1971 Plymouth Duster 340

1971 Duster

Hello fellow Petrolheads, my name is Adrian and I am Andrews friend. The following article is written by me about the amazing car shown above. As much as Andrew would have liked to have owned this beast, unfortunately it belonged to me. This was my first American car and I purchased it for 3500.

The Plymouth Duster 340 was designed to be a cut price muscle car, and it was achieved by restyling the Valiant 4 Door saloon and installing the 5.7 litre engine from the famous Barracuda. It was a very basic car and this was reflected in its low price. It came as standard with a 3 speed manual gearbox and front disc brakes. Power steering was a ( necessary ) option. Power from the 5.7 litre ( 340 cubic inches ) was quoted as 275 bhp and torque at 340 lb. ft, although these are probably very conservative estimates because then, as now, insurance companies saw performance cars as high risk and loaded premiums accordingly.

My own piece of muscle car history is pictured above. It is finished in Lime-lite green and has the optional satin black bonnet with 340 graphics, and fitted with Centre Line racing wheels. The engine was also modified with a 750 cfm Holley carburettor, Edelbrock Performer inlet manifold, performance camshaft and distributor. Unfortunately for the 1971 model year the front disc brakes moved to the options list, so my car had drums all the way around, and no power steering. All of this meant it could do the standing quarter mile in 13.6 sec's @ 113 mph., all over the bloody road with no hope of stopping any time soon. And the noise made a space shuttle launch sound like a cat purring. Despite these small (?) quirks, driving around to and from work everyday posed no problem and driving with circumspection saw me get between 8-12 mpg. I never lost a traffic light GP, victims including the usual boy racers in their shopping trolleys, a souped up Sierra Sapphire Cosworth, and a certain red Trans am found elsewhere on this most informative web site.

Unfortunately, due to my financial ineptitude I had to sell the car some time ago.


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