roll vinyl and a chrome steering wheel, the interior of this Dart looks more like a boat than a car. You might have to build a dock to board it too! With the rear quarters basically shoved into the front fenders, there isn’t any room for doors. So ingress may be a little tough unless you have really long legs… Or a step stool nearby.

The idea of shortening a car may seem strange today but it was actually a common practice back in the day. We’ve featured many custom shorties over the years and I doubt this will be the last. The wild lace paint job and five slot mags would not normally be my first picks but they capture the era when this mini muscle car was built perfectly.  I’d drive. How about you?


  1. RGSmith1 Member

    And this is what I love about BarnFinds. You never know what is going to show up next!

    Like 54
  2. PaulG

    A Duster that got the “Too much time on my hands” treatment…
    AND, check out the shifter location!
    Bid well over 8500 / reserve not met. 25+ bids.
    Checked the calendar, nope still November 9th.
    I’ve seen some amazing stuff on this site, this is one of them.

    Like 22
  3. Gbauer

    Finally a classic muscle car that’ll actually fit in my new home’s garage!

    Like 30
    • stu


      Like 4
  4. rustylink

    That shifter location is “interesting”….I guess you live with some quirks in the shorty world…

    Like 7
  5. Steve R

    The dealers website had a price of $12,971, but shows it as sold.

    It’s tacky, but it has survived and represents a specific point in with the dish mags, fish scale paint, B&M 60 series shifter and shortened wheelbase. It will never be driven on a regular basis, but will stand out, rightfully so, at any show, which is what many participants crave. If it actually sold on the low-teens it was well bought.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  6. Ike Onick

    Clown car at best.

    Like 41
    • Mike H

      My thought exactly.

      Like 12
  7. BONE

    As a Plymouth owner, I take offense as to this being called a Dart , instead of a Valiant , which the Duster was based on…. I also take offense that some chopped up a car to make this ,LOL

    Like 19
    • Leslie Martin Member

      Having owned a number of 340 Darts and Dusters, I must concur.

      Unfortunately, this car is a complete abomination, but at least it was a Valiant effort.

      Like 27
    • AnthonyD

      Thx BONE. Can’t believe I missed that!

      Like 2
  8. sir_mike

    I never understood why people thought this was a good idea.

    Like 20
  9. MB

    Nope, nope, and NFW.

    Like 13
  10. Gary

    “Mama always said, stupid is as stupid does.” The wise and all knowing, Forrest Gump.

    Like 14
  11. Sam61

    Oh the humanity!

    Like 9
  12. NovaTom

    Sooo … I wonder – does the trans connect directly to diff?

    Like 8
  13. Howard A Member

    Bidding ends soon,,,oh no, is it too late to submit a phony bid? This too shows how introverted our society has become. Someone, did a lot of work here, thinking, surely everyone will like this, when, I think, nothing could be a bigger turnoff. 1st, why are they shortening anything to begin with. Another half baked west coast fad? Butchered a nice car here, practically worthless, as is.

    Like 15
    • terry

      It used to be a fad to shorten 55-57 Chevies. The rear door sections were chopped off and the car rejoined.

      Like 4
  14. Chuck Simons

    I remember this from the magazines. Back in the cobweb encrusted chambers (garage stalls) of my 66 yo memories

    Like 1
  15. Frank

    It will make a great clown car in a parade. What a waste of a classic car.

    Like 7
  16. Howie Mueler

    Yes this is bad, but the paint job just makes it worse.

    Like 7
  17. Steve

    Just cause you can doesn’t mean you should!

    Like 4
  18. Lee

    Bet if you put sand bags in the trunk you could pop wheelies!

    Like 3
    • Bick Banter

      I bet if you swapped in a Hellcat 6.2 and put a set of slicks on it, you could flip it on its top without the back bumper ever touching the ground!

  19. Mark

    Whoever built this car should be forced to jump off a very high bridge.

    Like 5
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Whoever built this car should be forced to drive it the rest of their life.

      Like 12
  20. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    1. I’m unable to find any evidence of this car’s existence 40 to 50 years ago.

    2. The interior is white, yet after 4 to 5 decades without a convertible top the interior still looks like new, as does the black vinyl fabric around the windshield frame. Vinyl interior materials kept in clean and dry storage, still have a look of age due to contact with ozone in the air. This one does not show that age.

    3. I have a hard time believing that the various owners of this car down thru the decades, having supposedly kept nearly immaculate condition of the vehicle, would NOT have any period photos or print materials showing it’s history.

    4. A “show car” of this caliber would have surely been equipped with a radio, heater, and HVAC controls, so why are they missing? Granted, if the car had a rare stereo or AM/FM, that might disappear, but who takes the heater and HVAC panel out, especially where there is no top? Even in Florida or the southwest, it gets cold in summer evenings.

    5. The underhood photo shows what appears to be a brand new state VIN tag fastened to the firewall. One would think the original VIN would have been used in the 1970s build, so why would a new state VIN be required?

    Like 10
    • terry

      I think, because there’s a sucker born every minute and they all gather on eBay.

      Like 6
      • angliagt angliagt Member

        Or BringaTrailer.

        Like 1
  21. Troy s

    Built, or hacked, when these were as common as brown shoes, nobody gave a fig about these future crushers. Only now many years later does this cartoon car offend or upset folks. “You hacked up a Plymouth Duster? Shame on you!”
    Back then, awe so what.
    Best thing here for me are the wheels, they look good on these Dusters.

    Like 7
    • Psychofish2

      At least the crushers had utility.
      And actual doors.
      And a top to protect one from the elements.
      And structural integrity.
      Really stupid. Like removing the bumpers on a car with unobtanium sheet metal parts.
      Useless for any other purpose besides as a Cars & Coffee entry, car shows and lawn decorating.

      Like 1
  22. Bob Nelson

    This is the most stupid car I have ever seen on Barn Finds.

    Like 4
  23. Gary


    Like 3
  24. Terrry

    No VIN, air cleaner on cockeyed, wrong color on the engine, a Pennsylvania data plate, and being sold by a dealer. Yep, sure smacks of authenticity to me. I think they are actually selling a poorly customized jalopy that was assembled maybe five years ago.

    Like 3
  25. Kenneth Haughton

    I guess Peter Dinklage hasn’t seen this one yet. He’d fit perfectly. With the help of a step ladder. Lol. Love ya Pete!

    Like 1
  26. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Ended at $9,100, Reserve Not Met.

    Like 1
  27. erik johnston

    I sure hope that Was not a 340 car! I didnt read all but thats a big turn off for a real duster guy

    Like 1
  28. S

    From 11/9/21 – this is not a Dart at all! It’s a Duster.

    Like 1
  29. Michael Berkemeier

    Horrible, simply horrible.They couldn’t pay me to take this thing…oh, and under the hood is atrocious. What a mess. This should be on “Laughable junk that no one will ever buy” or some such site.

    Like 2
  30. Jack

    Amazing that someone came up with this idea and then implemented it.

    Like 2
  31. Troy

    I would be a buyer at $1000 bucks for this clown car but bidding is already over $7k and still says reserve not met.
    My intention for it would be to prank my grandson who will be16 soon and tell him its his first car. Problem with that is he would probably love it and set out to make it safe and faster

    Like 1
  32. Chris

    2022 UPDATE: Wait, nevermind, it’s still awful. No update.

    Like 3
  33. 454RAT Member

    It’s your normal Chrysler product. What’s the confusion here? Looks pretty ”Pentastar” to me.

    Like 2
  34. Comet

    I thought it was tacky until I saw the wood paneled trunk. Now I’m all in!

    Like 2
  35. Rw

    Give benefit of doubt maybe a tree fell across the middle and someone saved it, definitely a conversation piece more comment than any car on BF in awhile

    Like 3
  36. Rw

    It’s only been up 5 hrs as I type this

    Like 2
  37. Lee Wells

    Buy this and be the parking lot donut king

  38. Glenn Schwass Member


    Like 1
  39. Matt G

    Well like most custom jobs that appear on this site, it has triggered the usual tired parade of insulting clichés from the peanut gallery- although I have no desire to own it, someone at some point put in the time and effort to make an at least somewhat personal and unique creation. I applaud any effort to follow your vision and go outside the norm, naysayer conformists be darned!

    Like 5
  40. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Hey, this one would be great to take your driver’s license road test on.

    Like 1
    • joenywf64

      Would be hilarious back in the day watchin the driving test official having to get in this car Dukes of Hazard style.
      Same with the inspector at a state run big inspection center who had to get in to “road test” the brakes.
      Best to fail a few times for each of the above for more laffs. lol

      Like 1
  41. Steve Clinton

    Answers the question nobody asked.

  42. Alec

    Just saw this in the background of a Cleetus video at his shop. Maybe storing it for someone, but expect this car to be around

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