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No Reserve 1973 Plymouth Gold Duster V8

The Duster was perhaps Plymouth’s big success story of the 1970s. They took a Valiant compact and grafted on a new fastback body from the cowl back. The result was sales of nearly 1.3 million copies from 1970 to 1976 (plus a smaller number of the similar Dodge Demon/Dart Sport). The Gold Duster was a popular trim package with gold-colored trim wherever you looked, plus an optional matching half-vinyl roof. This ’73 edition looks like a survivor-quality car with plenty of life left in it. It’s got the usual bumps and bruises that a 50-year-old automobile would have, but it benefits from being in a dry climate. From Sparks, Nevada, this thrifty Mopar is available here on eBay where $4,600 has been bid, the reserve is unmet, but the “pass-go” price is $7,500.

Other than a bit more bulk in the front bumpers, the 1973 Duster was the same as a 1972 Duster. And it would turn into the marque’s second-best sales period out of the seven-year run. You had your choice between a 225 cubic-inch “Slant Six”, a 318 V8, or a 340 small-block if you were interested in some muscle. The seller’s car has the mid-range choice with a TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Besides the Gold Duster appearance package, it came with power steering and factory air conditioning (though the latter isn’t working). We’re told that this Plymouth runs and drives as it should.

The gold paint may or may not be original and has some dents and ding, especially in the passenger side rear quarter panel. But rust doesn’t seem to be a major issue so the Duster here should have good bones to work with. The interior may be a bit of a mystery as there’s a sheet over the front bench seat, while the back seat looks to be perfect. But the dash pad has been royally baked by the Sun. The seller did install a new carpeting set with additional sound-deadened applied below.

For any future repairs that this Plymouth needs, the seller is throwing in some extra parts. They include new brake parts, a new blower motor (A/C?), and a new motor for the windshield wipers (working now?). Extra door panels are also coming along for the ride and a wipe-in clear coat kit if you decide against a repaint of this Gold Duster. The seller indicates that the mileage is greater than 200,000, which does suggest some things will be getting tired.

Comments

  1. Bob

    I think $7500 for this Duster isn’t too far rrom a realistic number.
    Drive, as is, until repairs are wanted or necessary.

    Like 9
    • John

      Reminds me of an Aston Martin I have.
      Nice car good luck with the sale

      Like 1
    • Stan

      🎶 🎸 🎤
      ” Take your silver spoon, dig your grave
      Heartless challenge
      Pick your path and I’ll pray
      Wake up in the morning
      See your sunrise, loves to go down
      Lousy lovers pick their prey
      But they never cry out loud, cry out
      Well, did she make you cry
      Make you break down
      Shatter your illusions of love?
      And is it over now, do you know how?
      Pick up the pieces and go home
      Rock on, ancient queen
      Follow those who pale in your shadow
      Rulers make bad lovers
      You better put your kingdom up for sale
      Up for sale
      Well, did she make you cry
      Make you break down
      Shatter your illusions of love?
      And is it over now, do you know how?
      Pick up the pieces and go home
      But did she make you cry
      Make you break down
      Shatter your illusions of love?
      And now tell me, is it over now?
      Do you know how to pick up the pieces
      And go home? Go home, go home
      Pale shadow of a woman
      Black widow
      Pale shadow of a dragon
      Dust woman
      Pale shadow of a woman
      Black widow
      Pale shadow, she’s a dragon
      Gold Dust Woman
      Woman, woman ”
      🥁 🎹 🎵

      Like 3
  2. Zen

    That’s very high mileage, but believable, if it was well maintained, and this one isn’t rotted away, like so many of them were. This may sound a bit silly, but I have never seen a Duster with a V8 and factory A/C. I’ve seen many Slant Sixes with factory air, but none with an 8. There’s no reason there couldn’t be one, and these cars were everywhere when I was a kid, and my parents had two of them, one a slant six with air, and the other a 318 with no air. I hope a Mopar fan buys it and restores it to original, or just fixes what’s needed and enjoys it for what it is.

    Like 8
    • Perry Ashley

      V8 and AC pretty common. I have and have had several examples. A very cool car some one will love it.

      Like 1
    • Robert Atkinson, Jr.

      Me either, but I have seen a Dart so equipped. It was on a dealer’s lot, and my Mom was shopping for a new car. Her previous ride was a 1961 Buick Special with the 215 aluminum V8, so she insisted on a V8. The salesman pulled a brand new 1972 Dart Sedan out of a row of Darts for her to look at, and it had a 318 with A/C. She didn’t test drive it and just sat in it, but she didn’t buy it, to our family’s everlasting regret! I think there was a $200 upcharge for the V8 over the Slant Six, so that might have been part of the reason she decided it was too expensive, along with the factory air conditioning adding another $400 to the window sticker.

      Like 1
  3. Rank

    What is this love of unsilenced air cleaners? For the love of JC Whitney! Great car with a 318, much better choice than a 340 for all sorts of reasons. Too bad it is so rotten inside. You could get a 318 with a four speed in a Challenger, but I have never seen one in a Duster. Was it possible? (yeah, yeah, I know this one is an auto, I was just wondering)

    Like 1
    • eric22t

      yes rank the overdrive version of the 833 4 spd was an option as well as a 3 spd. i had a dart sport coupe with the od 4 spd.

      those air cleaners looked cool and made it sound awesome, just like flipping the sock air cleaner lid did.

      as for 318 vs 340… it really depended on what you wanted. a driver then 318.
      a hot rod then 340. and the 340 in the a bodies worked very very well for the hot rod guys.

      in todays market the price is fair and the interior is not a big deal at all. all diy level work and not expensive whether you source used, nos or repops

      someone is going to get a sweet toy.

      if it was me it would wind up a resto mod. i would source the buckets and center console. maybe even a sun or moon roof

      Like 4
      • Rank

        The same 4sp that you could get with a Volare, you know, the one with the bad feeling linkage? I mean, a straight 4sp with a 1 to final gear. Hotrod? For a drag strip? On the street was a poor idea if you didn’t like tickets, jail time, and becoming uninsurable. Plus street racing is dangerous, not just for you, but for those around you as well. I love going to the drag strip, but whole heartily disapprove of street racing.

        Like 0
      • eric22t

        actually i said that wrong rank. the 833 4spd was available and the the od version 833 came out in 75 they were physically the same and the same linkage set up.
        no, mopar never offered a toploader 4 spd as far as i know for the cars.
        they were in the trucks though.

        and as long as the linkage wasn’t worn out they shifted fine even behind the big blocks and hemis

        Like 0
      • Rank

        Eric, I mean a close ration 4sp with a quick short throw in the linkage. I recall the Hurst pistol grips in a Cuda came in 2 varieties. One with more more movement, and other with short little movements that almost work with wrist movement. I remember the OD 4sp to feel clunky and rough to me. No domestic linkage was Honda smooth in those days, but the Volares were esp bad feeling in my opinion.

        Like 0
      • eric22t

        the throw difference was because mopar changed the shifter assembly then eventually changed it back. there was also a later version that had a lockout for reverse that changed the way it felt. i have mixed matched and overhauled a lot of these over the years.

        as for close ratio gears yes there were versions of the 833 that had them. mostly in the big hot rod motor cars.

        but essentially after 64 or 65 all the rear drive cars had a variant of the 833 for a four speed

        Like 0
    • Tony Primo

      In many cases it is less expensive to replace a missing or rusted out factory air cleaner with an aftermarket open element air cleaner. This one suits the Duster. It is manufactured by Edelbrock so not a cheap unit.

      Like 5
      • Rank

        How often did an air cleaner go missing or get rusty under a hood?

        Like 2
  4. Carl Reynolds

    Duster ,Demon predecessor Heart ❤️ shaped symbol with a tail fading left or right.Inwhich, Chevrolet introduced the Luv pickup.

    Like 0
    • Joe M.

      Huh???

      Like 1
  5. Jason

    Friend had one this vintage. Pretty dark forest green. It was slant six but looked good and we’d get five of us in there no problem. I think I slid into his driver’s side rear panel with my 89 Daytona 🤔. I still owe my 26 years later…oh no.

    Like 3
  6. Art Rodriguez

    Yes I bought a ’74 Duster 318 -auto tranny half vinyl roof a/c sunroof in 1974. Nice car but not enough power

    Like 1
  7. Mark Dolan

    Ex-wife had a 1973 Duster, 318, auto. Had it for several years. The day we sold it the frame broke in half about a mile from our house. Too much Chicago winter for too many years.

    Like 1
  8. Edwin Haggerty

    My dad worked for Chrysler/Plymouth in the 70’s when I was a kid. He brought home a new demo about every 6 weeks and then the dealer would sell it at a discount as it had several hundred to a couple of thousand miles on it. He usually brought home the nice cars but one time he brought home a slant six Duster. It just so happened we were headed to Ft Walton Beach to see his sister that same weekend so we filled up the Duster and took off. I guess my dad wasn’t used to cars that got good gas mileage and as we got closer to our destination he decided to see if we could get all the way without stopping for gas. (From Jacksonville) We ran out of gas about one block from her house. My dad was amazed as it was over 300 miles and the Duster wasn’t even broken in yet. I do remember though the very next week he turned the car in stating that the cheap vinyl bench seat hurt his back. I think the real reason was he just missed his 383 & 440’s. P.S.- Remind me to never buy a used car from Mark!

    Like 4
    • John

      There’s always a used car for sale near zezo magic shop in Colorado

      Like 1
  9. Robert Atkinson, Jr.

    A good solid driver that could be restored without too much pain due to the low rust content. The 318 could be bored out to 340 cubic inches if you’re so inclined, since the 318 and the 340 had the same stroke. With over 200k miles on the clock, I’d strongly consider overhauling the entire driveline just on general principles, and I’d replace the stock cast crank with a forged crank as part of that exercise, but once the bottom end has been suitably attended to, there are all kinds of upgrades available to make more power!

    Like 1
  10. Joe M.

    you’re all laughing, but take note, this potato chip dash beauty has a K&N sticker on the inner fender well. I’m betting it’s worth another 20hp ……

    Like 4
  11. Mr C.

    I owned a 72 Rally Charger 340 4speed in 1973. It had the pistol grip shifter and you could change the length of the throw by simply going under the car and changing the position of the shift linkage into a different hole on the shift rods on the side of the transmission. It was that simple. Mine was original set up for the longer throw. I changed to the short throw which took a little more effort to shift. Less leverage but shorter shift pattern. All OEM parts.

    Like 3
  12. William

    Wait a minute the article header said V8 78 gold Duster no Reserve but then when you start reading the article it has a reserve it doesn’t say you reserve but it says pass go so which is it Reserve or no Reserve

    Like 0
  13. Kent

    Hate to step on anyone’s parade but the overdrive 4 speed didn’t come out until 1975. The 1973 Duster 318 was indeed available with a 4 speed, just not an overdrive 4 speed. That would have been a rare option if this car had it.

    Now to this example, I like it. At 200,000 miles it has very high mileage on it. Except for the reached interior it’s in remarkable shape. The pieces to repair the interior are available, the 318 and the Torque-Flight are easily rebuildable. I’m guessing it has either a 8.75 rear axle or an 8.25 rear axle. Either is decent and likely rebuildable. If it has the 7.25 axle, well replace it with one of the other two.

    I concur on the open element air cleaner. I don’t like them. I would order a reproduction Mopar Unsilenced style air cleaner assembly like what was available on the 1968-69 340 and a pie tin call-out for the 318.

    I like the 318, it’s cheaper to rebuild and can make good power. Don’t believe me, check out Uncle Tony’s Garage. If you really feel the need to upgrade, find a rebuildable 360. They are still plentiful and nearly as inexpensive to rebuild as the 318. Don’t get me wrong, the 340 is a great engine, but parts tend to be costly for it. They also bring big money if you can find one.

    I’m going to have to consider this one, I like Dodge and Plymouth A-body cars and this one is nicely equipped. It could be a fun little car.

    Like 0
  14. Kent

    I need to make one more comment. Someone said you can bore a 318 out to make it a 340. Partially true, mostly inaccurate. The 1967-1969 318s had slightly thicker cylinder walls. After having them sonic checked for bore shift, it might be possible to bore out those year cylinder blocks to make a 340, maybe. After 1969, absolutely not. A 318 has a 3.91 inch cylinder bore. The 340 uses a 4.04 inch bore. That’s 130 thousandth bigger. In most cases the maximum overcome is 40 thousandths bigger, maybe 60 thousandths. Each displacement small block Mopar has it’s own unique block casting. There is more differences than just the bore size. The outside dimensions might be the same, however the inside dimensions can vary greatly.

    In most cases it is simply impossible to do a 130 thousand overbore on a 318. You can buy stroker kits and increase displacement by some really large amounts, you just can’t make huge displacement increases by doing an overbore.

    Like 0

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