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Slant-Six Survivor: 1971 Plymouth Duster

The Plymouth Valiant was a great economy car in the 1960s, but sporty was not one of the words you would use to describe it. Enter the Duster in 1970 with a new fastback body from the cowl back. It was quite popular and sold more than 1.3 million copies across seven model years. This Duster is from 1971 and looks like a basic model until you look inside and see the newly redone and upgraded interior. Located in Redding, California, this Plymouth is available here on craigslist for $8,500. Another great tip from Barn Finder rex m!

For its second year, more than 186,000 Dusters were built and they were all standard coupes except for 13,000 Duster 340s, the performance model. The most commonly ordered powerplant was the 225 cubic inch Slant-Six which is what is found under the hood of the seller’s survivor with just 56,000 miles on the odometer. It’s paired with a floor-shifted 3-speed manual.

The seller describes this as a “Twister” edition, which was a Duster 340 without the 340 (the Twister had stripes and looked fast). As this car is wearing its original paint and there are no signs of stripes, so we’re guessing the Twister reference is to the Duster’s logo. While the finish is washed out on this Plymouth, rust is limited to only a couple of minor spots on the lower rear quarter panels. So it will need minimal time in the body shop.

We’re told this car has been sitting since 2006, so to whip it back into shape the engine was rebuilt, and we’re told it runs great now. In addition, the gas tank has been replaced along with the fuel lines, carburetor, and brakes. A Flowmaster exhaust has been added which should improve the way the car sounds, even if a six-banger. The interior has just been redone, including upholstery, door panels, headliner, dash pad, and carpeting. You could repaint the car and show it off from there, or you could go the clone route and drop in a 340 small block. Given the original status of the car today, why not buck the trend and stay with a mostly stock Duster?


  1. Dave

    Didn’t we just go through the whole Duster/Twister routine a couple of days ago?
    There are plenty of ways to liven up a slant six, but with gasoline selling for exorbitant prices in some areas of the country (some parts of Ohio have it for less than $3) getting the most fun from every gallon comes into play.

    Like 4
  2. Mopar lover

    The slant 6 has plenty of zip. Add in the manual 3 speed,it’s probably a rare combo. I’d leave it as is

    Like 6
    • Gary

      No, there were lots of three speeds. Nice cars, came with a great 3.23 rear end. More power then you would ever need for any task.

      Like 0
    • John S Dressler

      Had a slant 6 in an old Dodge half-ton truck with a four-speed granny gear transmission I owned. Plenty of power and stingy on gas. Exactly what would make a good commuter these days with gas going back into the stratosphere.

      Like 2
  3. joenywf64

    Some modern “cars” with automatic have brake pedals smaller than the one here!
    I’m trying to imagine what an inherently loud/not the greatest sounding inline 6 would sound like with flowmaster(s).
    I would find slide in headrests 1st thing for this car.
    Is a holley the stock carb & can any holley give you good mpg?

    Like 1
  4. Yogi Bear

    “Deja vu, all over again!” – The Great yogi Berra
    This is the same Duster covered within days as listed on eBay with reserve of ~$5600, withdrawn and relisted with reserve of $8500.

    Like 0
  5. chuck


    Like 2
  6. GOM

    My kind of vehicle. Leave the drive train alone and enjoy it as-is with just a cosmetic touch-up. No need to make it nose-heavy with a V8, it is just fine for a fun car now.

    Like 3
  7. bone

    I’d be willing to bet this car originally had the olive green interior like so many did ; the dashboard is too shiny to be stock paint .I’m sure it was painted to match the replacement interior parts.
    A base Duster would never have wood grain door inserts either – I’m not sure any 70-72 Duster would have had them; usually a high line Dart Swinger or Valiant Scamps would.

    Like 0
    • TRAVIS

      i owned to base dusters and both had the wood grain dash. sorry but you re wrong.

      Like 0
  8. Marty Weiss

    I had a 75 with the 225 and a 3 on the floor Great Car.

    Like 0
  9. RSparks

    I’m all for leaving in the slant six “as long as the flow master is removed”. Loud mufflers do not improve the sound of a stock six banger. It’s not going to be fast anyway so anything you can hear from the inside would just be annoying and even more so due to “it’s not fast” lol. Drop it down a couple inches, put some nice rims on and enjoy a cruise. OR drop in a nice 340 or a late model crate hemi, a 5 speed and rock on.

    Like 0
  10. Demon Owner

    I own a 71 Demon that came with a 225 S6 with a 3 speed Manual shift on the column. I payed 300.00 and rescued it from a local salvage yard. That was back in 2003 and it’s still a work in progress. The price set on that Duster is correct even to the point of removing the add and reposting for that higher price. The price for that style of Abody will continue to rise as time goes by. There are less Demons than Dusters or Dart Sports. Will soon be worth more than the over rated 2nd gen chargers.

    Like 1
  11. erik johnston

    Good presentation on this duster. I have a 71-duster twister 318 3 on the floor .I think i would like the v-8 over the 225.When its ready i would love to show it on barnfinds. Its fc7 as it was new just finished.8 3/4 rear all new int.sharktooth grill all the right stuff untill a 340 is scored.

    Like 0

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