1974 Duster Dusts 1970 Chevelle SS

Dec 7, 2022 2 min read
1974 Duster Dusts 1970 Chevelle SS

Is the 360 better than the 340?

The 1974 Plymouth duster was the first of its kind to receive the 360 in.³ V-8 engine. You might be skeptical of its performance, due to the 340 in.³ V-8‘s low stroke and high revving capabilities. However the 360 came with something that made it a fierce competitor on the dragstrip. That, of course, was an abundance of torque despite having fairly low horsepower numbers. Setups like that are a recipe for doing well on the dragstrip which is exactly what it’s doing in this video against a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS.

As mentioned before, the Duster holds a pretty hefty 360 cubic inch V8 engine under its hood. The main difference between the 340 V8 and the 360, outside of the obvious displacement conflict, Was the bore and stroke. As far as bore was concerned, the 360 yeah had about 4 inches of bore even. This is compared to the 340 V8 which had 4.04 inches of war. However, the 360 had a slightly larger stroke at 3.58 inches Versus the 3.31 inch stroke of the 340. Essentially, what this translates to is higher low end power and lower top end power. All of this combines to make an incredibly powerful vehicle with 320 foot pounds of torque at the wheels.

So how does this match up against a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS? Well, powering the Chevelle is a 402 in.³ V8 deemed the L34. This engine was capable of making around 350 gross horsepower and 415 pound feet of torque. Of course this is a lot more than the duster but you also have to consider the fact that the duster is lighter with both having 3.55 gears. In round one, the duster kept pretty close to the Chevelle but eventually lost to the Chevys 14.22 second quarter mile time compared to its own 14.70. Round number two resulted in an automatic win for the duster as the Chevelle had a red light though the Chevelle was well into the 15 second mark well the Duster had a timer 14.60. Finally, round three reveals that the duster may have just been warming up as it completed a quarter mile in 13.84 seconds compared to 14.17 seconds on the Chevelle side. In this race it looks like high torque, low weight, and great gearing save the day.

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