In 1970 with the all new E Body Barracudas the Chrysler Corporation knew that they needed an entry level Plymouth to compete with Ford’s Maverick and GM’s Nova which in the SS350 was rated at 275 HP.
The comments I receive from people usually refer to the color. I’ve had fun talking to people....and NO, I don’t sell Mary Kay. I also own a 1966 Plymouth Satellite and enjoy driving the Duster for the different driving experience. I hope to see you over the summer!
They needed a compact body but knew that dropping a high performance 340 into a Valiant wouldn’t sell.
Chrysler allocated 15 Million dollars to Plymouth to create a new model. Designers and engineers managed to go from sketch to tooling in 6 weeks. They utilized the existing Valiant front from the cowl forward and redesigned the rear into what became the Duster.
This car is a numbers matching 340 4 speed with a 355 sure grip. It’s a Canadian car and has a split bench seat with armrest, power steering, dash tach and a rear window defogger. What really makes it unique is the color. Paint code FM3 was called Moulin Rouge by Plymouth and Panther Pink by Dodge. Only 1.9% of Duster 340’s were painted this way. Out of 21,799 US Duster 340’s, 414 were painted this color.
Out of the 3018 Canadian cars, only 57 were FM3 cars. Very few remain. This Duster was built on July 14, 1970. It is probably the last Canadian Duster built and could be the last FM3 color Duster 340 built for 1970. I bought this car from a club member and am totally happy with the way it performs.
Following the success of the Road Runner, a Tasmanian Devil logo was chosen to represent this new model but the rights couldn’t be secured. Chrysler then designed their own Duster Swirl with two eyes. If you got beat racing in the late 60’s, some would say that you have just been “dusted”. You could get slant six and 318 Dusters but the Duster 340 was the performance model and it joined the Cuda, Road Runner and GTX as part of the Plymouth Rapid Transit System.