Carroll Shelby passed away this year, meaning no future cars affixed with his name will have actually been blessed by the legendary builder. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Dodge was so anointed, but will its price have Shelby hitting the rev limiter in his grave?
The Chrysler corporation of the 1980s is probably best remembered for the ubiquitous K-car, and its cigar-chomping corporate father, Lee Iacocca. But that mid-sized front driver may not have ever existed had it not been for its Simca-developed smaller sister, the L-body Omni/Horizon twins.
Not only did Iacocca help breathe new life into Chrysler by securing government loans and advocating a new generation of minivans, but he also brought an old friend from his Ford days - Carroll Shelby - into the Mopar fold. As far as production cars were concerned, Shelby had pretty much taken the '70s off, but in the '80s Chrysler's product line proved fertile ground for the former chicken farmer.
If you've ever seen the teen steam rom-com She's All That then you know that an ugly duckling can be turned into a smokin' hot prom queen swan with just the discarding of unflattering glasses and a pair of bonk-me heels. A similar transformation was undertaken by Shelby and his minions in turning the two-door L into something approximating a sporting ride.
Shelby's job was a little more ambitious than just cleaning up Rachael Leigh Cook, but he also had a bigger budget and more toys to accessorize with than did Freddie Prinze Jr.. The resulting car, as exemplified by this 1986 Shelby Charger went the way typically employed by hot rodders - go big or go home.
That means stuffing more horses under the hood, and providing upgraded drivetrain components to help keep them all corralled. Just like in its 4-door sibling, the GLH, the Charger poured on the ponies. The 2.2-litre SOHC four was originally promoted to have 146-bhp, which was provided by a Garrett T3 turbo and rare for the era port fuel injection, and tons more than the 96 from the base edition. Now, these days getting that kind of power out of that kind of turbo'd four would be laughable, but you have to remember this was the ‘80s and performance was just making a big comeback after having been in retirement — much like Shelby himself — for the past decade or so.
New belts and filters, plus a refreshed water pump are plusses here, as is claim that the car runs and drives great. On the downside, it looks like the windshield will need to be replaced, and the A/C - old school R12 - needs to be recharged, good luck with that.
There're also some significant cosmetic issues on the passenger side, the door and fender looking like a passenger puked there and it wasn't immediately cleaned off. The plastic sail panel on that side is also missing, so that must have been some powerful puke.
That missing panel is part of massive blind spot that's on each side of the car's ass. Those and the louvered back glass at least provide the load area with some shade to somewhat compensate for the non-functioning A/C. Ahead of that is an interior that Shelby tried to make as special as he could, but the seats, while intact, are in reality about as supportive as a monofilament jockstrap. The rest of the interior is pure ‘80s angularity and quirky left-side climate control placement coveted by obsessive control freaks. At least there's an A525 5-speed stick to play with, even if those are kind of crappy boxes.
The seller is asking $1,500 for his claimed one of 7,669 cars made, and you know that, with Shelby now clipping apexes in the great beyond, there ain't gonna' be any more cars that will show his personal touch. This one seems to be rough but sufficiently complete to make it a good candidate for participating in future demonstrations of fealty to America's go-faster king, but do you think it's worth $1,500 to do so? For that much would you tell this Charger's owner to charge it? Or, is this a Dodge Shelby that should be surely dodged?
H/T to Zanman for the hookup!
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