AJ’s Car of the Day 1971 Plymouth Duster 340

AJ’s Car of the Day 1971 Plymouth Duster 340

Car: Plymouth Duster 340 Semi-Fastback Coupe

Year: 1971

What makes it special: Plymouth’s Duster was a semi-fastback two-door coupe version of the Plymouth Valiant, marketed from the 1970 to 1976 model years. The Duster was built on the Valiant platform and shared the same front end sheet metal, but featured a different design from the cowl back. The Duster was positioned to compete with Ford’s Maverick and the AMC Hornet that were both also introduced in 1970, and the slightly larger semi-fastback Chevrolet Nova, restyled and introduced in 1968. 

What made it famous: For 1971, only small changes were made to the Duster. The “Valiant” fender badges and “Plymouth” grille logotype were deleted. A new trim package was released, called the Duster 340, which included special wedge side stripes, a matte-black hood and the 340’s special shark-tooth grille. A nonfunctional dual hood scoop and rear spoiler appearance package was available, as were high-back bucket seats and dual exhaust. A new electronic “breakerless” ignition became optional on the 340 V8 late in 1971 model year. In 1971, 186,478 Plymouth Dusters were built, with 12,886 being the higher horsepower 340 cubic inch fastback models

Why I would want one: Another car I’m a huge fan of. I tend to gravitate towards the lower-end economy originating models that were given the V8 treatment by the factory, creating a low-budget, factory style hot rod.

Fun fact: In 1971, out of the 186,478 Plymouth Dusters built, 12,886 were the higher horsepower 340 cu in fastback coupe models.
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