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1970 340 Duster vs. 1965 396 Corvette, best of 3

Discussion in 'A Body: Duster, Valiant, Dart, etc' started by Scrounge, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. Scrounge

    Scrounge Got parts?

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    A few vintage Duster commercials start at 11:38, but if you want to skip the preliminaries, the races start at about 13:40. In the first race, one car (or perhaps driver) lost a little time off the line; in the second, the other car lost a little time when it veered a bit and had to be straightened. The third was the purest race:


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOonwztXUL8
     
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  2. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Well-Known Member

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    Driving a new 70 340 4spd Duster was an absolute blast. That thing was fast!
    The 340’s horsepower was waaaay underrated.
     
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  3. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    IMO the A body should never have a big block. With the small block because of wieght it is one of the best handeling cars of it era.
     
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  4. Scrounge

    Scrounge Got parts?

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    Agreed. Most A bodies didn't have big blocks, though some E bodies did. The 340 was an excellent small-block design. I think that a high-output 273 could also have been effective in the Duster, had Mopar continued to make it.
     
  5. dodgeismycar

    dodgeismycar Well-Known Member

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    My 69 Dart with the 340 was a rocket.
    Stop light sleeper for sure.
     
  6. Bearhawke

    Bearhawke Things happen for a reason

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    A slightly warmed up 318 would've taken even a high performance 273 IMHO.

    Big blocks i.e. the 383; apparently Mopar dealers in South Africa were known to swap those B blocks since no 273-360 was offered in that nation, due to local content laws. And the 383 fit better in a RHD A body better than any of the smallblocks.
     
  7. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how a 70 duster would run with a 3.6 with the 8 speed in it?
     
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  8. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    I suspect it would blow away the 340 in the quarter, if the tires hooked up in that low first gear. I mean, look at the ratings - 292 to 305 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque, net.
     
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  9. GLHS60

    GLHS60 Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind these Pure Stock etc drag races aren't really indicative of the cars potential.

    They match them up based on practice runs made earlier in the day.

    Close races are more interesting than ones that are a couple of seconds apart.

    As good as 340's were they weren't really competitive with a 425 HP Corvette in the real world.

    Thanks
    Randy
     
  10. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Well-Known Member

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    Agree.
    And the 340 no cost option on a cuda or Challenger made for a better handling and quicker car than a 383.
     
  11. Scrounge

    Scrounge Got parts?

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    It's possible, but there was no such thing from the factory when the Duster was new. The 318 was a high-output engine when introduced in the '57 Fury, but it was pretty much a basic 2-bbl V8 engine a few years after that. With the availability of the 4-bbl 273 through the '69 model year and the 340 from '68 through '73, modifying a 318 into a performance engine generally wasn't considered.
     
  12. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    The LA 318 didn't even get a 4bbl until 1978. And even then it wasn't for performance reasons but to met California emissions.

    I guess as long as the 273, then 340, then 360 were alongside, the 318 was just an everyday workhorse.
     
  13. Bearhawke

    Bearhawke Things happen for a reason

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    Exactly!

    Too; our hypothetical Duster would probably weigh an honest 700 lbs less as well............
     
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  14. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    theb 8 spped is large and would require makeing a bigger "hump' The 3.8 with the 4 speed from a wrangler would almost be a bolt in.
     
  15. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    True enough. The 1970 Duster weighed less than my 2013 Dart, I think. Though in fairness to both cars, the new Dart might have more (and more usable) trunk space and much better legroom, albeit with less hip/shoulder room. (Actually the Duster might be about the same in trunk space, but the new Dart whallops the old Dart/Valiant sedans in that regard.)

    I do have a 1974 Valiant so I'm pretty day to day familiar with the 1970 creatures.

    The 3.8 + 4 speed would probably be an easy swap and would certainly beat the stock 318 V8 but not sure about the 340. Lots of torque in the 340, low down... and I don't remember the power ratings of the 3.8 or 340 offhand.
     
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