Zombie car brands, like their brain-slurping human counterparts, are not typically fastidious regarding their appearance. However, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has a Plymouth that's been dusted off and looks like it'll do more than just shamble.
A cool Corona sounded good to only 53% of you in a tight contest yesterday which saw the lime-colored Toyota win by the hair of its teeth. The fact that it had hairy teeth repulsed the remaining 47%. Not so repulsive, and a few years fresher than that rising sun sedan is today's candidate- a car that, despite its name, has been plated in Oaklahoma rather than in gold.
There's a hierarchy of platform designation that goes - Muscle Car, Coupe, Pony Car, with the first being a mundane two or four door that has had a big-ass motor air-dropped into its gaping engine hole. The last is a car that typically rides on a shared platform, but that has been sinuously sculpted so as to differentiate it from its family-car brethren- sort of as a visual warning- BEWARE OF CAR. In between lies the coupe, which is neither fish nor fowl in regard to the others. Today's 1975 Plymouth Gold Duster looks like the Valiant sedan from the front, but step around to the side and instead of an upright two-door body, you're confronted with a rakish, cokebottled fastback and severely canted back glass. It's not a full pony car, but is different enough from the high school principal's four-door version to make him eye you suspiciously as you cruise past, and it's not just the restraining order this time. Much like Norman Bates in his oedipal wrecks-it costume, the Duster coupe straddles the line between mild and wild in its appearance.
Pop open the hood and things take a decidedly wilder turn on this particular car as the seller has recently rebuilt the 318 that's been in residence since new. A trip to Edelbrock's Я Us has come away with a freshened motor that was "painted red for an aggressive looking engine compartment." When it left the factory the 318 pumped out 230-bhp (same as the larger 360 V8) in the '75 Duster, and with improved breathing made possible by a 4bbl carb, headers and a pair of Flowmasters, this engine should beat that by a healthy margin. Hopefully also healthy is the Torqueflite 3-speed slusher that backs up the V8. That tranny may not let you row your own, but with torquemada the eight under the hood, you wouldn't need to be doing much of that anyway.
A claim of matching numbers may be of little importance in a car that was popped out by the tens of thousands, but it's still reassuring to know that the car is original and complete. That's not exactly the case inside where a pair of modern buckets out of who-knows-what clash with the rest of the Nixonian interior. There's also a stereo that looks like it was bought at a Bosnian Radio Shack blighting a dash that is otherwise ready to Whip Inflation Now.
Back outside a black wing and hood scoop contrast with the Gold Duster's beige paint and new half-vinyl roof. A set of Moons would be more fitting on the car than the alloys that presently keep the tires from rolling away, but that's an easy fix.
Not so easy, perhaps, is deciding if the asking price on this Duster is golden. The seller - a Baylor College student - is asking $8,750 for his project car due to time constraints. That gets you a car with less than 70K on the clock, and a motor with fewer than 50 miles on it! It also buys you one of the better examples of the zombie brand Plymouth, which is gone, but thanks to cars like this, is long from forgotten.
So, what's your take on that price? Would $8,750 be low enough for you to get "Dusted?" Or, is that price too much silver for this Gold Duster?