Holley LS Fest in Bowling Green, Ky. is full of unlikely engine swaps and heavily modified hot rods. One of the most interesting attendees this year was this 1973 Plymouth Duster riding on a chassis from a 2007 C6 Chevy Corvette powered by the ‘Vette’s 6.0-liter LS2 V-8. Mismatched body panels and just the right amount of wear and tear give this Duster a unique rat-rod aesthetic.
This cross-breed started out as a hand-me-down for owner Gordie Rutkowski who inherited the car from his sister. It was originally the lamest kind of Duster with a 225 ci Slant Six engine and a three-speed automatic transmission.
“That got boring after a while,” according to Rutkoski in the video below.
Understandably bored with the gutless Slant Six, Rutkowski upgraded to a 318 ci small block V-8 and added nitrous. Other upgrades he made included air shocks and Cragar wheels. In 1987, the car was taken apart for a paint job and just never got put back together, an all-too-common tale.
Rutkowski did some looking around at some possible chassis and engines to replace the powertrain of his Duster to create something a little different from your average hot rod. He decided a C6 Corvette with the Z51 package would be a good candidate for bringing his old Plymouth back to life. The Z51 adds performance upgrades to the C6, like extra cooling, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, and wider tires. A bunch of measuring, cutting, and welding later, this beautiful rat rod was born.
It has single adjustable coil-over shocks from RideTech which Rutkowski is very happy with. He praises the car’s handling on the track and says it can keep up with modern Z06 Corvettes. Rutkowski did a fantastic job achieving the performance of a modern sports car with the character of a classic muscle car.