Thursday, September 10, 2015

Can't Dodge The Issues: 1984 Shelby Charger

I gotta start watching what I say around here.  There was a feature from June of this year where I may have said that the Plymouth Shadow was a pitiful front wheel drive crapcan assembled by the blind and accidentally purchased by people who thought they were signing up for the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.  A few months later the owner of the featured car (Cold Burn) comes on and says lol that's my car...  LOL indeed, because Cold Burn's car was the Shelbyized version and it was sweet! However, things take a turn for the ugly when Shadow Queen writes: Every person that knows anything about cars at least appreciates the Shadow, even if it's not their thing. They're powerful but light, which makes them exceptionally fast. There is nothing weak about them. Whoever wrote this obviously is "pathetic" and has no taste.  I'm not LOLing anymore.  So, in an effort to make amends with the pathetic crapcan unloved classic owners, I'm going to be positive about this next car.  Find this 1984 Shelby Charger bidding here on eBay for $9,500 reserve-not-met located in Easton, PA.

First up, this has to be the nicest example of a Shelby Charger on the market right now, which an old me would call the equivalent of being the nicest piece of broccoli on a 3 year old's dinner plate.  Not the new me.  This thing is mint.  Fast.  Smells good too.  The original factory applied red garnet pearl coat with silver crystal pearl coat striping looks as nice as the day it rolled out of the  Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Illinois (only the 1987 GLHS Chargers were built in Shelby's Whittier, California plant).

The sparkly clean engine under the hood is not the turbocharged engine you will see in a GLHS version, but it is a basic Chrysler 2.2 liter inline-4 borrowed from the K-car.  Expect 110 horsepower to provide leisurely acceleration that will give you plenty of time to enjoy the scenery on a breezy afternoon. No need to be a hasty little hobbitsss. 

The Shelby modifications to the early Chargers were focused on suspension and handling, but with a classic like this you wouldn't want to whip it around a race track -- instead you could spend your weekend changing the differential gear fluid, maybe polishing the headlights, or perhaps removing some oxidation from the hood spring.  There is all kinds of fun to be had if you are in the right frame of mind.

 See another classic Shelby/Dodge combo?


  1. For us children of the 80's, this will always be McCall's car from "Hunter".


    1. Gotta love the '80's hair. Grad in '80 and married in '90. Great time/fun cars. GTi ski-machine was my dope.

    2. Sorry, FTB... that's a Daytona and not a Charger. Different 80s Mopar doing a similar disservice to a respected model name from the muscle car era.

      BTW, those Daytonas are extremely scarce today. Haven't seen one in ages. Where did they all go? What was their main competitor? V-6 Mustangs?

  2. I'm impressed that the paint held up on this one. Had the same year Shelby in blue/silver and the clear coat started bubbling 2 weeks off the lot. Not just on the roof where you *might* attribute it to a brutal summer sitting on the dealer's lot next to an Illinois soybean field. It had bubbly spots on damn near every panel. They re-shot it twice under warranty before someone figured out how to get the clear to stick.

    Still was way too much fun for a teenager's mom's car. Punchy motor, handled like it was on rails. I burned through those expensive Goodyear Eagles wayyyy too quickly.

    Went through 3 shift-linkages though. I think they made the bushing for the stick pivot out of dried out pool noodles.

    I still love the look of those wheels.

    1. Oh the shift linkages! Mine did that too!

  3. I drove one of these in High School but mine was an 85, which is the year they got turbo's. I've never seen one this nice.

    It was pretty beat up by the time I got mine, but it was fun when it drove and not too bad on gas. It was a nice light little car.

    1. They were falling apart the day they left the lot.

      Shopped the Omni/Charger and the Rabbit GTI in '83, even the US-built Rabbit was so much better than the Dodges in material and assembly quality that there wasn't much of a comparison. Okay, yeah, the Dodges were probably faster, but not by enough to make up the build-quality difference.

      In the end I bought a used Saab instead.

    2. That was probably the more interesting and better choice. I'd love to drive one of these again, but I'm not sure I'd want to actually own one :)


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