I’ve always been a fan of “survivors” and this car was the best survivor I’ve ever seen. It had less than 3,000 miles on it when I bought it and I never let it turn 3,000. It also came with perfect documentation, including the most pristine build sheet I have ever seen. No seatback spring marks! As I explain below, this car was kept in an environmentally controlled garage and put up on blocks. Everything was original except for the fuel filter. Hoses, belts, tires – they were all original. Even the microphone for the tape-deck was in the original box. I suspect that if I let air out of the spare tire, I would be breathing air from 1971. Decals were still perfect and this car was a look into how the cars were actually produced. There are a lot of pictures of this car. Over the years, thousands of pictures have been taken by restoration specialists to document exactly what the original stuff really looked like. It has settled a lot of arguments.
This Demon is a super-low mileage car that was parked in an environmentally controlled storage area for most of its life-up on blockstands and is still in “new” condition. It was a high- impact color car (Hemi-Orange) originally from Connecticut and among the options was the Stereo Tape-Cassette, including microphone. Other options included TorqueFlite, Power Steering, Power Brakes, SureGrip differential and Racing Mirrors. Was this a super rare Mopar with loads of highly unusual option codes? No. With only 2,900 miles on the odometer, this A-Body car is a deviation from the norm, an anomaly to be certain! Duster/Demon 340s were often driven hard, and many were modified back in the day, as they were truly affordable muscle machines, with a base price of just $2,721. The budget performance car was popular with street warriors and serious drag racers, and all these years later, most were pretty used up. I got on a plane within a day or so of hearing about this car, saw the car first-hand, and soon it was on the way to the Arizona desert.
The story I heard was that a Mr. John Sweeney, from Enfield, Connecticut, bought it new in late October 1971. (Paperwork on the car shows that he was 53 years old when registering it.) He purchased this A-Body off the showroom floor at Allen Motors in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, because his Hemi Road Runner had been stolen. He had to order a replacement car and needed something to drive until it arrived. Apparently, when his new vehicle did arrive, this 340cid A-Body went into storage. It’s unclear what that new car was; since the Hemi engine was not offered on any 1972 Chrysler products, it wasn’t a Hemi-nor would it have been a Six Pack.