36k-Mile Survivor: 1984 Dodge Shelby Charger

Sometimes, the namesake of an exciting vehicle ends up recycled for use on a much less endearing model. The Dodge Charger based on Chrysler’s front-wheel drive L platform is an example of this, although not an overly egregious one. This 1984 Dodge Shelby Charger that is listed here on eBay offers little in terms of performance, but it’s hard to deny that it is a stylish little ride.

Just a year after the L-Body Dodge Charger went into production, Carroll Shelby got his hands on the compact car. Unfortunately for the early Shelby Chargers, like this one, most of the upgrades focus on exterior aesthetics and suspension, though later examples received a turbocharged engine.

However, Shelby did modify these naturally aspirated 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engines to a slight extent by bumping up the compression, upgrading the camshaft, and adding an exhaust system. Even with these improvements, the engine only made 107 horsepower and 127 lb.-ft. of torque, which resulted for some thrilling performance specs – the zero-to-60 MPH time was 9.0 seconds, the quarter mile took 16.8 seconds at a speed of 82 MPH, and the top speed was just 117 mph.

The Shelby Charger did receive some other changes, such as upgraded suspension and power steering, larger brakes, and various styling changes to both the interior and exterior. As you can see, these models have a “CS” embroidered into the headrests to differentiate it from regular Charger models.

This example is available in Mount Vernon, Ohio with just 36,753 miles on its 5-digit odometer. At the time of writing this article, bidding is at $3,150 with the reserve not met, though the Buy it Now price for the vehicle is $8,495. Would you give this Shelby Charger a chance, or do you only prefer the rear-wheel-drive Charger?

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  1. Bakyrdhero

    A design team gathered around a boardroom table and decided an Omni steering wheel would be the right choice for this interior…

    • Capriest

      I’m amazed Shelby didn’t change that, but then again 60’s mustangs had some of the ugliest steering wheels ever as well.

      I love these 80’s Chryslers, but without the turbo I don’t consider this Shelby model much more special than any other non turbo L-body. I would rather have a GLH, and there was one on here recently for less than half the BIN on this. Fancy seats aren’t worth 5g’s to me especially considering I know of a set in a local junkyard.

  2. exartist

    I had one, same year. I do not have any good memories of it. Absolutely the worst build quality of any vehicle I ever owned.

    • TinCanSailor

      An 85 Dodge Charger 2.2 was my first new car. I was a MOPAR guy – having a Fury, a Road Runner and a Challenger in my youth. So it seemed the thing to do to buy a Dodge when the time came. It was complete with the louvered rear window… and lots of stripes in lieu of performance.

      Two years later, it was gone and replaced by a Mustang GT. I never looked back…

    • Ohio Rick

      Raced one of these in SCCA for a number of years. Competitive in class and damn near indestructible except for front hubs.

  3. Rosko

    Had one in the early 90’s. I thought the tires did a lot for the car’s performance. Low profiles were pretty unique at the time. Loved the look of the car. Mine was this color combo. The front overhang kind of bothers me now. I’d still love to own a nice example.

  4. edh

    Polished up turd

    • Rx7turboII

      Exactly what I say about Grand Nationals when they come up here. Lol!

  5. OrangeKrate

    Nicely preserved, if it had the turbo I’d be tempted.

  6. Garry

    I had one of these in 2001-02, traded a very worn 73 Charger for it. Mine was the opposite color scheme, silver with blue. While it wasn’t a rocket, it was a fun car to drive, with a 5 speed to play with. And, it would get second gear rubber with those 50 series tires. Kind of like driving a go cart. :) Was it a street racer? Not really, but it was fun to zip around in. Then again, I like polished up turds, I suppose. *shrugs*

  7. Bakyrdhero

    Closest I’ve come to owning one of these was an 87 Dodge Shadow. That really was a “polished up turd” but I lived that car and something about it made it a lot of fun to drive. I’d gladly zip around town in this Charger or many other Mopars of the 80’s. They have an appeal to them for sure.

  8. John

    Had one after the divorce, peppy, fun and reliable until I passed it down to my son!
    Dead within a year. Forgot to put trans fluid back in after a clutch swap.

  9. nessy

    This was a nice looking car but only in the right color combos. Looked faster than it was until the Turbo model was introduced. This bright blue and silver combo with the matching blue and silver interior really made the car into a looker. In my opinion, I believe this was a direct copy of the famously popular blue and silver Datsun 280ZXs also with blue and silver interiors. I also remember this Shelby being offered in a red and silver combo plus a black and silver combo but the blue and silver color is what made this otherwise not so special sporty little car look hot.

  10. AnalogMan

    It might not be the high water mark for performance or fine quality engineering and build quality. But it’s interesting and has character, which are usually completely missing from most new cars these days. I think it would be fun to drive, for someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. What else can you buy these days for around this price that would be so unique? You sure wouldn’t see a whole row of them at your local Cars & Coffee.

    With the low mileage, you might even be able to semi-daily drive this car. I wonder what parts availability is like?

  11. RS driver

    I had owned an 87 turbo and it was an absolute blast to drive. The turbo really woke up the 2.2 and I would routinely leave the local cameros at the stop lights wondering what happened. My wife at the time loved it so much I bought her one too. The Achilles heal was the head gaskets and the 5 gear popping off to he shaft making it a 4 speed. Shelby stepped his game on these with GHL charger and the GHLS omni which were very limited production cars, numbered and had goobs of HP. They spent a considerable amount of time at the Shelby factory Being tweeked and are nearly impossible to find this day in age.

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