You've no doubt heard of turning a sow's ear into a silk purse, and as today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Dodge Daytona Shelby proves, no one took that metaphor more to heart than did Dodge and the late Carroll Shelby. This coupe's K-car origins are well masked, will its price require the seller to wear a mask as well?
In the movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise goes to a scummy doctor to get his eyes replaced and his butt grabbed by a wart-sporting nurse. That's all in an attempt to evade his pre-crime cohorts from locking him up - well, the eyes are at least. Similar surgery was at one time performed on yesterday's 1983 280ZX, fitting Celica headlights, as well as a fully folding top, for all your cruising pleasure. Sadly for the seller, that ZX wasn't fooling anyone, and it fell in an 87% Crack Pipe loss as its price was considered a crime.
Carroll Shelby never professed to being able to see the future, but he sure was able to relive past glories, seemingly reinventing himself nearly every decade. Heart trouble ending his racing career? Fine, he just went on to create the most iconic race and street car of all time. Gas, insurance and safety regulations strangling the market for V8-engined performance cars? Fine, he says - FINE - we'll just turn up the wick on some little four cylinder front drivers.
That flexibility, as well as a long-lived friendship with Chrysler top dog Lee Iacocca, resulted in a series of ‘80s and early ‘90s Dodge product that sported the Texan's touch, and stretched their platforms‘ capabilities to their limits. One of those is represented here today in the form of this 1990 Dodge Daytona Shelby, which is a K-car that ol‘ Carroll made more than just a-ok.
The Daytona and it's Chrysler twin, the frickin Laser, rode on an extended wheelbase edition of the Aries/Reliant platform, and despite that inauspicious base, managed even in non-Shelby form to handle and go better than many far more expensive cars. Shelby further massaged the handling and the earliest editions all came with Chrysler's rabid 174-bhp 2.2 turbo.
This one has the later 2.5, which wasn't available in the Daytona until the '91 model year, but of course slots in without issue. The seller claims this turbo'd and intercooled engine was rebuilt 12K ago, and provides a TL;DR list of what went into it at that time. Behind the hot four is Chrysler's 523 5-speed transaxle with what the ad scarily refers to as a home brew short-shift kit. Other mechanical highlights include a good deal of refreshed suspension and steering parts and new brakes. Those of you suffering from Cheimatophobia will be relieved to know that the A/C has been mercilessly ripped out like Robert Pattison's heart.
Of course, if you're going to be sweating to the oldies, then the bordello red velour interior of this Daytona is the place to do it. The mid-cycle refresh in ‘87 brought the Daytona a smoother front end with pop up lights, and a further update in ‘90 gave the Daytona a rounded and more luxuriously appointed interior, parts of which were shared with the LeBaron. Here. that lady's boudoir has been butched up with a set of a-pillar and dash-topping gauge clusters, and over all - despite its lurid appointments implying that you need to leave a c-note on the dash before leaving - it all looks in reasonably good shape.
The white-painted outside is equally satisfactory, although to me, a Daytona without rear-glass louvers is like a massage without a happy ending, so there is that. Another desirable option on the sporty K-car was T-tops, a feature this one is lacking. It does have a pop-out sunroof which probably means a less squeaky body and fewer leaks on rainy days than the more open model.
The last bit of good news that comes with this Shelby anointed Daytona is all the extra parts the seller is throwing in with the dealio. Spare gauge clusters, heads, a transmission, glass - it's like you're not just getting a cool car, but your own junkyard too! All you'll need is a big-balled dog named Demon to complete the neighbor-offending picture.
Should someone consider that this Shelby-ized hot Dodge completes them, the asking price is $2,600. That's for the car, all the parts, and your own personal link to the man himself - Carroll Shelby. What do you think, is $2,600 a price that should put this Daytona on track for a quick sale? Or, does this Shelby need to be shelved?
H/T to Thomas Bell for the roundabout hookup
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