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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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This or That – Season 2: 1969 Chevy Nova SS 350 or 1971 Plymouth Duster 340?

Posted March 06, 2018 9:00 AM by dstrohl

This or That is not a comparison report between two vehicles, but rather a feature that enables us, in an idyllic world, to add a collectible vehicle into our dream garage on a weekly basis, but with a catch: We can only pick one vehicle from this pairing and it has to be for enjoyment purposes rather than as an investment.

Featured in this edition of This or That are two well-known titans of small-block power prowess in compact form: a 1969 Chevrolet Nova SS350 and a 1971 Plymouth Duster 340. Sure, the platforms were designed for, and mass-produced with, less nefarious power units hidden below the hood, but just like their larger siblings, each stable of engineers made sure to incorporate room for an injection of large-displacement and/or high-horsepower DNA. Here’s a small look at each (if you’d like to read more than we provide here, both were featured in our Hemmings Muscle Machines magazine; just click on the provided links above).

Another battle of SS speed and Mopar muscle, on Hemmings Daily.

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#1

Re: This or That – Season 2: 1969 Chevy Nova SS 350 or 1971 Plymouth Duster 340?

03/06/2018 11:41 AM

The Duster hands down. It has more aggressive styling and besides, I am a Mopar guy.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: This or That – Season 2: 1969 Chevy Nova SS 350 or 1971 Plymouth Duster 340?

03/06/2018 2:56 PM

The Duster, of course, because you’d call me a “MOPAR” person, having owned:

1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S, 273-4BBL/4M.
1967 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S, 383-4BBL/4M.
1968 Dodge Charger, 383-2BBL/3A.
1970½ Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda, 340-6BBL/4M.
1971 Dodge Charger, 318-2BBL/3A.

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Re: This or That – Season 2: 1969 Chevy Nova SS 350 or 1971 Plymouth Duster 340?

03/06/2018 3:44 PM

Yes I would call you a Mopar guy, impressive list.

I have had 2 1969 Plymouth Fury III's, 1 with a 318 2bbl, one built with a 383 2x 4bbl's.

1973 Newport, 400 4bbl

1973 Barracuda, 318 2bbl

1976 Lil' Red Express Truck, 360 4bbl (the one I wish I still had)

I did build a 1966 Charger, built a '64 413 wedge and dropped it in but my ex brother inlaw that was helping me made an offer I couldn't refuse the second we fired it up. I never got to drive that one.

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#4

Re: This or That – Season 2: 1969 Chevy Nova SS 350 or 1971 Plymouth Duster 340?

03/07/2018 9:34 AM

Ok, the Plymouth Duster - but mainly because my first car was a '71 Dodge Demon.

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#5

Re: This or That – Season 2: 1969 Chevy Nova SS 350 or 1971 Plymouth Duster 340?

03/07/2018 7:05 PM

The styling on the Duster is better proportioned. The hood scoops and the side stripe make it look more muscular. I know the car and the grille/headlight surround looks like cheap pot metal - the Nova looks better. The white vinyl interior looks very dated and Disco ish. Not my cup of tea, but some people like it. Even the Polyglas RWL tires look sportier. Last is the color scheme - the Duster has a deeper, more masculine blue vs the Nova's blue being too light.

I am also partial to 60's to early, early 70's Mopar cars. When I was a kid, I saw a Daytona Charger that I thought was sooooo cool!

When I was in college, I had a 1964 Chrysler New Yorker Salon. It had a 413 Wedge with a Carter AFB. It was rated at 340 hp, but I think that was conservative. It was a full size "luxury" sedan that was built on a unibody chassis. Torsion bar front suspension with rear leafs. Of course a live rear axle with posi. 727 Torqueflite long output shaft tied to a pushbutton shift mechanism. Mechanical reverberation (rear speaker) and vacuum power door locks. Big heavy chrome plated grille, headlight bezels, tail light bezels, lower body trim, etc. 14" steel wheels with full hub caps, leather trimmed seats (leather on the outside edge of the seat with high end fabric in the center). Black vinyl top with metal C pillars. Hardtop (some New Yorkers had framed doors), factory air, factory cruise control, rear window defroster (blower built into one of the 6x9 holes in the rear deck), side mirror in the fender, power drivers seat with huge fold down arm rest with storage.

I once got in a race with a 1972 GTO and I pulled away from him. It wasn't the nicest looking GTO, but I beat him! I almost crashed tying to slow down my New Yorker! Those 4 wheel drums weren't very good at stopping!

This is what these beasts look like:

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