Period Mods: 1971 Plymouth Duster 340


The more I look at this Duster, the more I love it! This thing came from the factory with a nice list of options. There’s a 340 V8 out front, a four-on-the-floor, a spoiler on the trunk lid, and a couple of pins holding down the hood. Those things are all great, but a previous owner’s custom touches are what really make this car cool today. The seller claims that the changes were all made back in the seventies, but that the car still runs great today. It’s located in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota and is listed here on eBay where bidding has gone surprisingly high!


Nothing has been done to the engine besides the addition of a pair of headers. Don’t let the displacement number here fool you though. These little engines were screamers and could turn a lightweight compact like this into a serious contender. The engine was durable too so as long as there aren’t any major leaks, there probably isn’t any reason to pull out this 74k mile engine quite yet.


The previous owner’s personal touches are a little more obvious inside. That floor mounted cassette player apparently came from the dealer, but the tach and Hurst shifter were custom add-ons. At least the guy stuck with bolt on mods that were functional and easily reversible. I would probably screw on a white knob in place of that t-handle, but that’s just personal preference. Some NOS plaid may be hard to find, but I would search high and low in order to keep that cool bench seat stock.


Checkout the custom painted side panels where the 340 stripes used to be. They are totally retro and would have to stay. As would the Keystone Klassics. Those rims look great, but they might look even better with the subtraction of the red paint and the addition of some raised white letter tires. The stock rims are included with the car is you want to go for a more subtle look, but personally, I think this thing has the perfect vibe about it. How about you?


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  1. Bob's your uncle

    You can probably buy that interior pattern from Legendary stock

    No photos of the underside of a car from Minnesota is never a good thing.

  2. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    This is a rare car and the ’71 was the year to get with the shark tooth grill and high HP 340. It may very well hit the Reserve especially after that ’69 Yellow Z/28 sold for 48K. The engine sure does look like it’s had a rattle can paint job. It’s rare to see a “factory” 340 Duster. Wish it had the factory N85 Tachometer option and too bad the seller lost the build sheet.

    • John B

      This one makes me remember my ’71, and that NOS factory tach that I found for it in 1980 through the local Mopar parts dept…they said I was dreaming when I asked! For 48 dollars, it came from a New Jersey Chrysler dealer. I can recall running 6200 rpm in fourth gear, the speedometer said 135mph. Young and dumb!!

      Like 1
  3. Luke Fitzgerald

    RDs right – this will go off – and it’d be a better buy than some of the expensive junk that’s ‘hot’ – bet he’s kicking himself about the build S – saying that, he may come across it – not like mine that became mice meal

  4. Jonny the Boy

    These cars are TOUGH. I had a friend in high school who’d do some insane things with that car, often with me as a passenger. It never broke down on us, no matter how hard it was pushed.

  5. angliagt

    This would look much nicer without the
    tacky White accents.

  6. Ck

    I like this thing the stripes are kool and its a 340 4spd ! The only things i would change are the wheels ,I would put the factory wheels on it .Oh and that shifter needs to be swaped out for a Pistol Grip. Other than that this car is Bad Ace.

    • John A

      Looks like my first car. Bench seat, 340, 4 speed and a Hurst shifter with that “T” handle just like this pic. I think that “T” handle is from the factory, don’t change it.
      Great car!

  7. John B

    In all my travels as a Mopar fanatic practitioner in the 1970s and ’80s, I never saw a Duster or Demon with that wing on the trunk…not even once. Now it seems like every one for sale today has it. Not just A-bodies either…I still don’t think they look right. IMHO

    Like 1
  8. scooter8

    used to paint my brake drums white on my 70superB with cragers, suregrip also.paint was cheap! stole it from work.anyway.never stayed clean.drove that car hard from dawn till dusk.67 imperial440 4spd.17yrs. old invincible back then.

  9. Rocko

    Back in the seventies there seemed to be yellow 340 Dusters everywhere .

  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Yes – that’s a factory Mopar cassette tape / recorder you could check the box off for to be installed….see them more in the big Chrysler’s…..but not that much. My 1972 Demon 340/4sp was a high option car with a spoiler…..and hood pins were also an option.

  11. geezerglide85

    I had a ’70 Duster 340 back in ’75, paid $1100 for it. Mine was plum crazy purple. The only options on that car were Rallye wheels, radio, and the 4-speed (I think a 3-speed was the base trans.) No posi rear, no p.s. , no p.b., no carpet, no air cond. Yea it was fast and I was a stupid h.s. kid so you know it looked like when I sold it. That’s why there aren’t too many original ones left.

    • John B

      Yep, my car had a 3 speed originally…it was replaced with an 833 from a 6-pak Cuda including the short pistol-grip handle. It always was a bit awkward leaning out from the bench seat to shift the car! I paid $950 for it from the first owner in ’79…his mommy bought it new for him to take back and forth to Virginia Tech. 2982 dollars. Black out hood with 340 graphics. Later additions by him(a pretty boy no less) were the Erson cam, big-tube headers, Keystones, 3:91 gears, super stock springs…it would roll! Sold it for $1800 and the idiot cut it up to make a race car. Young and dumb!!

  12. ccrvtt

    Seems like everyone has owned one of these at one time or another. The Demon/Duster styling has stood the test of time, certainly better looking than the Novas and Mavericks which always looked just a little bit awkward to me. The 340 is the most desirable and the Keystones are simply iconic. Great find.

  13. David king

    I like to see these cars stock like this.were they haven’t Ben modified so much .headers are 340s had headers .makes them breath.good I never lost a race with my 340 charger rallye .bet a lighter car like the duster would be even faster prob.these dusters had some cool colors and stripe options car.

  14. AutoArcheologist

    My first car was a 71 318 Duster. I did some hop up work to her. 360 heads, Purple cam and headers/dual exhaust. I have to say I like the semi-psychedelic white side patterns.
    I also owned a 440 Duster, Lime Green with the black out hood, two 73 Dusters, a 73 Dart and a 70 Demon, the last 4 with the Leaning Tower of Power, 225 slant 6.

    • John B

      If you had a 440 in a Duster, you did it yourself that’s for sure. Maybe a custom motor plate, or someone’s Barracuda/Dart K-member from ’67 to 69. Your cars kinda mirror what I had in those days…

  15. Blindmarc

    In 1980, I had a 340 that ran mid 12’s with bias ply firestones. And have owned at least 6 since then. 340 & 360 were great engines for mopars.

  16. Dan Joyce

    Looks like Todd’s car from Beavis & Butthead! Back before MTV turned to pure crap..
    Just saying.

  17. David Miraglia

    Valiants and Darts were everywhere when I was a Kid. They were solid compared to their junky successors the Asspain that my parents bought and the Vulgarlay.

  18. Joe

    I own a 1976 Duster it ran over 300,000 miles. Utill the rear end gave out. Good snow car, would not get stuck in snow.

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