We didn't imagine doing a 1973 Duster restoration back in the day when Ray purchased his 1973
Plymouth Duster in October 1977 in Maryland. Mighty Mopars, fast Chevys and Fords were everywhere, even though the muscle car era was coming to a close. At the time Ken had lost his 1971 Dodge Charger R/T
and was driving the 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440/6. So it was natural for Ray to look for a Mopar to take advantage of big brother's expertise with the product line. And who doesn't want a Mopar anyway?
Ray used the car as a daily driver and ran in trophy classes on the
weekends. We had lots of fun being part of the legal racing scene. He
eventually purchased a 1972 Plymouth Duster, too. Like most people
though, real life intervened and the muscle car was put aside for more reasonable transportation for a family. (Trying not to say mini-van here.)
In 1995, Ray made the decision to restore the '73 Duster. He had been collecting parts since the early 90s. This was years before companies like Year One were making new quarter panels, hoods, fenders, you name it, for people to purchase. It was very hard to find OEM parts that were in good enough condition to use.
The interior is all brand new Year One. If you are interested in finding excellent products for your
muscle car restoration,
or any domestic brand restoration, be sure and check out Year One's website.
After an extensive search he managed to find full quarter panels that weren't eaten up with rust to replace the originals. (Rust on the quarter panels around the wheel wells is a common issue with 30 year old muscle cars.) The body was then repainted the original K6 Autumn Bronze color and new 340 stripes applied.
We've seen many Plymouth Duster or other Mopar muscle car restorations at car shows that cost the owners lots of money. Good old sweat equity and taking the time to shop around can keep the cost down.The work was completed in August 1999...and it still looks great today - fifteen years later!
For those of you who love details (and people looking for classic muscle
cars to buy love the details!), the VIN and fender tag decodes can be