The Plymouth Duster was introduced in 1970 as a sporty, semi-fastback version of the Valiant. After the Barracuda went from the compact A-body to the ponycar E-body, Plymouth desired to continue building a sporty compact, so the 1970 Duster fit the bill quite nicely. The Duster 340 in particular was refined for 1971 with neat saw tooth grille and new carb that made the little 340 slightly faster, but that shot of power was short-lived because compression was down across the board in 1972.
But that doesn’t stop enthusiasts from restoring 1972 Dusters because they’re pretty desirable unto themselves. It also doesn’t stop fans from rebuilding Dusters for what they can be, as Motopsycho has been documenting in the For A-Bodies Only website.
Motopsycho, who’s from Indiana, has known about a 1972 Duster in a barn for quite some time. During the winter of 2010, he received a call that he could pick it up. After a power wash, it started to look halfway decent.
Motopsycho then removed the 8-3/4 rear to make way for a new one plus Super Stock Springs springs, Moser axle, offset shackles, and 3.55 Sure Grip. Despite two surgeries, Motopsycho’s excitement for the Duster didn’t stop him from removing the glass and removing the dashboard. By July, 2010, he started sandblasting the Duster to good effect.
His friend – a creative guy with a gun – shot late-model Plum Crazy Challenger paint on the flanks, which is ever so slightly different from the 1970-71 color. Meanwhile, things were slowly falling into place with the body.
Next, the door jambs and trunk were painted, then the doors, trunk, fenders, and hood were installed. By this time it was November, 2011, and the Duster was primed to have its motor and tranny installed, then off to the paint booth.
Looking good! So now it was time for wetsanding, polishing, and a wash. Sometime soon it would be striped as well. By June, 2012, the new glass and trim was next on the agenda, then the hood scoops and pins. Interior was mostly salvaged by a local company.
With the suspension installed and the LA-series small block installed, the Psycho Duster is almost done. You can continue reading the Psycho Duster serial and see this purple A-body finish its transformation.