In the summer of 2001, I was in the process of selling my previous toy, a 1950 Ford F+1 pickup. A friend of mine educated me on Mopar performance which intrigued me on researching Mopar muscle cars on my own. Of course, I got real interested when I visited a few car shows as a spectator and heard the deep rumbles of the Mopar V8s. I was sold on them.
That summer, my grandparents went on a road trip to the Northwest Coast which included everywhere that was close to it also; which made me the care taker of the house while they were gone. One sunny day that summer, I noticed this bright yellow thing sitting in the school parking lot next to my grandparent’s house. I thought, is that a Duster? No, it can’t be; sure enough it was! It was for sale for around the price I was willing to pay for. Now my 1950 pickup had not sold yet, but the next day I received a call from a person in Alpine, TX saying he wanted to see the truck the next day. My thought was, yeah right, like this guy will actually show up. Sure enough, he did and he bought the truck. The day after the sold the truck, I bought the Duster. The body looked overall good but the engine needed some work to it.
The car, when I bought it, came with the 318 two barrel carburetor and an overheating problem due to a tiny radiator. I saw nothing to salvage in the cooling system so I replaced everything from water pump, radiator, dual cooling electric fans, and belts with extra money from my three summer jobs. That engine has not heated up ever since and it better not think about it. My goal on this car was to keep it as close to original look but have performance at the same time. I installed an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, 650cfm Holley carburetor and did repairs of shorts in the electrical system. I then repainted the engine compartment and the trunk of the car to give it a better look.
This year, the car received runner up in its class at the Cowtown Mopar Car Show in Lewisville, TX. I am proud of this car even though it may not always be good to me as in little mishaps, but that is the fun of the old cars… to constantly repair them. This car is a fun car and has made me question my hobby many times, but I just can’t stay away from this hobby even though it is an expensive one.