One Family Owned: 1971 Plymouth Duster

A 1971 ad for the Plymouth Duster read, “Duster, coming through and lookin’ good.” I think that description still fits 49 years later. This 1971 Plymouth Duster was found here on craigslist in Corona, California. The seller is asking $13,900.

The Plymouth Duster debuted for the 1970 model year and was based on Plymouth’s Valiant. It took aim at the Chevrolet Nova and Ford Maverick and was so successful that Dodge got its own version, the Demon, for 1971. Throughout the Duster’s 7 model years the formula generally remained the same with little variation among the model years, save for a slight front clip refresh starting with the 1973 model year. The 1971 model year was a successful one, with 186,478 examples built.

This gold and black color combination is one I think looks perfect on 1960s and 1970s muscle cars – it stands out without being too flashy. The seller says this Duster is rust-free and is wearing its original paint. While the paint appears to be presentable, it looks like the driver side fender, door, and rear quarter have had a passing brush with something a bit stronger than steel and could use some attention. The Mopar Rallye wheels maintain the understated theme of the Duster.

Things are kept pretty simple inside. Black surfaces abound, softened somewhat by sparingly used woodgrain accents. The black front bench seat would function for driver duty but has been “repaired” with black tape. The back seat has received similar treatment but would also work for a driver quality car. The carpets are obscured by some aftermarket rubber floor mats. It’s not mentioned in the ad, but this Duster appears to be equipped with A/C.

Powering this Duster is a 318 cubic-inch V8. It’s the smaller of the two V8s offered in 1971, but a step up from the slant-six options. Recent mechanical work has been completed, including “new brakes, rebuilt engine, upgraded brand new intake and carburetor” and it has Flowmaster dual exhaust. The seller tells us it “runs and drives very good.”

I know some of our Barn Finds readers agree with me that not every classic car needs to be a show car. This one appears to be such an example to keep as-is as it’s still presentable while being mostly original. There’s also some coolness in having been able to maintain that originality for nearly 50-years. Do you agree? Or do you think this Duster is prime for some upgrades and a refresh?

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  1. RGSmith1 Member

    I like it as it is. Too many of them have been “upgraded “. I am very glad to see one that is still mostly untouched.

    Like 8
  2. Moparman Member

    The only “upgrades” I’d perform would be to repair the seating, exterior side damage & paint, and perhaps source an OEM side stripe and “Duster” decals. GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 5
  3. Steve R


    Great color combination, based on its location there is a good chance it is rust free. If so, paying a premium price is smart in the long run.

    Steve R

    Like 6
    • Leland

      Really nice except for that door. Wonder if it was hit by a drunk like my Cuda.

      Like 2
  4. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    For that price I would expect all the caps to be present – but they are or should be the smaller harder to find 4″………….

    Like 3
  5. Superdessucke

    I think the styling on these aged pretty well. They were a dime a dozen back in the day and nothing special at all. Amazing how perceptions change over time!

    Like 3
  6. Jcs


    Great cars. 318 with air, someone got a jewel here for a song. Well done.

    Like 2
  7. Jonny Collier Staff

    Looks like the seller deleted the old ad and relisted.

    Like 1
  8. DON

    I think its had some paintwork / bodywork done at one time ; the Duster sticker is missing from the left fender and you can see someone painted over the hardened glue on the trunk lid where the Plymouth emblem once was . The stripes are obviously home made ; they don’t even match from side to side . If its really rust free and there is no hidden damage it could be a really nice ride, but a 318 Duster in this shape is not worth anywhere near 14G

    Like 1
  9. luckylugnut

    Posting deleted. Someone didn’t have to think too long or too hard about that price

    • bone

      Its been reposted – see above post

      • PatrickM

        That post has been deleted by author, too. Something tells me seller finally got the idea they were asking too much for it, as per normal…as per normal if you consider all these high priced cars normal.

  10. John Oliveri

    I’d have to throw a 340 in it, just because

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