If you had the chance to go back in time and order a Mopar that you could build up in the future, what would you pick? a high-optioned, Hemi-powered Road Runner or Charger? a 'Cuda or a Challenger?

Or would you go the "less is more" direction and spec out something with few factory options (meaning less stuff to take off later)?

Harleysville, Pennsylvania's Dale and Kathy Renner's '70 Duster could well have been one of those latter cars. as its fender tag indicates, it was built with very few factory options at Hamtramck on July 30, 1970. That late build date--about a month after production typically ended for model changeover--was likely the result of strong first-year Duster sales, which beat those of its predecessor, the "boxtop" Valiant two-door sedan, by about seven to one.

On the car's fender tag are codes for only these options: a 318 V-8, a three-speed manual transmission with floor shifter, interior dcor group with black bucket seats, wide sill moldings, an AM radio, and extra-cost Moulin Rouge paint. No power steering or brakes, no tinted glass, and no vinyl top.

Some years later, there wasn't much more on it when Dale first laid eyes on it as a lad of 16. Other than a coat of Sassy Grass Green paint, wide-tread tires and aluminum slots, a ratchet shifter, and a '71-'72 Duster 340 grille, there wasn't a lot on this A-Body.

Eventually, other things in life (i.e., wife, kids, and family obligations) took precedence over the Duster, which waited patiently until Dale's life settled enough to allow him to go racing again and able to make his long-parked A-Body into something more than just a low-option stocker.

The Duster became an annual winter project, getting more and more radical mods and upgrades each winter. That's when Dale found out about the Duster's heritage from Hamtramck. "When I tubbed it, I found out it was an original Moulin Rouge car," Dale recalls. "I wasn't really a `numbers' guy, and I wasn't really worried about it, but when my wife said, `Wow, that's a weird color,' I started decoding the fender tag and whoa, it's a factory pink car."

Not only was it tubbed and back-halved, it later got the full-zoot chrome-moly round-tube frame treatment, complete with a 12-point rollcage thanks to Vanishing Point Race Cars. They also added the front and (four-link) rear suspension with coilovers. In back, the four-link suspension cradles a narrowed 9-inch rearend that sports Moser axles and a 4.88-geared center section.