Plum Crazy Mopar: 1971 Plymouth Duster 340

1971 Plymouth Duster 340

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After just 7 years of use, this Plum Crazy Duster 340 was taken off the road, well at least that’s when it was last registered. It could have continued to see use as a drag car. The odometer reads 97k miles, so it was definitely well used by ’78. The seller has done some work, including lots of cosmetic repairs. It looks great though and as long as it is solid, would be a fun Mopar to have! You can find this Duster here on eBay in Edmonton, Alberta with a BIN of $24,000.

1971 Plymouth Duster Plum Paint

When I first looked at this car, I was sure it had been fully repainted, but the more I look at it the more I’m convinced this paint is original (at least parts of it). The vinyl top and most of the interior aren’t original and were recently replaced by the seller. I would have liked to seen a photo of it before the new top went on, just to make sure there wasn’t any rust hiding underneath.

1971 Plymouth Duster 340 Engine

The engine bay looks clean, although I’m curious what all the screw holes on the inner fender are from. I’m going to guess there were some upgrades (MSD ignition) installed at one point, but I could be wrong. The seller states that this is an “original plum crazy 340 4 speed”, but I’m not sure if that means this is the original engine or just that this car left the factory with a 340 and a 4 speed. Either way, it should be fun to drive.

1971 Plymouth Duster

So what do you think of this Plum? Is it a good buy or is the seller crazy with their asking? I know these are getting hard to find, especially in rust free condition, but that price does seem a tad high to me. Your thoughts?

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  1. dirtyharry

    I remember driving a modified 340 with gears that would almost hoist the front wheels off the ground, if everything hooked up correctly. This would be a great buy in the 12-15 range. Spend another 10 and you may have something worth 25. There is no money to be made, but you could wind up with a great driver, that you won’t lose anything on either. I love the color and all the “looney” graphics.

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  2. ccrvtt

    The Dusters and Demons from this era seemed to compete with the Novas. All could be had with a variety of progressively hotter engines. But basically they were cheap economy cars that didn’t look as good as the Barracudas or Camaros (and didn’t cost as much, either). The interest in these cars has always mystified me since the pony cars and the “real” muscle cars were far more desirable. For what it’s worth, the Mopars were better looking than the awkwardly styled GM compacts.

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  3. Luke Fitzgerald

    7 years and 97K miles and stopped – be a story there

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  4. JW454

    I had 2 Dusters but mine were both slant six automatics. Would have liked one of these 340 4 speed cars back in the day.
    In case anyone cares, the interior code on the fender tag (L4X9) denotes this car came from the factory with a bench seat. Everything else seems to be correct though. FWIW. (Buckets would have been L6X9) Also, the correct color name for this color on a Plymouth is “In Violet”. Dodge had the same color and it was called “Plum Crazy Purple”.

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  5. Paul R

    I owned one originally a 6 cyl. car.
    A poorly done conversion to a 383 with a “six-pack” cam and 727 torque flight auto from a wrecked Super Bee. I had the fastest car in the parking lot at high school and there was some fast cars at the time.

    It was a handful to drive and I always planned on changing the front K member to make it work with the heavy engine up front.
    The manual brakes, lack of power steering, and the stock torsion bars twisted and sitting on the bump stops.. Well, you can figure out what a pleasure it was to drive!

    I have owned several fast or quick cars over the past 40 years and this one will always be one of the best.
    You have to remember, I was a high school gear-head working at a garage for basically gas money. But I had access to a lift and a welding machine, along with some old hot rodders advice. NOTHING felt better than blowing the doors off the rich kids cars built with daddy’s money.. The look on their face, jaw dropped, was priceless when they handed over the money.

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  6. JW

    If the seller’s story pans out it’s a nice car but a little steep on the price, Demons & Dusters were the poor Mopar man’s musclecar, same as GM’s Nova and Ford’s Mustang coupe.

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  7. Blindmarc

    Be still my beating heart…..heavy sigh…..

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  8. Rando

    I love it! Not 24K love though. I wanted a duster so bad. Friend had a 340 in beige (!) he wanted to sell me for $3K when I was in college. Couldn’t afford then. Went to look at worse looking duster – $800 slant 6 rust bucket. Beside it was 71 Dart Swinger 2 dr ht with 78K miles, 318 2 bbl,, very little rust, better car for $600. I drove it for years. Loved it. Ended up trading it to my roommate for a “trade in” car. A dealer said he would give me $1000 for anything, push, pull, or tow. So I traded the dart to my bud for his Mazda GLC to use for my trade in. Everyone ended up happy, although I missed and still do miss that car.

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  9. Joe Nose

    The extra drill holes are where the air horn package from the JC Whitney catalog was mounted back in ’78.

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  10. Jay E.

    I had a 70 340 Duster for almost 20 years, beginning in 1976. 340/ 3.91posi/ Pistol grip/ Sixpack. It was a fun car for the day, but my 2012 Mustang with a 3.7 six will beat it hands down in every category. You have to really want to own one of these cars, they really aren’t drivers by modern standards, even when new… Having said that, this is a very nice example.
    Sometime in the early 80’s I was offered a triple black 70 hemi cuda in trade, straight across. It had broken a valve spring and was just sitting. I said no… Woops.

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    • Steve

      A V6 mustang may beat it in most categories, but not all: coolness.

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  11. Birdman

    If anyone needs a better look, I’m only about 3 hours south of Edmonton…Let me know and I can arrange to take a run up there if you cover my gas and food… :)

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  12. stillrunners

    Dad brought home a GI’s 1970 340 Duster about 1974 the year I got my driver’s liecense… much car for you he said – but let me rebuild the carb just before he shipped. out on a tour….damn….have had two Demon 340’s a 1971 auto and a 1972 4 speed….which I should have kept….

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  13. Gavia

    The price is CDN which is about USD$18k .

    Sweet looking car. Wish I had room in the garage.

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  14. Greg A Yancey

    I had a yellow and black 1970 Duster 340 back around 1971, ‘dial-a-win’ torqueflyte, 4.56 8 3/4″ Sure Grip rear, back around 1971…we got that little critter down into the 13’s at Fremont Drag Strip after a little tuning and tires….amazingly willing little engine. Some very fond memories.

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  15. erikj

    highschool car was a 71 red and blackout hood w/wedge sticker. found out later it had a 340(x-heads ect) tach and bench front with a 4spd.
    Long gone but now have a 71 duster that is fac. fc7 in violet ,buckets and a 8 3/4 rear and it is a stick car-just wish I could finish it.

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  16. erine

    I had a 71 blue 340 wedge .
    loved that car . was our first family car !
    Thank goodness gas was cheep back in the good old days .
    Could have should have but did not . i traded it in on a 79 Trans Am
    Black and gold . Sweet memories !!

    Like 0

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