Unrestored Original: 1973 Plymouth Duster 340

Lately, we’ve been seeing some pretty nicely preserved original cars here at Barn Finds, and there is no doubt that this 1973 Duster 340 is another. It is said to be completely original, and the condition of the car is pretty stunning. Barn Finder Pat L has certainly been keeping an eye out for some real beauties lately, so thank you for that Pat. Located in New Port Richey, Florida, the owner has set a sale price of $20,500 for the Duster. If this is a car that you really want to own, you will find it listed for sale here on craigslist.

If I could use one word to describe this Duster, it would be “impressive.” The owner claims that this is unrestored and original, and if this is true, then it is a car that is a testament to careful ownership. Take a long look as I have, and it is hard to find anything to fault on the car. The panels and paint are amazing, the decals have survived the last 46-years exceptionally well, and the trim and chrome are immaculate.

The interior of the Duster is very nice, but it isn’t perfect. I noticed that the vinyl on the driver’s door trim is wrinkled and pulled away in one corner, but this should be able to be fixed, while the carpet may also be slightly faded. There is an aftermarket tachometer fitted to the car, and it is a matter of personal taste as to whether that would stay or go. The owner says that the original owner ticked all of the options on the order sheet, except for air conditioning. One option that he did choose was the Space Duster option, which gave the car the fold down rear seat. Speaking of sheets, the owner has the original build sheet, invoice, and the window sticker for the Duster.

The news gets even better when you find that this is a numbers-matching car. The original 340ci V8, 4-speed transmission, and Posi rear end are all in place, while you also get power steering and power brakes. With 240hp on tap, performance for the 340 was good, without being in muscle car territory. Still, 15.1 seconds for the standing ¼ mile is good in anyone’s language for what was essentially a budget performance car. While the owner doesn’t mention how well the Duster runs and drives, the general presentation of the engine and surrounds certainly give plenty of hope that all is well.

In 1973, 15,731 people decided that a Duster 340 was the car for them, so they weren’t a particularly rare car when new. Today, it is really hard to find a good original car, so that makes this one a bit special. If you can find a good one, you need to be prepared to pay around $22,000 for it, while a pristine example will set you back somewhere around $38,000. It’s also worth noting that values have increased by around 30% in the past 3-years. That makes this Duster 340, with an asking price of $20,500, seem like a mighty good deal.

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Comments

  1. Dave Mika

    Sweet! And no AC to bother about. Those compressors are the size of one of the Titanic’s engines…

    16
    • Sandy Claws

      AC is pretty darn nice, had it on most of my cars and I suffered on those that did not. Does this car have power windows, was that even an option?

      3
      • Angrymike

        My 73 340 Road Runner ran a constant 15.6 with just a carb change so I’d bet this would get into the 14’s really easy. Very nice car !

        12
      • karl

        No , it wasn’t available in the A bodies back then .

        4
      • r spree

        I would think that if you could get power windows in an E body (Challenger etc.- and I know my brother’s Challenger had ’em) there’s no reason they wouldn’t be able to be put easily into an A body. However I don’t see them listed as an option in the factory brochure I found.

        Love this car. Also note that though it’s a ’73 it doesn’t have big ugly bumpers on it – Chrysler got around the new government bumper requirements by using big bumper guards since the bumper ‘crash’ requirements only involved hitting a flat barrier straight on. I bet you could have replaced those guards with some smaller ones off an earlier year and the car would have totally looked like the earlier year. My ’73 Charger also had those larger bumper guards while the bumpers themselves were no bigger than on the ’71 model.

  2. Papa Bear

    Was does it have a Florida plate on the rear and a New York plate on the front…

    5
    • J_Paul Member

      I would guess that the NY plate is original to the car, and since Florida doesn’t require a front plate the owner decided to keep it as a decoration.

      13
  3. Rosko

    Could it be a special vanity plate? I see “340”

    2
  4. A.J.

    If it is real and nice isn’t it cheap?

    2
  5. irocrobb

    15 years ago you could of bought one like this for $10,000 I think. Now they are getting expensive. Love the 4 gear but wish it was a 1970 model. Looks like a honest car and 10 years from now will likely fetch 30,000.

    8
    • Sandy Clawssc

      The 73 will take regualr unleaded, that is a plus. A 360 though with less HP, has more pull, better yet.

      5
      • dan

        I believe these cars were supposed to run 95 super leaded gas , so cheapo unleaded wont help it any !

      • Fiete T.

        ’73 was the final year of the 340- this year the compression was dropped for emissions, and since the 340 was never designed to be a pedestrian motor, Chryco dropped them after this year. If you wanted economy V8, 318. Needed/wanted grunt? 360. A neutered 340 was just extra production and was thus killed off

        2
      • r s

        By 1973 Mopar had also gone to a cast instead of forged crank.

  6. ed the welder

    no sunroof , so not really ” every option except a/c ” ..still nice though …

    3
    • don

      and no Tuff wheel, wood grain door panels or AM/FM radio either . It also looks like the windshield was replaced at one time , I don’t think I ever saw a shaded windshield on them .

      • stillrunners

        said it had a AM/FM……..

  7. Camaro Joe

    The tachometer needs to stay, or be replaced by a factory tach unless you’re going to make it a trailer queen. The 340’s rev really fast and a lot of them blew up because the driver didn’t have his hand on the shifter when it was time to shift. By the time you figure out you needed to be there and got there, it’s too late.

    4
    • Chris

      That’s a totally unique and largely untrue perspective on on the history of the 340. Interestingly enough I had 2 of these gems and have been around a half dozen more who were owned by aquaintences and not one EVER came apart. It wasn’t uncommon for some of those to see 6500 rpm at times. Although your point of potentially scattering an engine due to “missing a shift and over revving” can’t be argued I’d disagree on your point that it was somehow more common amongst 340s. Your post gives the impression that you’ve read alot of hot rod magazines or over heard some tall tails and points to unabashed ignorance.

      1
      • r s

        For ANY muscle car, especially with a manual trans, that’s why they made rev limiters.

  8. Troy s

    It always seems there is somebody commenting on this site who has a bad taste for Plymouths, particularly the muscle bound ones. Always.
    I won’t bring up whom, or waste anymore time on it, but if these old mopars upset or bring back bad memories why even look at all.
    That said, this here junior super car ran with the best of the class of ’73, Super Duty 455 maybe not, but what else could have ran that good brand new in ’73? This is one cool car, it amazes me how good of condition it’s in. Dusters as I recall weren’t exactly pristine luxury cruisers, just cheap, useful, utilitarian cars that looked kinda sporty. Hats off to whoever kept it so nice over the years.

    25
    • Scott

      Thank you Troy, it’s easy to forget what these cars were built for, we’re not talking about a 440 Plymouth Road Runner. This car would get a thumbs up anywhere you would take it.

      6
    • Chris

      Troy, I couldn’t agree more with your post. I see alot of posts on this site from people who sound like nothing more than the bystanders that looked on to guys that owned and drove some of these cars. It’s easy to spot them, Camaro Joe above certainly fits the bill. He among Kieth and “Cool Joe Machado” check spelling on the last name,as I refer to him. Your right, in ’73 this little Duster with a 4 speed was one of the better offerings.

      1
  9. Humbler

    Nice looking car but no AC in Florida is a no go for me.

    1
    • Don

      who buys a muscle car and wants AC ? – you want to cool off , you roll the windows down and put your foot to the floor ! LOL

      8
  10. Camaro Joe

    Troy,

    If that was aimed at me, you’re completely wrong. I have a 65 Plymouth Belvedere that I got out of Dad’s junkyard in 1982 Rust free car but bent a littlle. Original 383 / 727 TF car, had a second “nut and bolt” restoration in 2004 The 383 is not stock be a long shot. It might be faster than any of my 69 Z/28 Camaros.

    The only comment about 340’s blowing up was driver error. The same thing happened with 67/69 Z/28 Camaros. There’s a reason a lot of the ones left don’t have the original motor. The driver wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen when he pushed the go button.

    I drove a friends 9 second big block Chevelle. It took a couple hits to get used to what was going to happen. I can see why people who weren’t ready for a 340 had a problem.

    7
    • Stillrunners

      It’s not you…

      4
    • Scott

      You used the correct word “MIGHT”

      1
    • Troy s

      Camaro Joe,
      No, my remark was not aimed at you, matter of fact your comment wasn’t posted yet when I made mine. Just an observation of mine lately, I’ll leave it at that as it’s not really important.
      I think your Z-28 would hang pretty well against that Belvedere, either way what a blast!

      1
  11. Steve

    Not “posi” – that’s a GM unit.
    “Sure Grip” is the correct terminology for the Chrysler equivalent.

    8
    • Miguel

      I thought it was Traction Lock.

      • r s

        In the ’73 brochure it’s called Sure Grip. I’ve heard of Traction Lock (Lok?) but not sure when or who called it that.

  12. Ken Member

    Nice ride. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Dusters and Demons. Never owned a Duster, but I’ve had two Demons, and I miss both of them.

    6
    • leiniedude Member

      lol!

      1
    • Charles Marks

      Also have a soft spot for Dusters. Great car. When my parents had enough money for a second car, their first new second car was a 73 lime green 225 slant six Duster. Had the same body stripe but in black. Green and yellow plaid cloth seats. Graduated high school in 73 so drove it ALOT. Good memories

      1
  13. JP

    I had a ’74 Duster. Nice Mopar even though I’m mostly a GM guy!

    1
  14. crop_dusting_4_life

    mom can i have your credit card

    1
    • r s

      You’re joking of course but one of those new probably was still in the 3000’s. My neighbor had a brand new 70 Challenger T/A 340 six pack and it stickered for $4500, so possibly a budget 340 Duster a couple years later could have been at or below $4000. My Discover card nowadays would cover charging 5 or 6 of ’em.

  15. Tom Parker

    I recently sold a Petty blue 1973 Duster. Sunroof, slant 6. Nothing other than surface rust. It went to someone who was going to put a bigger engine in it. This 340 Duster looks like a really good buy.

    4
    • karl

      There’s probably more Duster 340 clones on the rod now then there when they were new . I always amazes me when people take a classic car and gut it to make it something it wasn’t meant to be

      4
      • r s

        … or, something that same car could othewise have been had someone checked the right options. That same slant six car could have been a 340 perhaps (of course with the other necessary changes to accommodate the V8).

  16. John Oliveri

    Guy in my neighborhood had a 72, 340 Duster, hood was flat black 340 wedge black car white gut white interior white stripe, 4 speed, first year he ran it stock, next summer he never opened the hood again 440 time, factory wheels replaced with wider Keystone classics, and the funny thing was all that 340 stuff wound up in his mothers Satellite wagon, which his younger brother drove to school and blew people’s doors off cause no one expected a 340 in there, Lil worked too if I recall

    3
  17. stillrunners

    Good buy….or should that be good bye………

    1
  18. Bob C.

    ONE FOR THE MONEY was the slogan for this very car. I remember the magazine ad.

    1
  19. RoughDiamond Member

    This ’73 Duster “340” is really nice and rare with the factory 4-speed. Any Duster “340” (except clones) is high on my bucket list although I am partial to the 71’s and hope to own one in the future.

    1

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