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Rust Never Sleeps: 1971 Plymouth Duster

Plymouth had several special edition Dusters including the Silver Duster, Feather Duster, Duster Twister, and Space Duster. This 1971 Plymouth Duster is not another special edition known as the “Ruster Duster”, it just needs a lot of help in that department. This Sassy Grass green Duster can be found listed here on eBay in Skaneateles, New York with an unmet opening bid of $3,000 and no reserve after that.

This color is impossible to beat in my world. I mean, the Sassy Grass lime green color, not the red primer on the right front fender. Speaking of that primered right front fender, it looks like one of the few areas that doesn’t need welding help. There is more than a fair amount of rust on and in this car and we don’t see the underside so things may even be more dire than we know from the photos that the seller has uploaded to the eBay auction listing.

This car has just under 69,000 miles on it and it appears to be a base model, not a 340 or other special edition Duster. Unless it’s been repainted, it seems fairly rare to find one without some sort of stripe or flat black painted area somewhere. In fact, I couldn’t even find a photo of one online in this Sassy Grass color without some sort of stripe or other paint scheme going on, other than this scale model car or this one in an ad with a white stripe.

The interior looks surprisingly decent if that doesn’t sound like faint praise. You can see the 3-speed manual transmission floor shifter – very cool. And, the seats look good, at least as far as being able to use the existing material to order matching fabric. Hagerty is at $6,320 for a #4 fair condition car which this one certainly is not, but that gives you somewhat of a benchmark.

But that rust, ouch. And, you can see the other 800-pound gorilla in the room: this car doesn’t have a 340 V8 or even a 318 V8, it has a 225 slant-six which would have had 145 hp. Wait, there’s yet another 800-pound gorilla?! Yes, this engine is seized up. Given all of that, can this Duster be saved?


  1. mark

    3000 bucks??? They just as well ask for 3 million.

    Like 13
  2. Car39

    I remember in New England, that the quarter panels started evaporating about the time the payment book was done.

    Like 13
  3. bone

    Just a parts car now , even in better shape theres no real value in a base Duster . The color is rare but a base car in this shape is financially beyond restoring . The standard trans pedal set up, steering column ,the tranny “hump” , and the black interior parts are the only things that are harder to find on these cars and would likely sell , the body is trashed and theres no doubt the underside is shot

    Like 14
  4. Gaspumpchas

    Great pics of flat tires and the car sitting on the ground. The leaning tower of power backed with the 3 speed manual is cool, but the car is crackers. That hole under the hood is just a hint of what lies underneath. Good luck. Too many NY state winters.

    Like 9
  5. CCFisher

    I don’t think it matters if it makes financial sense to restore this. I think the question is, is it possible to restore this? There doesn’t appear to enough good metal to weld with. That back corner of the engine compartment is a mess, and I suspect the entire underside looks the same.

    Like 4
  6. Kirk Wolfe

    Six cylinder and three speed, yes I like it. But the rust on the panels give me a bad notice that the chassis might not be in good condition.

    Like 3
  7. Steve K Member

    I had a 76 Aspen wagon with the slant six and an overdrive four stick. Gutless but fun to drive.

    Like 1
  8. TimM

    The panel has spoken!!! Let it rust in peace!!!

    Like 2
  9. Pete in PA

    Clearly the seller accidentally added a zero to the price. I’m trying to remember how many of these I bought as $100 parts car back in the late 80s. They were everywhere.

    Like 0

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