Sharp Older Restoration: 1970 Plymouth Duster 340

Plymouth wanted to inject some excitement into their Valiant compact and pulled the trigger on the Duster fastback for 1970. It was an immediate hit, including the performance edition with a 340 V8 under the hood. This one was treated to a rotisserie restoration about 10 years ago and has seen limited use since then. It comes with both a 4-speed and factory air conditioning, which is thought to be a rare combination. Located in Salem, New Jersey, this beauty is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $17,100. But a reserve is still waiting to be hurdled.

In the late 1960s, nobody was buying a Plymouth Valiant if they were under the age of 30, so Chrysler wanted to move the needle on that demographic. The Duster was born with a body that was new from the windshield back, creating a pillarless hardtop unlike its biggest rival, the Chevy Nova. The public responded well, and Plymouth sold more than 217,000 Dusters in their first outing in 1970. And of that number, nearly 25,000 units were the Duster 340, a small-block fireball that appealed to the budget-minded who wanted some speed in their ride. About a third of them left the factory with a 4-speed like the seller’s car.

This car was purchased as a stalled project in 2006. The body needed new rear quarter panels and front floor pans, which the seller took care of. While the car was on the spit, it was refinished in the same yellow paint it left the factory with, along with a new black vinyl top and stripes. Even the bumpers were new. The Duster has seen minimal use since the restoration was done a decade ago, so the seller says it needs a bit of detailing, like the installation of the side marker lights that are still in the trunk as well as the trunk mat.

Another plus is that this is a numbers-matching car. The seller refreshed the engine, leaving most things stock or original, but not entirely. The radiator is now made of aluminum and the engine sports a mild solid-lifter camshaft with adjustable 273 rockers (it now sounds like a Boss 302 or early Z28, which the seller preferred). The replaced parts have been retained and they go with the car in a box.

This was a bench seat Plymouth, so when the seller rebuilt the car, he left it that way, just everything in the passenger compartment is either new or refreshed. The factory A/C is original except for one part and works great. The car is said to have 88,000 miles on the odometer which the seller believes is correct. The only things missing in the equation are the car’s build sheet and cowl tag. But we’re told the VIN confirms this car as being the real deal.


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  1. Moparman Member

    This looks to be a very nice car, and should make the next owner happy! Finish the little details and GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 9
  2. Boatman Member

    No fender tag? Ouch!

    Like 2
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Really a non-issue with the body parts matching the engine/trans with the dash vin/door. They disappear a lot just by being next to the battery.

      Just hate those non-original scoops everyone thinks a car needs.

      Like 9
  3. CCFisher

    Dusters were not pillarless hardtops. They had hardtop-style doors, but the rear windows did not go down, they swung out from a very thin, fixed pillar.

    Like 4
  4. JoeNYWF64

    Stingy with the extra zeros on the speedo(might someone briefly mistake it for a tachometer? not good! lol). & stingy with numbers on some of the aux gages – tho this cluster should have been used thru 1980, instead of discontinuing the tach in ’71. I’d rather they spent money on a FOOT emerg brake pedal instead of the ’71 dash change.
    The hood is a bit “busy” IMO – otherwise a handsome car – i like the wheels too.
    Is that carpeting or a rubber floor mat?

  5. JoeNYWF64

    Not sure how that hood stays up with no visible springs, struts, or prop rod.
    & it even opens up higher than those on some other old cars!

    Like 1
    • bone

      The springs are under the fender

      Like 1
  6. Mark

    The 70 – 72 Dusters look good but I always thought the 340 Dusters were a bit doggy. I have a small block Vette that routinely blows them off the road.

    Like 1
  7. karl

    Rotisserie restoration and then painted a color that wasn’t available (Thats not Lemon Twist yellow) ,overspray on the door seals , etc , gloss black hood instead of matte black , and the scoops look like they were installed in the wrong spots.

    Like 1
    • piston poney

      you do overspray on purpose if your doing a faithful restoration, or close to, from the factory they had overspray, they didnt care how they looked they were like ohh cool whatver

  8. karl

    Yes I agree , but not on things like door gaskets. those were put on after the car was painted . Plus a faithful resto would have been the right color too

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