Parked For 20 Years: 1970 Plymouth Gold Duster

This 1970 Plymouth Gold Duster has been hidden away for more than 20-years. It has recently been revived, and the next owner is going to have to decide exactly how they wish to tackle the restoration of this 1970s classic. The Plymouth is located in Randleman, North Carolina, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding now sitting at $2,025, the reserve hasn’t been met.

Looking closely at the Duster, you can spot hints of its former glory. The Jamaica Blue paint has seen better days, and the white top adds a touch of intrigue. The majority of Gold Dusters that were built in 1970 were fitted with a vinyl top (usually, but not exclusively, a canopy top), while those that didn’t were usually painted in a single color. That makes me wonder whether this car has had vinyl which has been removed, or if the roof was painted white for an entirely different reason. Examining the photos carefully, I get the impression that the former might be the case. The majority of the unique Gold Duster stripes and decals are still present but have deteriorated quite badly. Still, replacement kits are readily available, so this shouldn’t be an issue. There is some rust present in the vehicle, and the worst of this is in the trunk pan. The owner says that this will require replacement at some point in the future, but that it is okay for now. There is also an area of rust in the bottom of the driver’s side front fender, but this should be easy to patch. The rest of the car looks good, and really needs a fresh coat of paint to return it to its best. The correct Gold Duster hubcaps are all present and in good condition, as is the external trim and chrome.

The interior of the Duster has certainly seen better days and will require a bit of work to return it to its best. The covers on both the front and rear seats have tears and will need to be replaced. The dash pad is damaged, but in all honesty, I think that it could potentially be repaired and restored at home utilizing a product such as Polyvance. Certainly, if you feel adventurous enough, it would be worth a shot before searching for a replacement. The kick panels are also looking battered, but the next owner might consider restoring these at the same time that they restore the dash pad. The floor mat is free of tears, but it is looking tired and worn. Unless the next owner is fixated on originality, replacing this with a carpet set might really spruce up the interior. I find it interesting that the original owner chose to forego carpet, but ticked the options box next to air conditioning. It isn’t clear whether this is functional, but I would be very surprised if it is after all of these years. The rest of the trim looks good and should respond to a deep clean.

When ordering the Gold Duster pack, potential buyers could choose to equip the car with either the 225ci slant-six engine or the 318ci V8. This one received the six, which is hooked to a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission. There is no power assistance for either the steering or brakes. Performance figures were acceptable for a family car but certainly lagged behind a Duster equipped with the 318. A 0-60 time of 12.4 seconds was in excess of 4 seconds slower while completing the ¼ mile in 18.8 seconds meant that lag was down to 2.7 seconds. After sitting for so long, the Duster needed some work to return it to the land of the living. It has just been treated to a new fuel tank, a new sender unit, a fuel pump, the carburetor has been rebuilt, and a new master cylinder has been fitted. The car now runs and drives, but will require work to the rear brakes, new tires, and a thorough check before it could be considered to be roadworthy.

The Gold Duster was not a rare car by any stretch of the imagination, but like so many of its peers from this era, those that didn’t succumb to massive rust issues were treated as disposable. For most people, there simply wasn’t any percentage in owning and maintaining a car that had seriously devalued during its working life. As a result, the vast majority of Dusters, especially those that were equipped with the slant-six engine, were driven into the ground, and eventually found their way to an auto graveyard. This one has avoided the worst of the rust and has managed to avoid finding itself in a junkyard. It might not be the ultimate driver’s car, but for anyone who wants to develop their DIY skills in car restoration, it could represent a pretty decent sort of foundation from which to learn.

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Comments

  1. Dave Suton

    As a past Duster/Dart/Scamp owner, I believe those hubcaps are from a 71. But this looks like a deal no matter what if you can get it for less than $3500

    5
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      My ’73 Barracuda came with those same covers.
      Yeah, it was a real high-trim affair.

  2. PaulG

    Looks like a pretty good deal for a “Duster”; Gold Dusters weren’t produced until 1972…

    4
    • bone

      You’re right, 1972 was the first year, and the Gold Duster was a higher line car and would have had carpeting and power steering .Someone put a Gold Duster sticker on a 70 fender. I’ve owned a few of them. And a 1970 is technically , a Valiant Duster. It does look pretty solid for a 50 year old car ,I would at least install power steering ; the parts aren’t hard to come by

  3. JohnU

    My father purchased a green Gold Duster in 1970. It was a mid year option.

  4. Del

    Cannot see a compressor ?

    2
  5. Superdessucke

    There’s gold under that blue paint! Wait, that’s just rust. Sorry, my bad.

    • Brent

      That rust is gold for the body shop.

      3
    • Ken Member

      Haven’t you heard? It’s called “patina” now. People spray clear coat over it to preserve that junkyard look, cuz it’s so cool, or something. 🙄

      1
  6. Eddie Burke

    I once owned a ’70 Duster, parents bought it new, I inherited it. The grill on this car seems to be a ’71 as the ’70 had an all black grille. This makes me wonder if it was replaced at some point or is the car a ’71? I made the mistake of letting a friend drive mine when I’d had too much to drink. He rolled it over and nearly killed both of us in ’74. Car only had 44,000 miles on it, just getting broken in! I pulled the 225 ci 6 cylinder and torqueflite and junked the remains. Too bad, had a lot of fun in that car!

    1
  7. WH

    I’ve seen those wheel covers on different Plymouths back then… Satellites, Barracudas, Valiants up to the 1974 models. The side marker lights are definitely 1970. Saw more Gold Dusters from 1972 – 1974. Must have been a popular option.

    1
  8. RH

    Seems unusual to have rust on the dash around the radio and heater/ac controls. I would be concerned that there is much more rust than seller is disclosing.

    1
  9. Skorzeny

    I’m a Duster fan, but the crap-6 and the TorqueFlite would go. I would go 340 and 5 speed. It’s worth saving and will be a lot of fun for someone. And I gave up on this a while back but those are wheel covers, not hub caps.

    1
  10. Pete in PA

    Boy that interior sure looks inviting. Not.

    No VIN given, no shot of the fender tag.

    Half an hour to go and it hasn’t met reserve. Too bad.

  11. Jeff

    Send it back to Mr. Norm’s and let me know when it’s ready for “Sunday Sunday Sunday” !

    1
  12. Andy

    I know I’m old, but this is the kind of car I used to buy for three figures and drive till I got sick of driving and/or fixing it. Unless you lost your virginity in one, I don’t see it as anything more than a generic winter beater.

    1
  13. Chebby Staff

    I used to own a gold Duster, but it wasn’t a Gold Duster.

    2
  14. arkie Member

    Has no one mentioned that this car is in Randleman, home of The King, Richard Petty? Just take this Plymouth down the road for some real go fast parts!

  15. Johnny

    Take the Vinyl off and start looking for any hole. That caused the trunk to get bad. They will sweat and cause alot of damage. Then I,d check out everything that needs replace .Paint it and you,d have a nice depend able car. Easy on gas,to work on. If you had $4,-$5000 in this , It would beat paying $15-$25,000 for any new car on the lot.. They got really good gas mileage .more then today,s high price car and you would be better off. Then these people who think they are big shots–when actually they are in debt over their head.

  16. TimM

    Good entry level hot rod for someone if the price doesn’t get out of control!! It would be so cool to see some 16-18 year old kid get this and do a motor swap with a newer hemi motor and do a garage paint job!!!

    • RTS

      Great idea if the “kid” has the money for such a project.

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