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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale June 10th – 12th, 2016 at Russo and Steele’s 4th Annual Newport Beach, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
The favorite of Mopar fanatics everywhere, the Plymouth Duster launched for 1970 to great buyer response as a sportier version of the economical and inexpensive Plymouth Valiant compact. With its fastback roofline, low pricing, and engine choices ranging from Chrysler’s thrifty but powerful ‘Slant Six’ to the high-performance 340 V-8 packing 275 factory-rated horsepower, it’s easy to understand why. In particular, Dusters powered by the high-revving and easy-to-maintain 340 were surprisingly quick, fast, and rowdy performers with a menacing exhaust note that were capable of outrunning many other performance cars, including many big-blocks. While quite Spartan in basic form with standard bench seating and steel wheels with small-diameter hubcaps, the Duster was available with a long list of appearance, comfort, and mechanical options, allowing buyers to create an affordable new car to fit their specific needs and budget. Likely, Car and Driver magazine’s September 1969 review of the new Duster summed it up best: “We believe that Duster 340 will offer more performance per dollar than any other car in Detroit – or the world for that matter.”
Even though rising insurance rates and gasoline prices strangled most of the era’s factory muscle cars, the 340 Duster of 1970-1973 and later 1974-1976 360 Duster variants flew under the radar of anti-performance zealots. After its successful first year, the 340 Duster was joined by the Dodge Demon, itself a fastback version of the Dart, for 1971. While performance-car sales were down across the board, 10,478 1971 Duster 340s were built for U.S. sale, with only about 40 per cent equipped with manual transmission. Including export models, 12,886 Duster 340s were built in all for 1971. Few survive today and of them, the 1971 Duster 340 offered here presents an unparalleled opportunity to acquire a spectacular, professionally restored, highly optioned and documented example.
Featuring bold ‘340 Wedge’ hood graphics and flat black longitudinal stripes, this very rare and highly desirable 1971 Duster 340 is an outstanding muscle car icon that clearly benefits from a restoration performed to an exceptionally high standard. Confirmed by the fender tag codes, it remains true to its factory specifications with the powerful E55 340 Wedge engine equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor and factory air-cleaner assembly, breathing through N41 dual exhaust with N42 chrome tips, mated to a D13 floor-shifted 3-speed manual transmission, and brought to a halt by B51 power brakes. Despite the Duster 340’s “junior supercar” market positioning, this example was very well-equipped with C55 bucket seats, N85 tachometer, and gauge package including 150-mph speedometer, R11 AM radio with R31 rear speaker, J25 3-speed wipers, L25 trunk lamp, L31 hood/fender turn signals, M21 roof drip rail moldings, A01 light package, and G36 outside dual racing mirrors. Rallye wheels, a correct rear deck spoiler, and “Tuff” wheel complete this excellent Duster 340. Complete with a copy of the Chrysler Production Broadcast Sheet, it is simply one of the finest restored examples available!