Carroll Shelby is worshiped for building the fastest Fords on the planet and admired for creating a handful of fascinating Mopar products, the greatest of which may well be a one-off Shelby-ized truck prototype known as the Street Fighter Rampage.
Collectors thought the car squirreled away in some designer's garage, but the reality is it's been in a California junkyard.
Even worse than seeing it baking out there in the California sun is knowing that it can't even be sold whole, due to it not having any legal papers. Oh, it hurts.
Commenter and eagle-eyed automotive forensics enthusiast R/T 74 on the TurboDodge site's forum made this sad but fascinating discovery in the junkyard mecca of Simi Valley.
The Street Fighter Rampage is, of course, based on the fun, sporty, Rampage small trucks Chrysler made in the 80s. The Rampages were based on the Chargers, which at the time were in turn based on the Chrysler/Simca Omni platform. Like other Omni-platform vehicles (including the wonderful GLH), there were some Shelby variants of the Rampage, though there were very few made. The Shelby version of the Rampage was called the CS Rampage, and there were only 218 made, all sold in California. These little trucks had the 99 HP 2.2 L motor but with a more aggressive exhaust, so output was likely a bit higher.
This junkyard carcass, though, is different. It's a prototype of a planned hotter version, subtly named the Street Fighter Rampage. Carroll Shelby himself mentions it way back in 1983, where he's quoted in the magazine Car Exchange:
"We are going to do a Rampage or a Shelby Street-Fighter version of the Rampage. That is the first thing we are going to do."
The Street Fighter prototype has a special aluminum front facia with pop-up headlights. According to the junkyard sleuth, it has a turbo'd motor and 5 speed, suggesting it would have been a lot like the later Turbo GLH and possibly GLHS. Which would have been a lot of fun.
Allpar reports the prototype was sold to one of the original designers, which may have been this truck's previous owner. It seems quite a shame to let a fun one-of-a-kind vehicle rot away like this; perhaps even if the car itself can't be sold, the unique parts can pe bought and placed on a Rampage to make a sort of replica.
Anyone out there have a Rampage and a bunch of spare time?