The Plymouth Duster Coupe had a relatively short life-span of seven years. The two-door Duster was the flagship vehicle of Plymouth’s long-time, entry-level Valiant line. It debuted in 1970, and even today it is considered one of the classic muscle cars. The Plymouth Duster offered a premium-style car in a time when gas prices were rising, and it was fast becoming unpopular and unaffordable to keep gas-intensive cars on hand. Despite its hardships, the vehicle continued to impress customers and acted as a highly sought-after premium vehicle for collectors and car enthusiasts. One of the stand-out features that still appeal to owners today is how easy and enjoyable this car is to work on. It harkens back to a simpler time when machines didn’t require a degree in electronics to operate on.
The Specifications of the Coupe
The 1970 Duster, and the model years that followed, offered a 275-horsepower, 34-cubic-inch V8 engine. It’s a car that even by today’s standards is powerful and robust. The engine was budget-friendly, and it was one of the brand’s most popular cars on the market. As gas prices started to increase in the 70s, the vehicle was a stalwart when other car manufacturers were beginning to choose fuel economy over power. The Duster began to offer some clever marketing schemes to make it a more popular car among buyers and included such incentives as hood scoops, wild colors, iconic names like “lemon twist” and stripes to help differentiate this vehicle from others on the road. In future years, the engine decreased in horsepower and topped out with a 200-horsepower engine. To this day, car enthusiasts prefer to find the 1970 version, which comes with the more powerful engine.
The 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 Coupe, Got No Respect
Unfortunately, the 1970s Duster wasn’t given very much credit in its day, but the reasons why are not always immediately apparent. Much like the far superior quality of laser discs that lost out to DVDs, sometimes quality isn’t enough to get respect and gain a foothold in the market. Despite the powerful engine, it doesn’t handle as well as some of its competition. It often feels like putting your feet out and stopping the car Flintstones-style might be more effective than the unassisted four-wheel drum brakes. Additionally, the vehicle had some serious power, but it wasn’t really built for high speeds. Still, it’s a remarkable vehicle with a long history and styling that makes it a good buy even today.
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