Guilty Pleasure: Plymouth Turismo Duster

1985 Plymouth Turismo Duster

1985 Plymouth Turismo Duster

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Welcome back to Guilty Pleasures, the weekly homage to vehicles that we shouldn't want, yet can't resist. Last week, we admired an 80s Chrysler product that was, really, a holdover from earlier decades; today we're going to mainline some pure, un-stepped-on 1980s with a Chrysler product that had one foot in Europe and the other in the Motor City: the 1985 Plymoutyh Turismo Duster.

Based on the Simca/Chrysler of Europe Omni/Horizon platform (check out Allpar's excellent history for the whole story), the '85 Turismo could be purchased with the base 1.6 liter Peugeot engine for $6,584 (about $13,650 in 2011 bucks). But that wasn't quite Eighties enough, which is why the $96 Duster option package was the way to roll. Chrysler has slapped the "Duster" label on several unrelated Plymouths, before and since the '85, but it was the infamous "Cocaine Factory" Duster ad, broadcast during the 1984 MTV Music Awards, that made the '85 the pinnacle. The tape-stripe graphics, super-plastic spoilers and trim, and Simca-grade indifference to panel gaps that made this one the most of-its-time vehicles ever created. You want to feel like you're driving in true 1965 fashion? Get an Alfa Romeo Giulia SS. You want to do 1985 proper-like? Plymouth Turismo Duster!

Image source: Old Car Brochures


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Comments (5)
  1. I wonder, if in 25 years, the cars being built today will be looked upon as much of a piece of s&#* as this Plymouth Duster.

  2. This was my very first car. Duster package and all. It was definitely the best looking of the K-cars. Even if it was a gutless wonder. I lusted after the Dodge Shelby GLH version with the turbo 2.2.

  3. While my 1984 Plymouth Turismo is not my first car, I definitely love it. I only paid $100 for it although I did have to replace a head gasket on it because some wannabe mechanics broke of a piece of a round file in one of the cylinders trying to time it. This has been one of the best little cars I have ever owned and the best investment I could have made given the high price of gas these days. My little car gets me at least 30 mpg. I've never considered my car to be gutless either. Granted it could not out run a car with a bigger motor, but I didn't buy it for racing. I bought it to drive to and from work - - something it has done faithfully for about a year now with hardly any problems.

  4. I love this series of articles. There are so many cars that are not BMW 3 series that are fun, affordable, and different. There are lots of ways to enjoy cars, without having the latest bahn burner, or worrying about Pebble Beach. Keep it up!

  5. Loved my Turismo! Best car i ever had! Was a beast in the snow. Had 150k until I totaled it on a deer!

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