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Pick of the Day: An affordable Shelby

1986 Shelby Dodge Charger has Carroll’s handiwork but won’t do much harm to your bank account


The name Shelby is one of the most powerful in the collector car hobby and the cars wearing the Shelby badge, from Cobras to Mustangs, tend to be among the most desirable and, sadly for most of us, among the most expensive as well.

There is a sort of back door into the Shelby mystique that offers exciting and rare cars that are available for a fraction of the price. Those cars are the Shelby Dodges.

The whole Shelby/Dodge partnership happened after Lee Iacocca’s move from Ford to Chrysler in 1978. Iacocca knew Shelby from the Ford days and engaged him to elevate the performance image of some Chrysler cars.

The first models were the fast but ugly Omni GLH and GLHS, but were soon followed by my favorite of the Shelby Dodges and our Pick of the Day, a 1986 Shelby Dodge Charger.

Shelby Dodge, Pick of the Day: An affordable Shelby, ClassicCars.com Journal
Shelby Dodge, Pick of the Day: An affordable Shelby, ClassicCars.com Journal

This Charger is an all-original example represented by a dealer in Lithia Springs, Georgia. Finished in its original Santa Fe Blue with a Radiant Silver paint stripe, as well as its original Blue and Silver Shelby cloth seats, this car looks to be a spectacular survivor.  Both paint and interior look to be in amazing shape with no visible issues.

Under the hood, this Charger has its original 2.2-liter SOHC inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with multi-port injection. This engine in stock form developed 146 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque, which allowed the car to reach a top speed of 124 mph and cover the 0-to-60 sprint in 7.8 seconds, which was quite fast for the time.

The seller goes on to state that this Shelby Charger has been fully serviced, receiving new driver’s side CV joints, and also comes with its service history.

The pictures of the underside of the car show a car that has been impeccably cared for with no evidence of any rust. With only 47,000 original miles, this car is a true time capsule.

Shelby Dodge, Pick of the Day: An affordable Shelby, ClassicCars.com Journal

So, if you have always longed to own a true piece of Shelby history but have always lacked the required funds, this Shelby Dodge Charger with an asking price of $14,995 might be just the ticket to that exclusive Shelby owners club. 

In addition, this is a perfect car for the classiccars.com Future Collectors Car Show. If you were to show it at the FCCS, I can practically guarantee that it would be a crowd favorite.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. These were quick for their day but in terms of build quality they were junk. The 2.2 turbo motor had a rather voracious appetite for head gaskets if I remember correctly.
    I had a 1986 Chrysler LeBaron GTS with the 2.2 Turbo and automatic. Worst pos car I ever laid eyes on. I swear that car was possessed! 👹☠️

  2. I’m sorry, God bless Carrol Shelby but this car is a “bone”. By ‘86 most American Performance cars were bloated, ugly and other than their name tags, just an empty shell of the original designs.
    After growing up around the awesome cars of the mid sixties and early seventies, I remember being nothing but disappointed year after year, at the new, boring, plastic, dogs that Detroit was spitting out. I guess I’m a hopeless torque junkie! 😆👍

    • I think the only bright spots were the Mustang “5” liter HOs and the Buick Grand National Regals in those days. I think the Camaros and the Trans Ams were starting to get better but not there yet. Bad times for cars.

  3. I had a 1982 Dodge Charger 2.2 Black with gold stripes. .First new car I bought, lousy build quality! !st time i washed it noticed a large paint bubble on the right front fender. It popped off and nothing but rust no primer at all! The whole car had to be repainted under warranty. The car started running rough and had to replace a cracked intake manifold. Then the paint started peeling off the rear bumper showing yellow plastic. Didn’t learn from this fiasco and traded for a new 1983 Shelby Charger Santa Fe Blue and silver! This car was much worse the front bumper cover was bowed at the wheel well and looked terrible, Chrysler refused to fix! Chrysler introduced that horrible cable shifter wich constantly had to be replaced 2 times! The gearbox was replaced due to locking up in 2nd or reverse! I did not abuse this car and babied it! The center arm rest split at the seams all this in less than a year! The Chrysler zone rep said I was being picky! The car was and is the biggest piece of junk ever produced except maybe a Yugo!

  4. I owned an 84 Shelby and my experience was a bit different – or maybe I’m not that picky. I bought it used in 85. It had been owned by a younger individual who only changed oil in it once in 16k miles. The 2.2 was experiencing blow by and used a quart every 6 to 800 miles. Got that fixed under an aftermarket warranty. After that I only had what I took as normal maintenance. I drove the car to 406k mi. and sold it to a guy from IL in 2004. It was using a quart every 2k (which when changed oil anyway), was getting 35 mpg and the clutch was slipping a bit on hard acceleration at that time . I sold it due to rust issues which made it a very unsafe car. While I took good care of it mechanically, I did not do a very good job cosmetically. Yes, I replaced the head gasket about 5 times, shift linkage (the bar with the ‘snap on’ nylon ends) about 4 times and the drivers door handle about 6 times. Other than that it was a fun car to drive and I would be sorely tempted to by one in like new condition.


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