Junkyard Find: 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Not everyone shares my interest in the K-variant Chrysler P platform, so I limit Shadow and Sundance Junkyard Finds to just the more historically significant members of the P family. Like, say, this ’93 Shadow ES, this ’91 Shadow, this ’92 Sundance, and this hard-to-find Sundance America. Today, we’ll be looking at one of the weirdest Sundances of them all: Chrysler’s fourth platform bearing the Duster name.

The P-based Duster was the quickest Duster since the days when you could get an A-body with a 340-cubic-inch V8, thanks to its Mitsubishi V6.

Of course, beating the Turismo- and Volare-based versions wasn’t much of a challenge. Check out this mean-looking hood bulge!

We really can’t talk about any variety of Duster without referring to the infamous “Cocaine Factory” ad for the 1985 Turismo Duster. This may well be the Greatest Car Ad of All Time.

Will we miss the Sundance Duster when the last one is gone?

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Ranwhenparked Ranwhenparked on Jan 19, 2013

    The 80s were truly a golden age for car commercial jingles, from Oh What a Feeling to Cadillac Style to Great American Road to Have You Driven a Ford Lately?, but the Plymouth Duster ad clearly stands out as by far the greatest of them all. I believe it actually aired as the first commercial in the first break of the first ever MTV Video Music Awards, no doubt cost Chrysler a pretty penny. Definitely speaks to the spirit of confidence and enthusiasm that permeated the company at the time, coming just a few short years after their brush with near-death.

  • Ggariepy Ggariepy on Jun 26, 2013

    I'm real late to the party but I had a '93 Duster with the 3.0L Mitsu. It was purchased new and I drove it for 145,000 miles before my wife got pregnant and we got an Intrepid. I loved this car; I had a decent Kenwood stereo in it and for its day the 3.0L was powerful enough to shame the late 80s Camaros and even some of the Mustangs it ran into. It ate its transmission at around 80,000 miles, the product of neglect more than anything else. By about 120,000 miles it had turned into a mosquito fogger and ignorant at the time of the relatively simple fix, without a garage to call my own, I drove it that way for another 25,000 miles. I wish I had never sold it; I owned it free and clear and didn't need the money for the trade-in. We didn't need three cars with a baby on the way, though, and I dumped it at a used car lot in 1998 for $1500. I'm sure it ran around town for a few years after that. I wouldn't mind having another one to restore today. None left in Michigan without a ton of rust, though.

  • VoGhost Love this collective clutching of pearls over a vehicle name not a single commenter will ever see, drive or buy.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Here's why" edition_cnn_com/2018/06/13/health/falling-iq-scores-study-intl/index.html
  • 28-Cars-Later Seriously, $85. GM Delta I is burning hot garbage to the point where the 1990 Saturn Z-body is leagues better. My mother inherited an '07 Ion with 30Kish otc which was destroyed in 2014 by a tipsy driver with a suspended license (driver's license enforcement is a joke in Pennsyltucky). Insurance paid out $6,400 when it was only worth about $5,800 IIRC, but sure 10 year later the "hipo" Delta I can fetch how much?
  • Buickman styling does not overcome powertrain, follow the money. labor/materials.
  • VoGhost It's funny, until CDK raises their prices to cover the cost. And then the stealerships do even more stealing because they're certainly not taking the hit - why do you think they make all those political donations? So who pays in the end?