RARE FINDS Duster 340 parked since 1987

Muscle Car Review - - Contents -

Danny Ravas knew about this Ply­mouth Duster, a 340 with a four-speed, 32 years ago. “It was a block away from my mother’s, and I spot­ted it out­side,” he says. A Mopar en­thu­si­ast from way back, Danny in­quired about buy­ing the pint-size Ply­mouth mus­cle car, which, in 1985, would have been just 13 years old.

Danny kept af­ter the owner on and off through the years, but the an­swer was al­ways no. He was build­ing up a col­lec­tion of Mopar mus­cle, and this Duster was one of his first ac­qui­si­tions. “He had hopes of restor­ing it some­day,” Danny says.

A few months ago Danny got a call from a friend, Joel, in At­lanta. Joel had just pur­chased a Su­per­bird from Frank, the owner of the Duster. There was a prob­lem. The car­port was in the way of the Su­per­bird’s exit. Danny says that var­i­ous cars “had sat in the garage so long they couldn’t get the Su­per­bird out without mov­ing the car­port.”

Danny is a car­pen­ter by trade. Joel wanted to know if Danny and his crew, busy build­ing a pool house, could spare a few hours to move the old car­port. Danny was more than will­ing to help a friend. He and Joel had both grown up in Up­state New York. Of course, go­ing by Frank’s house to do this fa­vor would also give Danny an­other chance to ask about the Duster 340.

“When we went to pick the Su­per­bird up, I go, ‘Why don’t you just let that thing go?’ He says, ‘OK, make me an of­fer.’”

The con­ver­sa­tion picked up where it left off the last time they talked. Danny re­mem­bers the con­ver­sa­tion went like this:

Frank said, “Let’s strike a deal on that Duster.”

Danny said, “When you get re­al­is­tic with your price. Twelve or 15? I could get one for 17 to­tally done.” He showed Frank a pic­ture of one for 17 to­tally done and said, “Lis­ten, at 15 I’d have to put 15 in it to make it look like this.” He pointed to the pic­ture. “I’m not try­ing to spend 30 to get some­thing I can get for 17.”

Frank replied, ‘How about five

“He had hopes of restor­ing it

some­day”

or six grand? You bugged me enough. You bugged me for 30 years.”

“How about five?”

“No, how about six?”

“Why did you men­tion five?”

The deal was done. Danny was very pleased at six grand. He gave Frank $4,500 and paid the rest a week later when Frank dug up the ti­tle.

Danny knows he got a good deal. The Duster still wears its orig­i­nal Ral­lye Red paint. Orig­i­nally a four-speed, the Duster had been fit­ted long ago with an au­to­matic for the track, along with a set of 4.88 gears. Rust­wise, the body is “rock solid,” ex­cept for a “lit­tle bit” of ox­i­da­tion on the tail panel.

n Danny Ravas got out his smart­phone and made sure to snap pho­tos of the car as he found it. This is im­por­tant. The 340 Duster had been stored since 1987 and had be­come a shelf for garage items.

n The Ral­lye Red paint and black stripes are fac­tory orig­i­nal. This car has not been re­painted, which is rare.

n The in­te­rior was in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion and fea­tures a bench seat plus some owner-added gauges un­der the in­stru­ment panel. The odome­ter read 35,659.

n The vinyl up­hol­stery isn’t cracked or ripped. It looks nearly mint af­ter 46 years.

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