Dodge's '80s Daytona did the seemingly impossible- it made an FWD American pony car acceptable. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe C/S AGS is about the ultimate expression of that K-car coupe, but is its price also impossible?
Hey hey, we have a winnah! Everybody loves a Fox body, and yesterday's nicely kept 1979 Capri proved pretty lovable for its modest price, earning itself a 63% Nice Price win. That Capri was pretty emblematic of the '70s and today we're going to have a candidate that while almost a carbon copy in concept, is fully '80s in its execution.
Please welcome today's candidate, the 1989 Dodge Daytona C/S with Turbo II! Cue angels on high. The Daytona was perhaps the K-car that should just how ingenious the engineers at Chrysler were at the time. They managed to take a platform intended as a humble family hauler and turn it into one of the best handling front drivers around. They also managed to stuff 174-horses under the hood and send them through the front wheels without the car attempting to curb itself with every stab at the throttle.
The Daytona first arrived for the 1984 model year, sporting aggressive styling, four individual bucket seats and a sassy attitude. The base 2.2 gave the car adequate performance, but who the hell wants adequate? Not me, I can tell you that. I demand... more than adequate.
To give the Daytona some balls, Chrysler first popped the 2.2 turbo under the hood. They then went to that old master of performance and Texas chicken farmer, Carroll Shelby and told him he had a girl's name, and that if he didn't want them to make fun of him at recess he needed to offer up some ways to improve the Daytona's handling. Shelby said that he'd already done a Daytona, but that he'd see what he could do.
The Shelby Daytona and related C/S models were not built by Shelby, but they do contain the uprated suspension, brakes, and whatnot that the legendary tuner's company helped engineer. This black over grey-mouse '89 is claimed to be the AGS version of the C/S. That's an important distinction.
There were in fact two editions of the C/S for 1989, the AGB which featured the 150-horse Turbo I 2.2, ES Turbo Suspension, and Shelby brakes, and which was available with an optional automatic. The AGS pumped up the volume with the 174-pony Turbo II and no auto option. It also received the same suspension as the Shelby Daytona, fatter 225/50VR-15 Goodyears and an Intercooled Turbo sticker for the baby bump on the hood which of course served to indicate that there was a hot cross bun in the oven. This one rides on silver crabs, and amazingly seems to have all its bells and whistles still intact.
According to pretty much everybody there were only 269 AGS models sold in '89, making this one rare and desirable ride. With its still shiny paint and still pretty hot sauce looks, it's also something that you probably wouldn't mind tolling around in today. By the way, do people still 'tool?'
The interior is equally up to the task, although its awesome rectilinear '80s-ness might cause a seizure should you suffer from squarepolepsy. Underhood too is clean as a bean and features a nice Shelby embossed crinkle finished cam cover and companion intake.
How did this Daytona C/S stay so nice? Well, according to the ad it only has 18,000 miles on the clock so it really hasn't had the opportunity to go out and get itself in trouble. Sure, there's the problem of use it or lose it and time can be just as cruel a mistress as
Sydney Leathers miles, but still this looks like a pretty nice car and he seller doesn't advertise it as having any major flaws so it's probably pretty tight.
Is it's price tight as well? The ad asks $9,950 for this Daytona, and if you're a rabid Mopar fan you're probably all over the car's rarity and how that might affect its value. For the rest of us however, the condition may prove more of a sway, one way or the other.
What do you think about this cool bit of Dodge history for just shy of ten grand, does that seem like a good bargain? Or, does that price make you want to tell this C/S to C/U later?
H/T to Adam M for the hookup!
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