Three Owner Mopar: 1971 Dodge Demon 340

The Dodge Demon was to the Dart as the Plymouth Duster was to the Valiant. Adding a touch of sportiness to nameplates largely known for being basic transportation. The Demon debuted a year after the Duster and was popular enough in its own right but was always in the shadow of its corporate cousin. This first-year Demon, a 340 model from 1971, is mostly original and runs well, but could use a little TLC. Located in Pinellas County, Florida, this Dodge is available here on craigslist for $26,500. Thanks, Pat L., for the tip on this one!

Chrysler’s small-block 340 cubic inch V8 was a powerhouse that produced 275 hp. Over the course of six years (1968-73), the Auburn Hills outfit would drop nearly 217,000 of them into a variety of its products. Some of the most potent were the A-body derivatives because of their smaller dimensions and lighter overall weight. In 1971, Plymouth would produce just under 13,000 Duster 340s while Dodge’s Demon 340 saw 10,000 copies. This ratio would continue throughout the rest of the 340s run. The Demon nameplate would fall victim to political correctness in 1973 (the church community disapproved of the name), so it would become the Dart Sport for the rest of the car’s duration.

This ’71 Demon 340 is a three owner car. Its original buyer worked for Chrysler, bought it, drove it a while, and then stored the car away in Florida. The second owner did pretty much the same thing, so the car has accumulated just 73,000 miles in 50 years. It’s wearing its original Rallye Red paint and the body looks good overall, although a prior owner did a poor job of patching the rear quarter panels a few years ago (rust?). The only visible rust (besides the surface) appears to reside under the vinyl roof. While we’re told those areas are not soft, the vinyl should be removed, the rust repaired and new applied before it gets any worse.

The engine and automatic transmission are said to be numbers matching and the car performs well, having just covered 150 miles on a short trip with no issues. Neither has had any work done to them over the years, although some tinkering with carburetion and the ignition system have been done. The interior has an interesting red and plaid fabric combination that seems to have held up well. Documentation that comes with the car includes the original window sticker, build sheet, dealer checklist, and owner’s manual from 1971.

NADA says the high end for retail pricing on the 1971 Demon 340 is about what the seller is asking. But this car is not perfect and interested parties may want to bargain for a couple of thousand dollars to redo the quarters and vinyl roof. It’s a shame that Dodge caved on the name of the car because a Chrysler compact with a well-tuned 340 under the hood certainly has demonic characteristics!

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Comments

  1. DrillnFill

    Sweet Demon. I still prefer the Duster’s style taillights but overall a great design. Someone’s going to get a nice driver

    Like 6
  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    Like it – be a fast car

    Like 5
    • Melton Mooney

      I don’t think I’ve ever been in a 340 car that didn’t impress me. Remarkable little motor.

      Like 2
  3. Maverick

    Rusty roof. Yikes that’s a lot of coin for what’s there.

    Like 8
  4. Chris M.

    The roof is a big concern. I’d hate to peal back that vinyl to find out the roof skin needed replaced. I always favored the Demons of the Dusters simply because of the Dart front clip. Looks like a good original car that’s priced a little too aggressively. As an aside, the ad rambles on!

    Like 3
  5. Mopar Fan

    Nice find, Russ Dixon. Got a correction for ya, though.

    “Over the course of six years (1968-73), the Auburn Hills outfit ….”

    In that time frame it was still in Highland Park. The Auburn Hills facility was not built till the mid 90’s.

    Like 6
  6. 71Boss351

    Agree with Chris M.- Usually the rot you see is just the tip of iceberg. Even so these are great looking cars for the period. IMO asking price is on the high side.

    Like 4
  7. George Louis

    The bid price is high. No A/C, do not know if it has power steering? Would like to know what “Tinkering with carburetion and ignition means?” Did they add the Mopar Electronic ignition system, it was introduced as an option in 1971. The oil fill cap not correct should be orange, not black. get rid of the plastic body fuel filter. Need an explanation of what is going on with the instrument panel face by the glove box door. Silver base showing not black like rest of I/P. Must be an earky build 1971 as they had a running change on the deck lid surface by adding a raised area in the middle of deck lid surface.

    Like 1
  8. Jim

    $26,500 for a car with a rusted roof and a big dent. This seller needs to get real.

    Like 5
  9. Lance Platt

    I agree with the comments that the price is high for the condition. Was not sure if the car had air conditioning and safer power front disc brakes as many compact cars back them were not well optioned.i do like the size of the vehicle as many older cars tend to be too big for modern urban parking lots. The color, the V8 engine and convenient automatic transmission certainly are pluses. Bottom line: would like to see it at a car show but I can’t afford the asking price and rust restoration costs.

  10. bone

    All 340 Demons and 340 Dusters came standard with front disc brakes

    Like 2
    • dave

      my 72 Demon 340 had front drums.

  11. DON

    This was my dream car since I first saw one in a new car ad when I was 9 years old. I never got one, but I still have my Duster 340 – 42 years now !

    Like 2
  12. Larry Parlier

    My first car was a 71 Demon 318 auto mine had black hood

  13. erik j

    This is a nice demon. Clean and the rust is a issue,but common and not that tough to fix. I had a 71 Demon 340. It was yellow and black top. I dont remember the top having issues. It was a 4sp with the dual hood scoops. I wound up trading it for a international scout. The kid wrecked the demon in a week. I wound up buying the demon back for $100, parted it out and made good money. I still have pics of the car and think back. I could have fixed it easy.

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