I first saw the car when I went in after-hours Monday night. A few guys were crawling all over the car with detail equipment, doing everything in their power to make sure that the 1974 Plymouth Duster was cleaned and ready for the scrutiny of the show-goers when the SEMA show opened for business on Tuesday morning. I couldn’t tell you anything about any spot they were cleaning, because if there was one spec of dirt anywhere on the A-body, I’ll be damned if I could see it. Maybe the microfiber towels had already cleaned the offending particulates off. It didn’t matter…with all of the lights of the Convention Center on, the Duster was a cream and copper mirror, sitting on it’s carpeted parking spot in the BASF booth, gleaming.
We’ve seen Goolsby Customs’ work before…last year, in fact. They are the team responsible for turning a 1979 Ford Mustang Indy Pace Car into one of the most stunning four-eye Fox bodies we’ve seen in quite some time. They didn’t take anything away from a 1979 Mustang, but what they put into the car was beyond words. You had to study the machine for quite some time to pick out every last detail and I promise you that I probably missed half of them. And that’s exactly how I felt looking over the Duster. On the surface, the paint work spoke so much that, not kidding, I overlooked the Hellcat/six-speed swap. It’s not a factory job but do you care? It fits the era of the car perfectly. The overall theme has a kind of Pro Street look to it, with the rear wheelwells holding some massive rollers out back, but even for all of the custom work, the car exudes a vibe that borders on restored. Don’t believe me? Look inside…The Tuff wheel and pistol-grip shifter aren’t normal Duster finds. And no Duster interior was ever as nice as what you are seeing here. The sunset striped fabric pattern isn’t, to my immediate knowledge, a factory pattern, but I’ve seen versions of that theme in mid-1970s Mopars, so it shows that someone was paying close attention to detail when the white and tan gut was being designed and laid out.
The story of the car is even more impressive. The owner of the car, Beth Hazelwood, is the only owner of the car, and the car has been drag raced in Pure Stock and Stock Eliminator. Originally, the plan was to restore the car, but Hurricane Katrina put a big dent in that plan. After a couple of years and a run-in with a bad bodyshop that made the car disappear for a bit of time, Hazelwood got in touch with Goolsby Customs and that’s when the build started. The ultimate result was one of the biggest draws on the floor!