Purple Project: 1970 Plymouth Duster

The paint on this 1970 Duster is now so faded that it is hard to believe that it was once a pale shade of blue. Below that faded paint lurks not only the car’s stunning original color, but a car that is remarkably solid and would represent a great project for the next owner. The Duster is located in Lenexa, Kansas, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $1,500, but the reserve has not been met.

Hiding under that faded paint is the original In Violet Metallic, or if you prefer, Plum Crazy. It isn’t clear just why someone chose to undertake a color change, but they haven’t done the car any favors by doing so. The quality of the repaint also isn’t great, and it is peeling away in a number of places. Beyond that, what this Duster represents is a surprisingly solid car. There is rust present in the trunk and the bottoms of both rear quarter panels, but the floors have little more than a dusting of surface corrosion. Even the rust in the trunk isn’t bad, and I think that the worst of it could be fixed by replacing the spare wheel well, rather than the entire pan. There is also surface corrosion visible around the engine bay, but I think that this could be addressed by media blasting. It is worth noting that the wheels that are currently fitted to the car are not included in the sale and that it will come rolling on a set of standard steel wheels.

There is no getting around the fact that the interior of the Duster will require a total restoration. The same UV exposure that has caused the paint to fade has also wrought havoc upon the upholstered surfaces. It looks as though nothing has been spared from the onslaught, but at least the interior is complete. The combination of the Violet exterior and white interior trim must have resulted in a pretty special car when it was in its prime. There is no reason why it couldn’t be again.

The mechanical specifications of this Duster would not be enough to get the pulse racing, but the car still houses its original 225ci slant-six, along with its 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission. These are a robust engine, and in spite of the surface corrosion that is present, I’m not that surprised to learn that the engine turns freely. With 145hp on board, performance isn’t extraordinary, but if the next owner wants to keep the car original, that would seem to be a viable option. Of course, if more horsepower is what they crave, there are plenty of options available there, too. Slotting a stock 318 under the hood would certainly transform the car, but that could potentially just be a starting point. I mean, how wild is your imagination on the performance front?

As an affordable, entry-level project car, this 1970 Duster looks like quite a decent proposition. Its lack of rust issues means that the next owner isn’t going to be facing a lot of cutting, welding, and grinding to whip the body into shape. Regardless of what the next owner decides to slot into the engine bay, if it is returned to its original paint and trim combination, it has the potential to eventually become an attention-grabbing car.


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  1. Classic Steel

    Al Bundy we’ve found your car.

    I bet Peg left it at the Bon Bon store🤠

    Fyi sell more 👠 and paint this thing please !

    Seriously i hope someone restores this beater back to original luster of plain jane Americana 👍

    Like 5
  2. Troy s

    Awe heck, I’ll go over the edge here and dream up a Sox&Martin tribute pro stocker,, complete with 426 cubic inches of terror under the hood.
    That body style is so ripe for a hot machine…a lot of us kids back in the late seventies early eighties messed with these cars, some actually were fast most just looked the part.

    Like 3
  3. geezerglide85

    I had one these back in high school (1976) mine was a 340 4spd, plum crazy. The only other option was a radio. With the duals and Walker Continental Blue Swingers you could hear it coming a 1/2 mile away. Wish I had kept that one along with my ’64 Caddy, then I could sell both and retire maybe.

    Like 5
  4. Gaspumpchas

    Yea Geezerglide and that 340 had 10:1/2 compression out of the factory, One potent Mopar. The rust on the firewall tells me this ol girl might have been in a flood. But for something to get in on fairly cheap it might be the ticket, whether you want to leave it stock or throw in some v8 power, of keep the Leaning tower of power slant six, you have a great little car there. Good luck to the new owner!!!


    Like 5
  5. Del

    I suspect reserve will be too high.

    That interior is a mess

    Like 1
  6. RobB Member

    Potential resto-mod candidate. 6.2 Hemi w/6spd., A/c, etc.

  7. Shannon

    Looks a lot like O’Bannion’s ride….

    Like 1
  8. bigdoc13

    I might be wrong,but I was told that Plum Crazy and In-Violet were not the same color.

    Like 1
  9. TimM

    Needs everything!!! It’s a good project!! Bring it back from the dead Dr. Frankenstein!!!

  10. Pete in PA

    My family drove several early 70s Dusters/Demons/Swingers/Scamps as both new and used cars back when they were everywhere. All were great driving cars that had adequate power along with decent handling and braking so long as you didn’t drive like a lunatic. I guess word got around because over 192k Dusters were sold for 1970.
    My brother had a 70 Duster very similar to this offering except his was dark blue metallic in color. This car, BTW, originally had bucket seats as evidenced by the C55 on the fender tag. My brother’s 70 had the exact same white vinyl bucket seat interior with black carpeting (code L6XW) so I have no trouble imagining what this car’s interior once looked like and it was very nice. This car was almost certainly repainted due to the fact that the plum crazy paint didn’t hold up very well and many cars were repainted under warranty. Somebody decided to add the tape stripes on the side at that time. I sure wish I could still buy a car like this for just over $2k out the door!

    Like 1
  11. bone

    That instrument cluster is not from a Duster , its off a 69 Valiant . I know early 70 Darts had 69 clusters, but I’ve never seen any Duster with that early dash .

    Like 1
  12. Stevieg

    I love the sound of those old slant six engines, and I ne er minded the fact that they aren’t the most powerful engine around. So I would get her to function as designed, and restore the body & interior. I would probably upgrade the interior to the deluxe bench seat with the fold down arm rest. Then I would drive & enjoy her with pride.

  13. erik johnston

    good catch on the dash gauges. I have had many darts,duaters demons so I have seen them all. That does look like a dart dash. I now have a 71 duster that looks like it was a twister. Its a fc7,bucket seat,floor shift 3spd manual,v-8 83/4 rear. project car. I am putting in a rally dash. Sure to be a looker when done.

    Like 1
  14. erik johnston

    Its erik Johnston again. now it 8/2020. Latest with my duster. Its now back to fc7 paint,brand new int. rally dash. 318 built and balanced 10 I/4 comp with j-heads farily bumpy cam. It comes back to me in a week as a roller. I will have to put it back together. I also did the black-out treatment w / the 340 wedge call-out. 15 in rallys stock tips out back and shark tooth grill. I will post a pic.soon

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