Classic Car Watch
Target Duster and A Special Road Runner

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

August 1, 2008
By Scott Lewis

I was looking for cars to display this month and came up with way too many cars. I did not want to get into a huge list, so I went with a very small list.

I found a really nice Plymouth Duster and a similar Duster at a lower price. This seemed to be a good chance to show a target car and a project car that can eventually be as nice as the target car.

However, I also found one of those "I used to have one just like it" cars. I used to have a 73 Road Runner GTX. If my memory is correct, the GTX was a model of its own from 68-72. It came with a 375 hp 440 engine as standard. I assume 440 six-packs and Hemi engines were options. In 73 the GTX was an option on the Road Runner, and I believe this was the only year they did this. My 73 had the 440 engine with an automatic transmission. It was not pretty, but after rebuilding the engine it was plenty fast. The car below is a 74 not a 73, but the differences are slight. I could not help putting it in here this month because I really want it. If I had money in hand I would buy it. I like it that much. Nostalgia, what can I say.

1974 Plymouth Road Runner - $16,900

Description: Black on Black real Road Runner with low mileage and brand new black paint and white stripes. Based on the previous owner history this car had 56,552 actual miles when we bought it and I sure we'll put a couple on it around the shop. The body and paint are brand new over a solid metal body. This is a great entry level investment vehicle with a no where to go but up. The car has a matching #'s 318 engine that will burn the tires, but not the gas. The car comes with the original black interior that shows a little wear but still looks good. The dash condition and detail is amazing and looks like brand new. The metal structure of the car is extremely solid in great condition.

Source: American Dream Machines

Found: 7/26/2008

Comments: "I used to have one just like it." So many people say that when you drive a classic old car. I would get that once in a while with my 67 Camaro. Granted there were not a lot of 73-74 Road Runners (they look the same unless you know where to look) to begin with. Because they came as the Muscle Car era was dying they are not as popular as their 68-72 brothers. I had a 73 Road Runner GTX. It was my first real project car. I still regret that I had to give it up, but at the time it was far too expensive to keep than it was worth. What a shame.

This car looks awesome. I would want more detailed pictures, but I think I would be confident in buying this car from pictures alone. And I have never said that before. I would probably keep it close to stock and drive it a lot. I could see adding a throttle body fuel injection system and maybe a Gear Vendor Overdrive unit to make highway mileage reasonable. If gas mileage was not an issue I would consider a crate motor swap. A 360 or a Hemi would be cool. Knowing how long it takes to get a car from the drawing board to the dealer's lot I would bet that those fake hood ducks were intended to be functional. I would love to make that a reality if the car's originality was not a concern.

Well, on to this month's actual cars...

1970 Plymouth Duster - $21,000

Description: Original 340 Engine, Original 727 Torqueflite Automatic Transmission, Original 3.55 Positraction Rearend, Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, Factory Air Conditioning, Factory Highback Bucket Seats, Factory Vinyl Top, Factory Side & Tail Stripes, Factory Rallye Wheels, BFGoodrich T/A Radials.

Source: Sports Cars Gallery of Beaver Falls

Found: 7/20/2008

Comments: Wow! This is one super clean Muscle Car. The Duster was one of those "small block" Muscle Cars. Along with the Chevy Nova and Ford Maverick. You got a performance small block, in this case the 275hp 340 cubic inch engine. This engine was never available as a standard passenger car engine. Most small block engines from all the manufactures came with both 2 and 4 barrel carburetors, and many times in varying horsepower ratings. The 340 was only available in the 275 hp 4 barrel variation (except for the extremely rare 340 six pack in the AAR Cuda and  Challenger TA).

This car is perfect in that it has the round gauges, the performance engine and air conditioning. In other words it is ready to drive the wheels off. And that's exactly what I would do with this car. Drive it a lot. If I had money burning a whole in my pocket this car would be at the top of my list... well just below the Road Runner above.

1972 Plymouth Duster - $8,900

Description: 360, 727 trans, 8 3/4 rear w/ 355 posi, ps, 94k, snorkel hood, American Racing wheels, Great shape!

Source: Just Muscle Cars

Found: 7/20/2008

Comments: Here is a perfect example of a project car. There is no reason you couldn't take the price difference between this car and the one above and have a really nice car. With $12,000 dollars you could do a lot to this car. The first two things I would do would be to get rid of that snorkel hood and to put the factor Rallye wheels or Torq Thrust wheels on it. The interior is going to need some work. It has both the original column shifter and an aftermarket shifter. Oops! Also it has the far less desirable big square speedometer. There is no reason this car shouldn't be a drivable project car. If you like the smaller Mopar Muscle Cars this car has plenty of potential.