In 1969 the Chrysler Corporation produced it's first Plymouth Duster, which was a compact-sized sports version of the Valiant. This was during the height of the "muscle Car" era, a time when cars with 360 to 426 horsepower engines could be purchased right off of the showroom floor for $6 and $7 thousand (US) dollars. I was a teenager at the time and most of my friends had Roadrunners so I purchased a 1970 SuperBee, which was the same vehicle but under the Dodge badge instead of Plymouth. But I digress.
The first Duster I rode in was owned by my longtime friend Rick Beverly, who purchased a lime green 1970 model with the 340 cubic inch engine. All of the duel-exhaust Mopar engines had that sweet sound of power. I could go on and on about those good ole days, but let's get to the topic at hand.
When I attended the Mecum Car Auction recently I had the feeling of stepping back in time upon entering the arena. All of the old favorites were there and I was like a kid in a candy shop. With camera in hand, I shot everything in sight. :-)
One of the first cars to command my attention was this 1970 Plymouth Duster. The lines, oh those sweet, sleek lines of the body were a sight to behold.
Click any image to enlarge!
Except for the rims, this is exactly how the original car looked in 1970. The most popular after-market rim of the day was manufactured by Crager, the S/S Super Sport steel rim.
Next we zoom out for an angled view that reveals more of this beautifully outfitted car. Notice the stylish spoiler on the rear deck. This seemed somewhat futuristic at the time but has become a commonplace feature in today's auto market.
Now you can clearly see that this is no stock car. That parachute pack on the rear is surely not for decoration. This is a car that most likely turns sub-10 second 1/4-mile runs in excess of 100 miles per hour. But for me, she's far too pretty for that. I would simply want to cruise the boulevards and listen to the sweet sounds of the exhaust. :-)
As I stood admiring this great machine from the past, I thought about how I would love to hear this thing run. With a 440 cubic inch engine and the 3 deuces (3 two-barrel carburetors), she must have sounded totally awesome. Then, as if a wish had been granted, one of the Mecum Auction guys came walking toward the car. He opened the door, got in and started it up as I stood in disbelief. Suddenly, I had goosebumps and thoughts of the old days.
As it turned out, the car did not sell and was now being moved to a loading area, but the timing could not have been better. I was thrilled, to say the least. :-)
Above, the 70' Duster pulls away with the rhythmic sound of an after-market cam shaft, headers and authentic Mopar power. The car had a $70,000 reserve on it and I was about $69,000 short so I could only watch and wonder about what could have been. :-)
So now I have only the memories of that wonderful experience and of course, this peek at the interior which sported leather bucket seats, a roll cage and the classic Hurst pistol-grip shifter.
In closing, we have this parting shot of the rear deck. This seems quite appropriate since I will likely never see this particular car again.
Many thanks to you for stopping by, I appreciate it.