Monday, August 22, 2016

Dusted: 1973 Plymouth Duster 340

Redneckery used to be cheap. It seems like not that long ago, one could buy an original muscle car and start tire fires at every opportunity until something terrible would happen, then you'd just scrap it, buy a case of Schlitz with the cash, and flip through the classifieds. Enter the Barrett-Jackson 'barn find' and Pro-Touring insanity age and there go all of our affordable muscle cars. Find what may be the last 1973 Plymouth Duster 340 that hasn't been shackled up and murdered out here on craigslist in Lancaster, CA for a marginally insane $9,800.
Tip from Kaibeezy

We can hope that the brown on the hood is just regular ol' patina and not evidence of a past thermal incident. The body otherwise looks fairly straight except for some bubbles in the rockers and some damage around the trunk area, perhaps from a 240mph, top-of-third, one-wheel peel ending with a Tiger Paw carcass going through the inner fender. The fading decals and weathered paint - which you're paying extra for these days - are irreplaceable and shouldn't be changed.

The 340 does appear to have some fresh paint which hopefully is more than just a rattle can job. Being far oversquare, the 340 would rev pretty well for an early 1970's pushrod V8. I have heard more than one story of 340's shooting pushrods through the hoods of hot rodded 340 Mopars at Freaky Friday run-whatcha-brung events. Can anyone out there confirm these rumors?

The interior is leisure suit white with some pretty significant rips and staining. It's a little hard to imagine buying a car with a white interior considering its vulnerability. Years of greasy finger prints record each repair and failure to clean up prior to the test run. Note that the speedometer is permanently anchored at 19mph, no doubt a side effect of never letting the rear wheels stop turning, no matter what. 

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Matt, a self-proclaimed bottom-feeder of the classic car market, spends half of his time buying cars, half of his time retrieving them, and the remaining third on keeping them on the road.


  1. I always appreciate the extra care that some of the craigslisters take with their wet-look paint know to wet down the whole driveway to make it look less obvious that they doused the car with water to make the paint look shinier. The amazing part hot as it is in Lancaster this time of year, they were able to get the pictures before the water started evaporating and streaking.

    1. Yes! One could install misters all around the car to keep that perfect clear-coat finish.

      The only thing I can think of about this car is "back in my day a beater duster cost $500" and yes I must be getting old

    2. in one pic you can even see water dripping off the fender...and always take pics of problem areas in a low light condition, at a poor angle and preferably out of focus.

  2. Early cars with the 275hp/340 are worth more this one needs a lot of everything for the money.


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