Eric Clem found this rather rare Shelby Charger that has been well preserved. But it’s got a red plastic BandAid on its rear tail light. Are replacement s hard to come by?
How strange – rear lights are $20 to $40 on eBay. Perhaps it’s just happened and they’ve not got around to fixing it, yet. Not a hard job to do, I would have thought.
Lovely colour combo.
As well known as Carroll Shelby is to this day,
Surprisingly few people recall Carroll’s short relationship with the Charger. While most who do recall this association, most consider it “lipstick on a pig” and nothing more. Yet the volume of Shelby’s work is not complete without this chapter and due respect needs to be awarded this car as well.
I’m solidly a fan of these. Always glad to see one these around in present day. #Dodge #AnAmericanRevolution
One thing that can be said for these Shelby Chargers is they retained the original dual headlights from the Omni 024 throughout their model run while the regular production Charger got quad headlights that looked infinitely worse!
As to whether the Shelby Charger was that terrific, hardly. But for anyone wanting one of these FWD Chargers, it was certainly the best version of the series. The Shelby Charger ‘looked’ good, even if performance didn’t live up to the name.
FWIW, the Shelby Charger to have would be one of the 1,000 all-black 1987 Shelby GLHS models. Interestingly, unlike the similar Omni GLHS, all Dodge badging was removed from the Shelby Charger GLHS.
The reason the Dodge name was removed from the Charger GLHS cars is the federal government determined that all of the changes done to the vehicle allowed Shelby sell these cars As a Shelby, not a Dodge. The Shelby built cars, from Whittier CA, were sold only through Carroll’s chosen Dodge dealer network. The Omni GLHS cars, though both cars have the same drivetrain and Shelby changes, for whatever reason did retain the Dodge name. Thus both cars are true Shelby cars regardless of any argument someone may bring up. I own Shelby Charger GLHS #736 since April 1990.
Shelby’s influence and input on these Dodge models went beyond a vinyl decal. There were improvements made to the engine and chassis. Ultimately there was a sixteen valve intercooled turbo version of the 2.2 four. It was the later Dodge Daytona that got the best engines. I always liked how these cars were compact and very lightweight. They were before their time, V8 Pony cars such as the Mustang GT, were able to make a strong comeback once gas prices stabilized in the mid 1980s. If gas prices had remained high these would have been the logical progression.These kind of lived on as the later Mitsubishi partnered Diamond Star twins, the Eagle Talon and Mitsubishi Eclipse. The turbo charged all wheel drive versions were sort of like an affordable Porsche Carrera.
I love the GLH moniker which was attached to many other little high performance Mopars, Goes Like Hell!
Shelby’s influence and input on these Dodge models went beyond a vinyl decal. There were improvements made to the engine and chassis. Ultimately there was a sixteen valve intercooled turbo version of the 2.2 four
Yes; two of them, actually, but neither went in any Shelby/Dodge models. The one co-developed with Lotus went in the Spirit R/T and IROC R/T (and Mexican-market Phantom R/T); the one co-developed with Maserati went in the Chrysler(‘s) TC by Maserati.
Very true, these cars were the answer to a future that proved to be anticlimactic and short lived, but even the foxbodies Mustang walked that line, the V8 was a dog until 1982, first the strangled 302 carried over unchanged from its tune in the Mustang II and worst yet the debored 255, and realistically the iconic 5.0 H.O that signaled the beginning of the end to the malaise era was little more than a low cost amalgamation of various off the shelf components and marine parts. The performance engines Ford were putting all their engineering and refining effort into trying to make perform better were the turbocharged 4 cylinders, starting with the 79 Mustang Cobra and ending with the SVO in its ultimate iteration. The Probe would have been the next natural step.
Also, the debored 255 V8 in the 80-81 Mustangs could only be mated to a 3 speed automatic. I recall Car and Driver testing the 1980 Cobra with the 2.3T/4-speed, noting the 302 (and any V8 manual) was gone, as was the Cologne 2.8 V6. In their place were the 255 (down 22hp to 118hp) and the Falcon 200 I6 (down 20hp to 89hp). The future, C/D told us with regret, was going to be slow. The review tried to look at the bright side noting handling and refinement improvements.
We know now that we were nearing the end of the malaise era in 1980, but at the time I was expecting cars would have only 50hp by the time I was old enough to buy a new car. There was no sense at all back then that cars would soon become more and more powerful again starting in a couple of years and sub 7 second 0-60 times would become commonplace even in mundane sedans.
If only Ford had had something like the EcoBoost four (also coincidentally 2.3L) in the 80s with much more power and refinement than the Lima a.k.a. “Pinto engine” could even dream about, or even like the smooth high-revving NA fours that Hondas actually had in the ’80s, high-performance Mustangs may have taken a different path.
This falls in line with how the Probe was originally intended to be the Mustang’s replacement. And if oil prices had remained high throughout the rest of the eighties, that’s very likely what would have happened.
However, gas prices stabilized and Mustang sales remained solid, so the idea of a more efficient (but more expensive and less profitable) FWD Mustang idea was ditched.
I see cars like this with such an easy to fix imperfection on an otherwise nice car I almost want to voluntarily buy them a new taillight and install it for the owners to satisfy my own OCD.
I think the Shelby Omnis are cooler personally given their sleeper hot hatch vibe, these Chargers take themselves a bit too seriously for my liking and for what they really are. I may be one of the only oddballs who thinks the earlier Charger 2.2 with its tacked on scoops, 70s style stripes and hoffmeister kink is more charming than the Shelby version with its “clean” window plugs and dynamic oh so 80s silver striping and ground effects that don’t do anything measurably functional either. I think my biggest dislike with these – and most other Shelby/Dodge collaborations – is all the reminders all over it it’s a Shelby, does it really need a CS the size of my head embroidered into both seats?
Seats with letters or logos stitched into them are a pet peeve of mine too. And it’s more prevalent today than in the ’80s.
I remember this car when I just arrived Canada from China in 1984. I couldn’t see justification for anyone to buy this vehicle except it had the Shebly name, for someone still had desire to own a Charger. Back then, there were a lot of affordable sport cars available from GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Honda. I wonder if it could really match effectively against Prelude or Scerrico.
Actually, I pulled up next to one of these in a VW Scirocco and it promptly blew my doors off.
Not sure how they handled, but they had decent straight-line speed. Nice to see a good example of one.
Actually last night after I wrote my comment, I checked MotorWeek retro test, they tested a 1985 turbo model of this car, it handled much better than others from competitors, it had very little body lean and nose dive in MotorWeek famous quick turn test. I am almost certain the same vintage of Prelude couldn’t preform this test with the same grace. So after all, it was good handling vehicle
There were *slow* sport cars at other dealers, and Dodge dealers didn’t have anything better than this at the time. The Shelby Charger was introduced at about the same time as the Rabbit GTi, and had comparable performance.
The Shelby always was a low volume relatively expensive specialty item, so it only needed to be good enough to sell thru. It was an answer to a question most people really weren’t asking, like the last Australian Chevrolet SS. But it had its fans.
The Shelby Charger was a dressed up economy car that listed for thousands less than class acts like the Scirocco and Prelude. You’d be on a waiting list to pay full sticker price for the Prelude. The Scirocco was stickered above that.
These blew the doors of every other 4 cylinder sport compact and most v8s as well.
146hp 170tq from the first couple years combined with 2400 pound curb weight made for a good combo. I’ve had a few of these, and built a long record of beating cars it shouldn’t have had any business beating. V8 mustangs, f bodies. On top of just smashing every vw, Honda/Nissan in it’s class. And many above it as well. Even the turbo supra from that era couldn’t outrun my little Shelby charger turbo. That little 2.2 was potent and was very strong.
I’ve got the same motor in Lancer Shelby (even more rare)and it lasted 33 years before popping it’s head gasket. So obviously pretty reliable as well.
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