One Owner Mopar: 1972 Dodge Demon 340

When Plymouth introduced the Duster fastback in 1970, they had an instant hit on their hands, so it was no surprise that Dodge got a rebadged version called the Demon the next year. And you could have a Demon with a 340 small-block V8, so what a perfect name for a little muscle car. Chrysler bowed to political correctness (they had that even back then) and renamed the car Dart Sport in 1973, but it didn’t have quite the same ring. The seller’s grandfather bought this ’72 Demon brand new when he was serving in the Air Force (thank you!) and its time for the car to move on. For a car that appears to be in great shape, this Demon is located in Mobile, Alabama and available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $15,000, the reserve is still looming, but a Buy It Now option is there for $23,500.

The 340 cubic inch V8 turned out to be a popular motor for Chrysler. From 1968-73, nearly 217,000 Dodges and Plymouths left the factory with that engine. The Demon/Dart Sport would get to enjoy it for three years before it was replaced somewhat by the new 360, which was not as well received. Plymouth Duster 340 production always outnumbered the Dodge Demon/Dart Sport. In 1972, the Demon 340 numbers were just 56 percent of the Plymouth. The following changes took place for the 340 in 1972:

  • the engines were painted Chrysler blue with black accessories
  • these motors were detuned for emissions and insurance reasons, with the compression ratio dropping to 8.5:1, thus producing 240 hp (instead of 275)
  • a variety of other changes took place that included a larger orange un-silenced air cleaner, exhaust manifold on the driver’s side, cast crankshaft instead of a steel forged one mid-year, and a few others

It’s hard to imagine a one-owner car after nearly 50 years, but the seller says this is the real thing. His grandpa bought it with just 26 miles on the odometer (test drives?). It wears what appears to be Bright Yellow (Gold) Green paint, but we’re not told if it’s original in the application. The car was properly undercoated when it was new, which lends itself nicely to the claim that the Demon is rust-free. There are no dents or dings that we can see to prevent the car from being shown as soon as you got new plates on it.

The Demon has bucket seats which were an option over the bench seat in 1972. The upholstery looks great, but the style of the seats doesn’t say 1972 to me, suggesting they may have been replaced. Grandpa must have been away for long periods of time as the car only has about 50,000 miles. We’re told it runs great and there’s a new set of tires sitting on the cool aftermarket rims, with a wider pair in the back than on the front. Grandpa was one spirited dude!

We’re presented with a lot of photos of the car, but the engine compartment is the exception. We assume the 340 looks nice and tidy under the hood and is connected properly to the factory 4-speed manual transmission. There is one thing that just doesn’t look right on this car and that’s the fog lights mounted next to the turn signals. If I were to acquire the Demon, those would be the first things to go. NADA says that the top dollar for a sweet Demon 340 is $26-27,000, so perhaps this one can be acquired for 10-15 percent under. It looks like a turn-key automobile that’s ready for action!

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Comments

  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    IIRC the 360 was about as well received as the 260Z as an ‘update’ for the 240Z.

    Cannot tell from here; maybe the ‘fog’ lights are flamethrowers?

    This looks really nice, though I prefer the coupe to the fastback.

    Like 3
    • Al_Bundy Member

      Pretty much correct on relating the motor desirability. Both were still pretty sound engines and could be built well. What could manufacturer’s pass smog with…? Greater displacement, lower compression. No Demon name carried after ’72 by Dodge due to offending people. Carry on, love the car !

      Like 3
    • Rodger

      It was the only body style, know your cars before you comment.

      • Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

        why, tx rodger; should have stated “previous coupe”. wuddevuh.

        Like 6
  2. stillrunners stillrunners

    Nice 340 – my 1972 340 4sp had this same hood scoop – another car I shouldn’t have sold !

    The seats do look off but also look redone and padded up.

    Check out the original spare !

    Lots of watchers so we will see where it goes.

    Like 1
  3. nycbjr Member

    Seats look like ’80s Camaro

    Like 1
  4. Way2nutz

    The lack of engine compartment pics bothers me. As does the lack of underside of the car pics.

    Also, if you look at the ebay pics, note that on both doors, the metal above the door panels, the black paint is loaded with fisheyes and runs reminiscent of being spray bombed.

    The white graphics between the tail lights are totally wrong, as are the side stripes.

    Also, the far left end of the dash pad is ripped up.

    All is not as it seems.

    Like 8
    • Don Eladio

      Exactly, first thing I noticed…stripes are way off. Definitely needs a paint job and some seats but, if numbers-matching, it’s a good one otherwise.

      Like 1
    • Ralph

      Hey Way,
      Interesting car, but lots of questions for sure.
      Having lived near Mobile, I can testify that you are correct: Things are NOT always what they seem to be here!
      Think I would need to pass on this one for sure…YMMV.

  5. Troy s

    Bought new when grandpa was just a young buck, with the need for speed. Great looking in and out, yeah, those bucket seats dont exactly look early seventies budget muscle.
    The 340 had always been a high performance engine from day one, very stout engine in the lighter cars. That image was cemented basically, by everyone whoever owned or drove one. Then there’s the 360, basically a smog motor. Kinda like the very good 400, which is largely overshadowed by the earlier 383 and of course the 440.

    Like 2
  6. Steve Brown

    I have a factory hood scoop just like this in my garage. It has a little cut out at the back when it was put on another car back in the day. I will sell it to someone if they are interested.

  7. DON

    Its been repainted , or at least some of it has ,the door strikers are painted green , that and the sloppy black paint on the inner door may mean this car was hit at one time and the door replaced . Someone at one time painted under the hood and trunk floor flat black too .
    I dont see how the writer thinks this car is bright yellow gold green , it’s more like Sherwood Green Poly , but like has already been stated, the stripes are way off, especially the tail panel .
    This was my dream car ; these came out when I was 10 and I thought they were the coolest car around. I never got one , but I still have my Duster 340 and have owned a slew of A bodies over the years !

    Like 3
  8. Michael Nicolia

    could not find it on eBay

  9. z28th1s

    Bucket seats look like mid 80’s Oldsmobile Cutlass.

    Like 3
  10. Mike Adams

    Okay, it’s ended but…

    Grandpa was in the Air Force but all the stickers are Navy?

    Like 4
  11. David Myers

    lose the fog lights repaint original color delete stripe add mopar pistol grip shifter drop in 5.7 hemi one bad ride

  12. Pete in PA

    Well it’s sold now and I hope the new owner is happy with his/her purchase once the car is checked out thoroughly. This car is certainly a great, rust-free starting point but boy has it been worked over. It cracks me up that cars like this are described as “TRUE SURVIVORS” but I guess the seller means that the car still exists.
    So many things have been changed or reworked… Without a fender tag I can’t say it with any authority but I’ll bet this car originally had a bench seat. A lot of 340 cars did. When the buckets got swapped in the rear seat got upholstered to match. With the additional woodgrain on the dash and door panels plus the rear seat arm rests it didn’t originally have the base interior but my money is still on a bench seat.
    With the 148392 VIN sequence the car was assembled right around Sept 1, 1971 so it would have had a forged crank 340. Many years ago I bought, stripped, and scrapped a 72 Demon 340 that was built in late February of 72 and even that car had a forged crank 340.
    I’ll be watching the web for this car in a few months to see what has been done with it and hopefully get an image of that fender tag.

    Like 1

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