It is rare when a vintage car has got a history that goes beyond a single claim to fame. A famous owner, a road test machine, a prototype – all of these things help make a car important to the hobby (and valuable to its owner). Even then, the car’s design and color scheme need to help enhance the package. This Duster, still in the hands of the family that bought it back in 1970, beat the odds to meet every single one of these criteria.
We need to go back to 1970 and the birth of Pro Stock. Veteran driver / tuner / engine builder Bill Stiles was getting ready to make some waves in the new division. Involved with drag racing for years through his Stiles Performance business in York, Pennsylvania, Bill had tuned Dave Stricker’s 1965 Dodge program, helped Jere Stahl win the 1966 Stock Eliminator world crown in a Plymouth street Hemi (over no less a formidable competitor than Bill ‘Grumpy’ Jenkins), and had raced for himself in 1967, 1968, and 1969. Tagging ex-Yenko Camaro pilot Ed Hedrick to do the driving honors, he planned to get in on the new heads-up division for 1970’s Super Season, getting away from playing ‘brakelight tag’ and the other games associated with the Super Stock indexes.