Documented 340 car. Chrysler Corporation broadcast sheet with original invoice. Recent paint, fresh 340, rebuilt transmission, new interior. Solid and clean, never hit or rusted. Great performance at a very reasonable price!
We don’t have a lot of history on this Duster beyond its original delivery in Ontario, Canada, but the sheetmetal appears to be all original so there are no patches and no crappy reproduction body panels. It was repainted several years ago in the original B5 Blue, a popular Mopar color that works rather well on the intense little Duster. It isn’t show-quality, but it’s about right for a car that is so reasonably priced. You could probably give it a wet sand and buff to really bring out a shine, but even as it sits, the chunky little Duster looks great. Correct Duster 340 graphics were installed on the flanks and hood, as well as a set of Chrysler’s popular twin hood scoops which make this compact look more than a little nasty. All the chrome and stainless trim appears to be in good original condition and even details like the grille and taillights reflect the car’s easy previous life. This is a car that’s ready, willing, and able to have fun.
The blue cloth and vinyl interior is nicely restored using correct materials and patterns. It’s not dated, and the checkered cloth is a nice step up from the usual vinyl. Sure, it’s a bench seat car with a column shifter, but remember that these cars were not about upgrades and expensive options, they were performance on a budget and this car delivers in spades. Rubber floor mats are a reminder of the car’s working-class roots, but I don’t think anyone will complain about the accommodations once the engine cackles to life. And while this Duster carries a full array of factory instruments, someone has thoughtfully added an oil pressure gauge in the center of the dash and a big Auto Meter tach to better monitor the engine’s vitals. The transmission is a 727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic with a manual valve body, so you do have to shift it yourself, but you’ll find that it’s actually a lot of fun to click the shifter through the gears and feel the transmission shift instantly—you can probably bark the tires on the 2-3 shift if you’re running hard. The original AM radio is still in the center of the dash, but it’s probably due for an upgrade (or not, because I bet you’ll never want to use the radio in this car). The only real issue is a headliner that’s wrinkly, but a professional upholsterer could probably take care of that in an hour or two. The trunk is obviously original and you can see that there’s exactly zero rust in this car and that it still sports its original quarters, floors, and trunk extensions, and there’s a reproduction mat on top to make it look right.
What this Duster really does best is hammer down the road, mostly thanks to the freshly built 340 cubic inch V8 living under the hood. It would be a mistake to dismiss this small block, as more than a few guys in their 440 ‘Cudas were embarrassed by similar cars back in the day. This one is even more potent, having been recently rebuilt with an upgraded cam that gives it a lopey idle, an Edelbrock 600 CFM 4-barrel carburetor on a Weiand intake manifold, and beautiful ceramic-coated long-tube headers that help build torque. It is indeed beautifully detailed with Hemi Orange paint on the block, finned Mopar Performance valve covers, and a chrome air cleaner, but the most remarkable thing is that when you turn the key, it springs to life almost instantly and idles well even when it’s cold. You’ll note that the bright blue paint in the engine bay is just as nice as the rest of the body, and almost every single external component is new, not just cleaned up and bolted back on. There’s easily twice the asking price wrapped up in the restoration.
Underneath it’s the same story: sanitary and solid, if not perfectly clean and detailed. The aforementioned TorqueFlite was rebuilt with a modest torque converter and manual valve body, but it doesn’t need a lot of throttle to get it rolling. There’s a stout 8.75-inch rear end out back with 3.73 gears inside, so it’s punchy as hell around town and there probably aren’t many cars that can get off the line better than this Duster. The floors are covered in a light dusting of undercoating, enough to protect everything but not hide the original seams, panels, and reinforcing ribs. A recent exhaust system with mellow-sounding stainless mufflers gives it some attitude without getting obnoxious when you’re cruising. It’s finished with a set of 15-inch Cragar mags and brand new 205/60/15 BFGoodrich T/A radials in front and 26x10.50-15 Mickey Thompsons out back.
Sometimes expensive cars can be a bargain and sometimes cheap cars can be expensive mistakes, but this car is both insanely affordable and very nicely finished. In terms of bang for the buck, this Duster 340 totally nails it. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com