Original Paint: 1976 Plymouth Duster

The Claret Red paint and the distinctive side stripes are part of the giveaway that this 1976 Plymouth is a Silver Duster. As Plymouth were preparing to replace the by then aging Duster model, they chose to introduce a few special packages to entice buyers into their showrooms. The Silver Duster was one of these packs, and this one is said to be an original survivor. It is located in Finksburg. Maryland, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $12,500 for the Duster, although the option is available to make an offer.

The owner states that the Claret Red paint on the Duster is original, and if this is the case, then it is nicely preserved. The car wears the distinctive stripes which were part of the Silver Duster package. This particular option brought nothing to the car in the way of performance enhancements, and was purely a cosmetic pack. In addition, the Duster wears a beige vinyl top, and this appears to be in really good condition. There are no visible signs of any rust anywhere on the vehicle. What it appears to be is just a very clean survivor.

The interior of the Duster is a symphony in red, and it is an interior that people will either tend to love or hate. I don’t think that there will really be a middle ground on that. This is probably more true of the original Boca Raton upholstered seats, than of any other aspect of the interior. This looks to be in really good condition on both the front and rear seats, along with the matching inserts in the door trims. The interior appears to be original and unmolested, and the most obvious sign of wear is on the carpet on the driver’s side. It looks like the carpet might be stained there where the driver’s left foot would normally rest while driving. As well as being spotlessly clean, the interior features air conditioning.

With no performance enhancements, the Silver Duster came equipped with the 90hp version of the essentially bullet-proof 225ci slant-6 engine, which is backed by a TorqueFlite transmission. The presentation of the engine isn’t quite up to the standard of the rest of the car, but it is still more than acceptable for an original survivor that is 43-years-old. The owner doesn’t indicate how well the car runs and drives, but given how relatively indestructible this engine and transmission combination tends to be, it would be fair to expect that all is well in that department.

There really isn’t a lot more to say about this 1976 Plymouth Silver Duster, except that it appears to be an extremely clean survivor. It isn’t a car that is designed to get your pulse racing, but this one is about as nice as you are ever likely to find from that final year of Duster production. It’s a car that is ready to be driven and enjoyed, and that’s what owning a classic car is all about.

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Comments

  1. Gunner

    Although a Mopar fan, most Dusters were never high up on my list. However, even though this is a late model, I really like this color combination and you have to respect the condition.

    19
    • Stillrunners

      And I use to have 6 pack abs…

      1
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I’ve never cared for Dusters or the Dodge Daemon. I’ve always preferred the Valiant Scamp and Dart Swinger.

      • Glenn Schwass Member

        That is clean. Wild seats but you can complain with that condition.

  2. Rosco

    Not sure it’s worth the $12,500 BIN price, but does look like a real clean original.

    16
  3. Doc

    Amazing how the designers allowed the stripe from the door to the quarters dip down bulbously so it would not intersect with the rear marker lamp. Dumb . Also the stupid unleaded fuel only sticker right on the panel .. was it that hard to put it on the cap?. Lovely car, just noticed how odd automakers were in their decision processes years back

    3
    • Gil

      The stripe dips down because it follows the body contour crease.

      3
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        That makes sense.

  4. That AMC Guy

    I remember when these were common as dirt, unkillable cockroaches of the road – until rust finally took them down. If anyone is wondering, that is factory AC despite the aftermarket-style under-dash unit. Chrysler never modified the dash on these for built-in AC vents.

    9
  5. Joe

    The price is a little ambitious, but it really is an impressive survivor. Most of them have been returned to the earth from which they came.

    9
  6. dirtyharry

    If they gave medals for car care, this owner should get one. I think the market is strong for super nice original cars, but the BIN is uphill on the price for the indestructible slant six model.

    13
  7. Rube Goldberg

    Too many Al Bundy jokes? Oh, one more, Aaaaal,,,

    2
  8. David Zornig

    That one was built in St. Louis per the vin#.
    NADA shows High Retail at $12,050, so the guy is in the ballpark for a clean, unmolested survivor.
    Final year model too.
    Volare would make it’s debut in `76 along side the Valiant & Duster.
    Even Iacocca said ending Valiant & Dart was a mistake.
    Fewer and fewer are making the Mopar shows I attend with my `61.

    4
  9. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Speaking to the car only – exceptional. Super clean appearing, looks to be well taken care of and the slant six was about as dependable IMO as they came.
    I’d drive it in a minute.

    11
  10. 36Packard

    Seems to me that the HP of the 225 in 76 was not 90, more like 100 (though I could be wrong). Still, it had a pretty bad carb (though not the evil lean burn) and best if updated with something else. In 1977 or so, a 2bbl SS was available at five or ten more HP and much better running. If you can’t get a 72 or older, those are the ones to get IMO.

    2
    • Steve Lamb

      Nice car. $8500 at best. $5000 from 12500 will get you the real deal.

      1
  11. NovaTom

    So many of these were a teenagers $1200 first car – guess I’m out of the loop at that price

    4
    • Miguel Member

      $1200.00 was a lot to pay for a Duster back in the ’80s. I rarely saw them go for more than $500.00 and that was in Southern California with no rust.

      1
      • NovaTom

        $500? Wow – I can (?) remember tote-the-note prices here in Texas for “creampuff” Dusters were a lot higher, Valients and Darts on the other hand….

  12. The Rhyme Animal

    Even rusted ones were $500 on the East Coast in the early 80’s. My first car was that price- a ‘73 Duster with what I called “the optional quarter panels- you don’t like them- no worry, they will rust off the car”

    4
  13. Arthell64 Member

    I always liked the dusters. They always drive better than I expected.

    4
  14. Rex Kahrs Member

    One of my college roomates had a ’72 Duster, slant 6, as plain-Jane as it got. We called it the “Ruster”. One hideously below zero winter morning in 1984 in Columbus , people were out on the street trying to get their new BMW 318s started, but no luck. I went out and fired that old slanty right up.

    But, there was no heat in that car, I suspect because the radiator and the heater core were completely clogged up with rusty gunk. But no matter for the slant 6, it just kept running.

    The quarters were so rusted out in that car, that any sharp turn would cause the contents of the trunk to tumble out and spill out onto the street. Good times.

    9
  15. Keith

    Everyone raves about how good the 225 slant six was but I remember them having a loud valvetrain and gutless power. I would opt for the 318 V8 over the slant six if I were in the market for one of these. Clean car though…..

    3
    • Rube Goldberg

      Don’t forget, they leaked oil like a sieve.

    • Arthell64 Member

      That’s how I remember the slant six. Noisy and no power.

    • Norman Wrensch

      The noise was because it was a solid lifter engine and no one bothered to adjust thew lifters. They weren’t to bad if the lifters were adjusted regularly.

      2
  16. canadainmarkseh Member

    One of the reasons these like many car in that time ran rough and lacked power was they were fuel starved, especially at higher altitudes. As government regulations were getting tougher one of the car makers early attempts at fuel economy was to preset the carb idle mixture screws to lean and then cap them off so they couldn’t be adjusted. I worked in a tuneup shop back in those days and I can’t tell you how many carbs I uncapped and rejetted. Mild cams and distributor advance weight restrictors often in the form of weight springs that were to heavy were also common. These are some of the little things that can be done to power this car up. Shaving the head also comes to mind, as I believe compression ratios were down substantially in an effort to reduce NOX at the tailpipe. Catalytic converters would plug up too. Up here in Canada at the time it wasn’t illegal to take them off and I scraped hundreds of them. When things were getting tougher we would take the tail pipe off and run a crow bar through them to bust up the ceramic innards then start the car and blow out the pieces followed by reattaching the tail pipe, if the car was check the converter shell was still in place.Back to this car I don’t think these were bad cars and I think the price is only slightly high. I’d drive it.

    7
  17. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I’ve always loved Mopars of the 60 through to the 90s. Among my favourite Mopars are the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Valiant. It’s awesome to see a well-kept original survivor. Given its condition, and originality, I think $12,000 is a good price.

    3
  18. Car Nut Tacoma

    I bought my 2017 Dodge Dart Limited for the same price as this classic Duster.

    1
    • Richard j Martin Member

      What is a 2017 Dodge Dart Limited?

      • Car Nut Tacoma

        Google it. It was built between 2013 and 2017.

  19. Wayne

    Most “leaning tower of power” oil leaks were from the spark plug tube seals. If you changed them at the same time you changed the spark plugs. Your oil leaks were minimal. I told this to a long time slant six owner. And he said ” This ain’t no furrin car, it ain’t got none of those stupid spark plug tubes!” Ok then keep wiping up the oil drips on your garage floor Buster! Recurving the mechanical advance and providing more fuel generally wakes up the slant six pretty well. However having had several slant sixes and 318s I found that hiway mpg was about the same stock vs stock. The best I ever got with a slant six ( recurved distributor and enlarged exhaust) was 28 highway. (75 mph all the way) Were a stock 318 at the same speed got 26 mpg. Old Mopars were great vehicles, not so much anymore.

    3
  20. TimM

    This car is a true time capsule of a economic car that almost everyone knew someone that had one!! The slant 6 was one of the most dependable motors you could own!! This car is clean 12,500 seems to be the top of the mark to me!!

    2
  21. Chuck

    Strange – when these cars were ubiquitous, I never cared for them. Seeing this one now, I think it’s quite a handsome design (except for those abominable oversized 5 mph bumpers). Even the vinyl top, something I once loathed, actually looks good!

    1
  22. Derek

    I love everything about this car, the color the big bumpers the fact it has AC. Gorgeous car especially compared to the generic boring stuff of today.,

  23. Patrick Farmer

    Now this is a perfect candidate for a sleeper. Just slap on the bumper sticker “Frodo Lives” along with a new Hemi or Hellcat engine and screw down the hub caps to rally wheels and have no mercy. Pity the fool.

  24. Derek

    I hope whoever buys it leaves it as is it’s a great driver the way it is.

    3
  25. Car Nut Tacoma

    I agree.

    1
  26. Louis Q Chen

    I’d tip my hat to this original? owner! Having grown up in Bethesda, Md., we’re talking about snow, salt & chemical de-icer country and this owner was able to keep the car in such a pristine condition! I’d buy it except for the price! This example is one of the few “perfect” color combo that came out from Chrysler before they went belly up a few years later. Thinking back-when Chrysler went bankrupt, I bought $10,000 (my inheritance) worth of Chrysler stock @ $1.00/share! I also recalled that my parents threatened to disown me! Also thanks to Lee for his flamboyant management style he was able to rescue the 800 LB. gorilla and rewarded me for putting trust in him! Thank you Mr. Lee I…..

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