As a real estate appraiser, Jenny Traverso has the perfect excuse to drive around and look
There are all kinds of ways to find an old car to fix up, but we still think the best way to score a deal is to simply drive around and look. Some people have the best of both worlds when their job requires them to drive, giving them the opportunity to hunt for cars while being paid at the same time.
Jenny Traverso of Petaluma, California, is just one of those people. As a real estate appraiser, Jenny's job takes her through neighborhoods all over northern California. Jenny is always looking in backyards, driveways, and the occasional garage for an old Mopar she and her husband can restore. When she finds one, Jenny takes pictures of it if she can, then discusses with her husband whether the car would be a viable project or not. If so, they follow up and try to make contact with the owner. This is just what led the Traversos to the interestingly-optioned Duster Twister shown here.
While going through a small town on her way to a job in nearby Lake County, California, Jenny spotted this Duster in a driveway. Though her view was obstructed by a pickup truck on one side and Juniper bushes on the other, she recognized the rear of the car as a Duster and the color as Sassy Grass green. Knowing this could be a good find, she snapped a quick picture of the car to show her husband. Upon seeing the picture of the Duster, Jenny's husband, Steve, agreed the car warranted further investigation. Since Jenny would be back in the neighborhood the following week, they decided she should leave a note about the car.
The engine bay is surprisingly clean for a 30-year driver with 200,000-plus miles. After r
The Twister option is mainly cosmetic, mimicking the look of the more potent 340 Duster of
The interior is worn, but intact. The original cloth/vinyl bench seats have been incorrect
A few weeks later, the owner called and said, "yes, the Duster could be for sale," so they arranged a meeting. The owner of the Duster stated that while she knew the car was in a state of disrepair with two flat tires, some rust, and 200,000-plus miles on the original 318, she had second thoughts about getting rid of it. The Duster had been in the family since it was new, and the owner's two children had fond memories of riding in the car while they were growing up. However, Steve and Jenny convinced her they would take care of the Duster and restore it to the car she remembered when it was new. A deal was struck and for $3,500, the Traversos owned the Duster. They went back the next morning with a trailer to pick it up.
Upon returning home with their new Plymouth, it became apparent this is a uniquely optioned car. The Duster is wearing its original, though weathered, Sassy Grass green paint, and is optioned with factory hoodscoops, a matte black hood, dual sport mirrors, side stripes, and 14-inch rallye wheels. After replacing the fuel pump and battery, the car starts and drives, though the 318 is somewhat tired after accumulating more than 200,000 miles as the previous owner's 30-year daily driver. Normal rust in the trunk, floors, and lower quarters will need to be repaired during the restoration, but otherwise the car is sound, straight, and complete. While heavily optioned on the exterior, this Duster is somewhat Spartan inside, with a bench seat, column-shifted automatic, and a rubber mat in lieu of carpet. Even so, this is a cool car with a unique color combination and will definitely be a head turner when finished.