Rare and Needy: 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Dodge’s Spirit R/T was a formidable sports sedan back in its day, earning plaudits for its raw speed and tidy packaging. Today, they are fairly hard to find, especially in unmodified condition. This 1991 model here on eBay is suffering from a blown head gasket and could be worth rescuing with a $900 Buy-It-Now. 

The motor has already been partially diassembled. The seller noted that the head is cracked and had been repaired once before. In addition, the seller references that it is the “less desirable Dunn warranty replacement head,” which likely means Chrysler cheaped out on replacement parts for owners of cars with blown headgaskets. The seller goes on to recommend a full engine rebuild.

It’s too bad, as the interior is in super nice condition. There’s a chance this R/T could be parted out, which would be a shame – but the cost of an engine rebuild is something no project car owner wants to face. The sport seats, manual transmission and mouse-fuzz gray carpeting is all intact and correct to the car. Not exactly the same as a BMW M3 from the same era, but also quite a bit cheaper.

The body is pretty straight, and the color-coded aero kit and wheels are all accounted for. The seller notes small rust spots near the gas tank / door seams / and rocker panels, and we also spotted some paint peel on the roof, which Mopar products became infamous for in the 90s. This Spirit R/T is a rare find in any condition, so we hope this one is rescued and rebuilt – especially if it can be had for less than $900.

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Comments

  1. Superdessucke

    Perfect for Spirit (ed) driving.

    1+

  2. Steve R

    Because it has a 5 speed this car would be a great driver/beater if you could get it on the road for around $2,000, including purchase price.

    Steve R

    2+

  3. boxdin

    I bought a rebuilt a 2.5 engine w a new head from china. The cam centerline was higher on one end than the other so valve adj was a time consuming excercise.
    Looks like you need to fix those cracked heads coz the replacements are junk.

    1+

    • Eric

      This is the DOHC version, no aftermarket heads available. The DUNN warranty heads were good, just not as much meat in the casting if you were looking to port it. The China 2.5 heads were only good for paperweights, but there is a US company that makes replacement 8v heads for the 2.2 and 2.5 now that are quite good.

      1+

  4. Rob

    My ex-wife had a 1990 Plymouth Acclaim and it was an excellent car. Clean styling, crisp lines, with plenty of headroom and shoulder room for us taller drivers, it was a far superior K-car to that of the vile Aries and Reliant predecessors. I always wanted a white Spirit ES like the one pictured in the Dodge sales brochure, but ended up with a New Yorker Landau which I had for over seven years and 100,000 miles. This is a rare offering for certain, especially with the more desirable 5-speed manual transmission (a personal favorite). This could be one excellent and fun vehicle again in the hands of the right buyer.

    2+

  5. grant

    This reminds me way too much of the Plymouth Acclaims we used as base patrol cars. (Yes really, no I don’t know why. Before that they used Citation X11’s. Seriously.)

    2+

  6. CMARV

    I bought a 91 Acclaim LX with the 3.0 V6 ,auto. I got it in a group of trade ins from a local Dodge dealer . It had around 60k miles and showed no oil pressure on the factory gauge . The car was fully loaded to include heated power mirrors and fake gold center BBS wheels . I put an oil pressure sender in it and gave it to my wife for a go to work car . It did 150 miles a day for better than 3 years . The infamous Chrysler AOD trans started to act up .She got a Buick beater . I serviced the trans and added BG trans.fix in a can and used it for a shop loaner for another 3 years . Those are some tough assed cars ! JMHO .

    3+

  7. angliagt

    I believed that the engine was developed in conjunction
    with Lotus.

    0

  8. John massie

    The dohc 16v head was designed by lotus. 228 stock hp.Which was big in 1991. Faster than mustang and camaro offerings. Mopar or no car

    1+

  9. Sparkster

    Rented one of these in Hawaii back in the day. Turbo , 5 speed. The rental car gal asked me if I could drive stick. Ahhhh yea , whatcha got was my response . What a blast to drive. Loved when the turbo would start to spool up in third gear and then I would pass slower cars on the small two lane roads in blink of of an eye

    1+

  10. AMXSTEVE

    so can this engine be fixed or no?

    0

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