This is my 1971 Plymouth Duster. My first car as a snot nosed 16 year old was a 1970 Duster and I loved it, but being the kind of kid who always wanted the newest gadget and shiniest car I let it go. Like most of us I wished I would have kept the car and did the things I dreamed of to it.
So for the next 30+ years I always dreamed of owning one again to restore and make it the way I always wanted. In the early 90's I found a '72 and began the restoration, however relocation and divorce forced me to let it go...unfinished.
Fast forward to 2011. We had began a tradition of attending the Goodguys Heartland Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa and every year the bug would bite really hard. After the 2011 show I began a diligent search to find my dream car. One was located near my home and I went to look at it with a trailer behind me...it was coming home no matter what.
There it was 1971 Duster, rust free California car that had been in storage in Iowa for 5 years! It had never seen an Iowa winter and spent it's time in Nevada and California, rust free and straight...perfect! The motor and transmission were there but needed work and there was no interior just a cabin and trunk full of parts.
I began work right away and worked tirelessly through the winter and was given the goal of having the car done by spring of 2013 for my daughter's senior prom. As things progressed it seemed a possibility that I could make the 2012 Heartland Nationals! I was up until midnight the night before the show bolting in the seats but we made it!
What a deal! My first completed restoration, my first car show and it was at one of the largest in the country...go big or go home! And it made the prom too!
I owe the opportunity to my wife who put up with my absence and late nights turning wrenches, but as she told people, "it keeps him out of the bars".
We just enjoyed our 3rd year at the Heartland Nationals and it's a treat to take the grandkids on the twilight cruise, in fact allot of the family join us at the campground for the weekend just to enjoy the show. It still amazes me that a 40 year old hunk of steel could be such a center of attention!