1970 Plymouth Valiant Duster 340

photo by IFCAR

The 1970 Plymouth Valiant Duster 340 is the Mopar muscle car that I personally owned when I was young. These A-body cars were low-price (less than $3,000 and less than the Road Runner), several hundred pounds lighter than Chrysler’s B-body cars, equipped with a powerful but not so heavy 275 horsepower 4 barrel 340 LA engine, so they were fast and also handled better than a big block equipped car since they were not as front heavy. Without the optional hood scoops and the optional rear wing they also were quite ordinary looking so you could really fool somebody who didn’t notice the 340 badges. My car had been repainted black and it no longer had the side body stripes or the painted on “Duster 340” emblem so it really looked like the standard economy car Duster. Except for a blacked out front grill my car looked very similar to the white Duster above which is probably not a 340 since it doesn’t have side body stripes or a blacked out front grill. I also had the optional 3.91 rear end coupled to a Torqueflite 727 automatic so it had very good initial acceleration although it didn’t look like it.The other car that gives me this same feeling is its A-body cousin from Dodge the 1969 Dart Swinger 340. It was also low-price, light weight, equipped with the 340 so it was fast and handled relatively well. But the Dodge Dart had more of an economy car reputation and also looked like an economy car so it was a real sleeper. Although the Duster 340 came standard with front disc brakes it only had front bench seats and column shift. I do not believe I paid a muscle car surcharge on my car insurance since I think the insurance company did not consider the Duster 340 to be a muscle car. However, with a 3.91 rear end my premium gas bill was not exactly economical.
1970 Plymouth Duster 340


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