We often hear from our readers that there just aren't any cars out there left to find, or that the cars they do find aren't worth repairing. Fortunately, the submissions to our Hidden Treasures column contradict those statements, proving that there are still good Mopars just waiting to be discovered and restored. Paul Smith of DeKalb, Illinois, is the owner of a '71 Dodge Challenger, and is always looking for a deal on another Mopar to restore. Searching the Craigslist website for cars in his area, he came across an ad for an "old Dodge," stating that the owner would consider trades. Curious, Paul called the owner to see what the car really was.

Upon contacting the owner, Paul learned that the car wasn't a Dodge at all, but rather a '70 Plymouth Duster. Liking the body style, he asked the owner about the price and if a trade was an option, and the owner told him he would trade for a car of equal value. Since Paul had a brand X Monte Carlo that needed a little work, he offered the car in trade and the two agreed to meet. Upon seeing Paul's trade, the owner agreed to make the deal, so Paul went to look at the Duster a couple of days later. Arriving to find the Plymouth covered in six inches of snow, Paul was skeptical at first, but then looked the car over and found it to be solid and pretty much rust free.

Agreeing to trade cars after Paul made a few repairs to his, Paul went to work making the repairs, but was interrupted by the owner of the Duster before he could finish them. Instead of trading, the owner needed the cash, so he offered the car to Paul for sale outright. After a little negotiation, the two agreed on a sale price of $2,000 and Paul went right over to seal the deal and pick up his Plymouth. Upon arriving home with his Duster, Paul inspected it and was pleasantly surprised with the condition.

Though Paul found it in Illinois, the Plymouth was originally from North Carolina, explaining its rust-free condition. Showing just over 79,000 miles, the car's 318 engine fired up and ran great, and after washing the car, the original Burnt Orange paint actually shined. The car has a bench seat interior and has an aftermarket shifter installed on the floor. There's also a clutch pedal, however, leading us to believe that this car might have come with either a three- or four-speed manual transmission from the factory. Fortunately, the fender tag and buildsheet are both still intact, so Paul won't have any trouble finding out what original equipment this Duster came with. We look forward to seeing the Duster when it's finished, and we thank Paul for sharing his hidden treasure with our readers.