(Semi-)Fastback Friday: This 1973 Plymouth Duster is super clean

On the Mopar scale, the six-cylinder Duster ranks somewhere closer to Dodge Neon than ’68 Charger. Sure, there are cool Dusters out there, but a bog-standard six-banger may be viewed with rose-colored glasses. It’s intriguing today, sure, but nothing about which you should get too excited. Still, there’s something about this Duster that has me interested.

This is a 1973 Plymouth Duster located near Oceanside, California. It was apparently built at a plant in California, but the Maywood assembly plant referenced in the actually shut down in 1971. Regardless, the listing goes on to say the current seller is the second owner and this Duster has lived its whole life out here on the West side.

The odometer reads 126,000 miles. The paint looks strong. And the interior , minus those rips you can see at the bottom of the pic above, seems to be in great shape. I’m not sure I’d want to pay $8,900 for a Duster with a straight six. But this one does look oddly enticing. I’m not really sure why, to be honest.

Would it be wrong to try to get this for a bit under asking, then swap in something more robust? You could certainly drive it as is, make sure you swap on some better breathing exhaust, and have a sweet old-school ride.

Check out the ad here: 1973 Plymouth Duster for sale

14 Comments

  1. Looks like a survivor that’s in remarkably great shape. I love Chrysler’s nearly indestructable slant six, but that is a car that will not be rushed. It’d be a fun cruiser, but I personally wouldn’t give more than $2500 for it.

  2. The VIN indicates it was built in Hamtramck, Michigan, and the engine is a C-code 225 Slant 6 (but Slant 6 is in the G engine family, as confusing as that might sound).

    Coincidentally, I was watching videos before work this morning, and this one popped up.

  3. My ’74 Gold Duster with the 318 in it still ranks at the bottom of my fond memories list. I can’t recommend ever owning one. Learn to replace your own tie-rod ends if you do, ’cause you’ll be doing it as often as oil changes. Mopar was also known for year of manufacture specific parts, some of which have become unobtanium for the less desirable models.

    Also that thing’s butt ugly.

  4. This is a bit pricey, but they are only original once and survivor cars are increasingly rare, and typical spec cars are even more rare. A plain slant 6 Duster is what thousands of people drove in the 70s and should be preserved as representative of what was really on the road. This is like a 6 Cylinder Tempest in a sea of GTO “tribute cars”. While it may be more fun with a hot V8, and may sell for more as a 340 replica its history would be destroyed and a unique survivor would be just another “Fast & Loud” product.

  5. This is a bit pricey, but they are only original once and survivor cars are increasingly rare, and typical spec cars are even more rare. A plain slant 6 Duster is what thousands of people drove in the 70s and should be preserved as representative of what was really on the road. This is like a 6 Cylinder Tempest in a sea of GTO “tribute cars”. While it may be more fun with a hot V8, and may sell for more as a 340 replica its history would be destroyed and a unique survivor would be just another “Fast & Loud” product.

  6. This is a bit pricey, but they are only original once and survivor cars are increasingly rare, and typical spec cars are even more rare. A plain slant 6 Duster is what thousands of people drove in the 70s and should be preserved as representative of what was really on the road. This is like a 6 Cylinder Tempest in a sea of GTO “tribute cars”. While it may be more fun with a hot V8, and may sell for more as a 340 replica its history would be destroyed and a unique survivor would be just another “Fast & Loud” product.

  7. I realize the focus here is “fastback”, but even though it was touted as the sportier option, I alway preferred the look of the 2-door hardtops over the coupes. That, and going back just one year in the Mopars gets you a much cleaner grille, slimmer bumpers, and a lighter car overall. Here’s the ’72 Dart hardtop:

    https://barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/72-Dodge-Dart-Swinger-1-e1536358311775-630×390.jpg
    https://barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/72-Dodge-Dart-Swinger-4-e1536358340160-630×390.jpg

    When I was looking for images, I found this interesting tidbit in Wikipedia:

    Dodge gained a version of Plymouth’s popular Valiant-based fastback Duster and was to be named the Beaver, but when Chrysler’s marketing department learned that “beaver” was CB slang for vagina, the vehicle was renamed the “Dart Demon”.

    And to think, the modern top-rung Challenger could have inherited a completely different name, and been called the Hellbeaver.

    1. It was similar story with the Barracuda. It was orginally slated to be called the Piranha, only to be changed when they realized the initials would be P.P.

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