Highschool Hearthrob: 1974 Plymouth Duster – SOLD!

by | Apr 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

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April 10, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

If you are of the age when you attended high school in the late 1970s/early 1980s, chances are very good that you either owned a Plymouth Duster or knew someone who did. With its Cragar SS wheels and just right stance, this 1974 Plymouth Duster originally listed in April 2022 on Craigslist in Port St. Lucie, Florida looks like it just stepped out of 1982. While we agree with the seller’s description as this Duster being a “Head Turner”, they are quick to point out this is a driver quality example.

Unlike 1982, the price of admission for this 1974 Duster now is $17,000.  Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Duster priced between this guide’s #2 “Excellent” estimate of $14,100 and its #1 “Concour” appraisal of $17,500.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” estimate of $14,900. The premium here is for all of the go-fast street machine goodies.

Plymouth spent an estimated fifteen million developing their new Duster coupe in an effort to update the compact Valiant for the 1970 model year. The Valiant badge appeared only on the first model year Dusters and continued to be used on all the companion 4-door sedan and 2-door Valiant Scamp hardtop models. While Dusters shared the Valiant’s platform and front end sheet metal, from the A-pillar back Dusters were a unique model.

Plymouth positioned Duster to compete with Ford’s new Maverick and Chevrolet’s established Nova. While the Maverick and Nova were offered in a four-door sedan body style, Plymouth reserved the Duster nameplate only for the two-door coupe. As a stretch, Plymouth also marketed Duster as an alternative to the original Volkswagen Beetle as well as the new class of domestic subcompact cars such as the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto.

Plymouth leveraged the great brand name to offer numerous trim and option package variants of the model that included Feather Duster, Gold Duster, Silver Duster, Space Duster, Duster Twister, Duster 340, and Duster 360. These marketing variations of the basic Duster design targeted customers seeking economy, cargo capacity, and/or performance.

For 1974, Plymouth replaced the 340 with a 360 cubic inch (5.9 L) version of the corporate LA-series V8, de-tuned to meet new emissions regulations. The new-for-1974 “E58” 360 engine produced 245 brake horsepower by utilizing the camshaft, heads, intake manifold, carburetor, and dual-exhaust set up from the past 340 engine. New retractable front seat belts were added. In the midst of the first oil crisis, 1974 would be the Duster’s best sales year, with a total of 281,378 Duster-bodied cars produced, the majority of which being the six-cylinder and 318 V8 models.

The Osborn Tramain YouTube Channel features this 1974 Plymouth Duster commercial:

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1974 Plymouth Duster. Blueprint Engines 408″ stroker crate engine. Newer QFT Slayer 750 cfm carb. TTI ceramic step headers. Full TTI 3” mandrel-bent exhaust system with “X” crossover. A904 transmission with PTC converter. 8.75″ rear with 3.23 gear ratio. Manual brakes. Front disc brake conversion, drums on the rear. New master cylinder. New steel and rubber brake lines throughout. Aluminum radiator with an auxiliary transmission cooler. Power steering with a new power steering box. Cragar S/S wheels. 255/60/ 15 rear tires and 205/70/15 front tires. This car is driver quality. Not perfect. Definitely a head-turner. Call Mike. No calls or texts before 9 am or after 9 pm. I don’t need help selling this vehicle. No scammers. Additional photos are available. “

Do you have a Plymouth Duster story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!


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