When the Barracuda moved up in size Plymouth decided to spend their restyling budget on a sporty semi fastback coupe to fill the void left by the Cuda. It was a great move as the Duster was separated enough from its Valiant brother that buyers considered it a much more sporty and a great value for the money. But it was the performance variations that we all remember including the hand full of Hemi Dusters that were terrors of the drag strip. The standard slant six was an economy leader and legendary for reliability but it was the range of V8 power options that began with the 318 and went up to 360. But in most experts opinions it was the 340 Dusters and its brother the Dodge Demon that were the street fighters and giant killers. The enthusiast could order a Duster and get the performance package with either an automatic or a 4speed behind the 340. It was the 1971 model of the duster that turned out to be the right combination of compression and the new electronic ignition that made that year special as in 72 Chrysler lowered the compression and made the valve size smaller to meet emission standards.
The 71 340 also had an over the shelf Six Pack that really kicked up the performance when installed with a set of headers.
In 1971 I was at Fort Gordon Georgia waiting to see what the fate of my life would be, I took a trip to town and had an extended road test in an Orange Dodge Demon 340 4 speed with a 410 gear that made for wonderful acceleration put was definitively limited in long distance driving. The engine was wonderful as well as the transmission. The steering and brakes did leave much for this sports car driver to desire. Coming from some very sporty cars it was the engine that I truly loved, and if was into drag racing I would definitely have bought one.
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1973 Plymouth Duster 340 Mopar Muscle Car
I thought you'd like a look at this nicely restored 1973 Plymouth Duster. It's packing a 340 under the hood which is backed by the extremely durable 727 Torqueflite automatic. It really looks sharp all the way around. I hope you find it interesting, thanks for taking a look at this awesome piece of Mopar muscle!
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1972 Plymouth Duster Purple
Chrysler Corporation sure knew how to take a base compact sedan and make a performance car out of it! This one has a 340 c.i. engine with a four speed, pistol grip manual transmission. Graphics and color are great.
Plymouth Duster vs Dodge Super Bee
Run at Mopar day, Lebanon valley dragstrip in New York. Duster ran 14.2 at 94 mph with 5.9 engine with 318 Exhaust manifolds and mild torque cam. Superbee had 496 cubic inch wedge.