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Numbers Matching: 1971 Plymouth Duster 340

Some restoration projects can be more straightforward than others, and this 1971 Plymouth Duster 340 looks like it could be a good one. Its rust problems appear to be very limited, and the parts required to address these are included in the sale. It also houses its original drivetrain, along with a tidy looking interior. The Duster is located in Rushford, Minnesota, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding sitting at $10,100, the reserve has been met.

The owner states that the Duster has very little rust, and the photos tend to support this claim. There is rust present in the lower rear quarters and trunk drop-offs. However, replacement steel pieces from AMD are included in the sale. The remaining floors and frame seem to be clean, as you can see from this photo. There might be some other small spots of rust in the lower panels, but if there is, then it is the type that could be addressed with simple patches. The Tor Red paint is looking tired, and there’s no doubt that a repaint will be part of this restoration process. The wheels are odd, with 14″ on the front and 15″ on the rear. The windshield is cracked, but the rest of the glass is in good order. It looks like the trim and chrome are in good condition, and a bit of polish would see most of it shining like new.

The good news just keeps on coming with the Duster, because it is a numbers-matching vehicle. What the buyer will get for their money is a 340ci V8, a 4-speed manual transmission, a 3.55 rear end, power steering, and power front disc brakes. This engine should be capable of producing 275hp, which is enough to propel the Plymouth through the ¼ mile in a neat 15 seconds. The engine currently wears a set of aftermarket headers, but the original exhaust and air cleaner are included in the sale. It isn’t clear whether the 340 runs, so that is a question that potential buyers will need to ask the seller. However, it does appear that he is an approachable individual, which is always positive.

You’re probably waiting for some bad news. There isn’t much of that when we open the doors and take a look around inside the Duster. The door trims have been cut to fit a set of speakers, but $340 will secure a pair of replacements to address this issue. I think that someone might have removed the original radio, but everything else looks promising. The seats are in excellent condition, as is the headliner and remaining trim. The dash pad looks like it is free from cracks, and I suspect that the carpet will respond well to a clean. The original pistol grip shifter is still present, meaning that the next owner will not be spending a fortune in there.

This 1971 Duster 340 would seem to represent a straightforward prospect for restoration. Its rust issues are minimal, and it is a numbers-matching vehicle. Good examples today will easily sell for more than $30,000. Bidding on this one hasn’t been as strong as I might have expected, but this could be good news for interested parties. With the reserve now met, there is the chance that someone might secure themselves a great project car at an affordable price.




  1. alphasud Member

    That is a nice find! Those 340’s we’re underrated at 275. I bet it will bring 13-15k at the close of the auction.

    Like 2
  2. Steve R

    Why restore it? With a little elbow grease it should be presentable. The modifications are those that were pretty typical in the 70’s and 80’s when owners drove and enjoyed their cars often on a daily basis.

    One of the favorite things for people on this site to do is complain about the cost of older desirable cars. This is a perfect example of a car that could be driven and enjoyed with what will likely be a reasonable entry price. Yet the default position is to spend an additional large chunk of money turning it a garage queen that will look like every other restored car parked in a row at a diner or car show. It doesn’t make sense.

    Steve R

    Like 20
    • Drillnfill

      I agree with much of what you say, but just doing the bare minimum of removing the rust/cancer and doing the needed bodywork, plus just getting it road worthy again with normal stuff like engine work, brakes and exhaust is going to cost several thousand bucks.

      Like 5
    • piston poney

      exactly a car is only original once yeah sure you can put it back to original color and everything but why do that i would rather have this one than one that has been perfectly restored that is the same color and options the car is fine as is leave the door speakers and the radio, buff it out and take it to some car shows yeah sure its not perfect but that is what makes it unique and stand out form the others like it.

      Like 3
      • Steve Suzor

        ,I lost interest after the door speakers and aftermarket radio. Deal breaker for me !

  3. Troy s

    That 340 has got a lot more than just a set of aftermarket headers, it’s dressed up with a different intake, cool finned valve covers, only thing I dont like or understand really is the stupid little air cleaner. Very easy to solve that issue otherwise leave or improve on the mods.
    Agree with Steve R, many muscle cars were stock only as long as it took to find the nearest speed shop. Whether a combination of parts actually worked was trial and error, and a heck of a good time. I’d like to see Cragars or some sort of aftermarket mags on it as most I remember never had stock wheels. No chicks will like it though, or so I was told by someone here recently, crazy comments here lately. Peace.

    Like 6
    • Cal

      Why would it mater what “chicks” think? A man and his car is a truly loving relationship, all you really need. Besides, cars are a lot cheaper then women, never let you down, won’t break your heart.

      • Troy s

        That was written in humor, Cal. It doesn’t really matter…..or maybe I’m just fishing,
        So what do you think of this Duster anyways?

    • Will Irby

      Yeah, I thought that was an Edelbrock LD340 manifold at first, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. I bought an LD340 in 1975 from a friend who was a bit of a perfectionist; he accidentally knocked one of the locating pins out of the manifold before he ever installed it, so he just ordered another one and sold me the “pinless” one for $25. I used it on my 340-powered ’66 Valiant until I transplanted the 340 into my ’65 Barracuda in ’78, where it resided until the 340 came out of the Barracuda in 2015. I sold the LD340 for $500 to a Super Stock racer; those manifolds are in high demand among the SS racers. I always liked the Rallye wheels on the Dusters, but as you mentioned, it was very common to see those swapped out for aftermarket wheels. I would clean this one up a little and drive it.

      Like 2
    • Marshall King

      Those little air cleaners were the thing to use back in the mid seventies. Had one on my Sprint 6 Firebird. It was pretty cool to hear the air getting sucked into that Quadrajet! A lot of people put those on their carbs back then.

      Like 1
      • Troy s

        Yea, yeah I hear what you guys are saying. Ha ha, I keep grinning about it though. Guess by the time I got into this as a teen, early eighties, the standard seemed an open element 3″×14″ if it fit, or even double stacking two filters using a longer bolt in the carb. Or using the stock air cleaner base and putting on a lid that was equal to the filter size no more, all those open style air cleaners allowed the carb to make its presence known…Buhwahhh! Ha, all that hot air being sucked in, I had a lot of fun fiddling around with that stuff.

  4. Motoman

    Al Bundy approved 👌 nice solid car!

    Like 4
  5. Stangalang

    Back in the days of carburetors we put those small breathers on top for easy access to adjust the carb. And if I remember correctly there was a such thing as a purple cam that would bring the 340 up quite a few horsepower and would have a idle to kill for. Just good memories. And one nice duster

    Like 9
    • Will Irby

      Yes, I put the Direct Connection “purple shaft” cam (also known as the “Street Hemi Grind” cam) in the ’68 340 I ran in my ’66 Valiant, and later in my ’65 Barracuda, and it was in my opinion the absolute best street camshaft for the 340. I think I paid about $60 for the cam, another $45 for a set of Crane lifters, and $40 for a double-roller timing chain. Along with the $55 for a complete electronic ignition system (including new distributor), that was probably the best money I ever spent. That engine, with the Edelbrock LD340 manifold, Holley 700 double-pumper, fenderwell headers, 4-speed, and 4.30 rear gears, made for a fun street car in a 3,000 pound ’66 Valiant in the early ’70s.

      Like 2
  6. petemcgee

    Agree this will go higher. With B and E body prices in the stratosphere, A body cars have really jumped.

    Like 2
  7. Chuck

    This is a very nice find! Even with it being ‘original once’ including the minor rust spots.

  8. Paolo

    I had a Sherwood Green 71 Duster with 4 speed and bench seat and the tall Hurst shifter. A bodies did not come equipped with the Pistol Grip. It wore 14×7 U.S. Indy slot mags. I bought it in 1975 with 30,000 miles in it and paid $1500. to the second owner. I drove it all over the west coast and had lots of fun. I sold it to go back to college although I was sorry to have to let it go. This one is very similar to mine other that the color. I do prefer the Sherwood Green I had over this Tor-Red but that wouldn’t be a deal breaker. If you have ever owned a Duster you know they are quirkey.

    • Paolo

      Looking closer I see it has hood pins just like mine except that the aluminum disks that are screwed into the hood are missing. You can see the 4 screw holes. Not positive but I thing the disks were there to keep you from gouging the paint with the retaining clips. I don’t know if the hood pins were a separate option or were part of an option group. This car has the single driver’s side remote control mirror while mine had the right and left chrome rally mirrors (or rallye if you prefer the English spelling which is silly because it’s an American car but leave it to Mopar)
      Also has the rally instrument cluster but unfortunately you can’t see the smaller center bezel which could house a tachometer, a clock or like mine no gauge at all under the lense.
      Without the VIN I can’t tell you the trim level of this car. The seats which are in remarkable shape look like a basic level. My 71 must have been a deluxe trim level. It had the nicest quality upholstery I’ve ever seen in a Duster of that era. It was a 2 tone green vinyl with a fold down armrest and it must have had extra foam.
      This one shows 81,000 miles and I am willing to believe it. I can see what looks like one of the original tires in the trunk, an E-70 14 Goodyear Polyglas GT. That’s what mine came with new.
      Not bad on the rust especially for a Minnesota car.

      Like 1
  9. Lee

    1971 Plymouth Dusters never came with a pistol-grip shifters,,rather a factory hurst shifter,,,this is some kind of a shifter handel from a Cuda or Road Runner..

  10. Gus Fring

    The Pistol Grip shifter is not original, just FYI…otherwise, it’s cool.

  11. dwight L hottel

    bob bob bob

  12. Terry Bowman

    If anyone wants the drive this car, they need to install the drive shaft, the shifter linkage, install the master cylinder bolts, attach the vacuum line to the booster, install the top and probably the bottom one also. Motors don’t run well without a distributor or wires and the throttle hooked up. A water temp. line would help also. Looking at other items missing I believe this car was put together to sale as a complete car. I believe the Hurst shifters for the “A” bodies came with the ball and not the pistol grip. I think the drive shaft and linkage is out due to an issue with the 833 tranny not working or locked up somewhere. It is a true 4-speed car though with the backing plate for the “Z” bar present and rear spring support plate attached. As is $8,000 if I am correct on my analyze. If not maybe $10,000 on the high end.

    Like 1
  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Odd wheels……..I’ll pass……..great car though.

    • Paolo

      Not odd. They are Mopar rallye wheels painted gray and without center caps and trim rings.

      Like 2
    • bone

      You could always change the wheels

  14. George Louis

    This is for Cal: Cars can be like women, they can let you down and you will be SHOE LEATHER EXPRESS to get home!!!!!!

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