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America’s Fastest Sedan? 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T

Dodge had the fastest vehicle from 0-60 made in America in the late-1970s with the Li’l Red Truck and this 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T was almost two seconds faster to sixty mph and it had half the engine. Ok, it has a turbocharger, but it’s a front-wheel-drive vehicle. The seller has this example listed here on eBay in Findlay, Ohio and they have what seems like a reasonable buy-it-now price listed: $6,900, or you can make an offer.

This car is a future collectible, there is just no question about that. Or, the Dodge Spirit R/T is, in general, maybe not this particular car even though it appears to be in nice condition overall. This car isn’t perfect, however. It has some paint issues on the rear spoiler (they have a replacement that goes with the sale) as well as above the windshield. The seller also mentions some dings on the hood of this car from it being in storage and having been used as a shelf in the garage. That’s unfortunate, but body and underside rust would be my first concern over dings or missing paint.

Dodge offered the Spirit R/T in only 1991 and 1992 and they came in three colors, white, silver, and red. I saw a silver R/T on the showroom floor when I got my 1991 Spirit, and even my base car (although, it had power locks, windows, and mirrors) was one of the best cars that I have ever had, almost flawless to over 300,000 miles. This 1991 MotorWeek story is always fun to watch here on YouTube. It’s only six minutes long, check it out.

There was no automatic transmission option for the Spirit R/T, they all came with a Getrag 5-speed shifter and front bucket seats. This one doesn’t appear to have power seats which I remember the showroom version having 31 years ago, but the interior appears to be in fine condition here. The back seat isn’t shown but the front compartment looks almost perfect.

This car was owned by a family friend of the seller who kept it in under a cover in a garage most of the time and it only has 67k miles on it. The engine is the big deal here, it’s a Chrysler 2.2L DOHC inline-four that has a Lotus-designed head and a Garrett intercooled turbo III boost which gave it 224 horsepower and 217 lb-ft of torque. Car & Driver recorded a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds (faster than MotorWeek’s time) and that is fast even today. It was lightning fast in 1991, especially for a front-wheel-drive car with four doors. Underside photos would be nice to see as the seller mentions the “original muffler rotted away which is the reason for the flowmaster replacement”. Rust killed my 1991 Spirit. These cars are rare to find today, have any of you owned or driven one?

Comments

  1. nycbjr Member

    Horrible torque steer?

    Like 2
    • Mark

      Thst woild be my fear. Driving in the rain would be even scarier.

      Like 2
    • mickeytee

      Actually not teat bad. You just turned the wheel when you got on the gas. you learned real fast how to drive it straight

      Like 5
    • Benjamin Vander Jagt

      It shouldn’t have, if it came with the intermediate shaft. I have two, one of them much stronger than stock, and they take off very well for a FWD car.

      It’s *possible* (though unlikely) that the intermediate shaft is missing. I have a turbo LeBaron without it. Perhaps the previous owner could only source a full-length passenger-side axle and removed the intermediate shaft to make it work. Hard to say.

  2. 84FieroFiend

    Owned 2 Dodge Sprits in the 90’s. Bought a used ‘90 LE in ‘91, drove it until December’95 when I bought a new one, likely one of the last ones off the line. The ‘90 had the 3.0 with the Ultradrive 4 speed Auto. The ‘95 had the 3.0 and the torquefight. Both were awesome cars. Looking back, I should have snapped up the red ‘91 R/T that was sitting on the showroom floor instead on the ‘90..oh well.

    Like 5
  3. Uncle Buck

    Pretty peppy car but at the time I wanted a mustang lol. I did have a Plymouth laser? Version of this I think 4 door computer talked to ya “door is ajar” and I think a digital dash. Ran great till I let the oil leak out then boom. But I remember the seats were like race cars seats leather. Don’t remember the year but it went fast for the time.

    Like 2
    • SubGothius

      Plymouth’s version was the Acclaim (which had no sporty version like this Spirit R/T, however), whereas the Laser was sibling to the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon sports cars.

      Like 2
  4. Mike Hawke

    I view these as the ultimate K-car and there’s got to be a Bob Lutz backstory on these. I will buy one of these or the 92/93 Daytona R/Ts if a good one pops up for sale in my region.

    Like 6
  5. jwzg

    In the words of Carroll Shelby, these things were stronger than chicken manure. Torque steer was noticeable but not terrible to me. I guess when one expects it, it’s easier to manage.

    Like 4
  6. Ed H

    Only the finest Corinthian cardboard went into the interiors. These were piles of crap when new, I was young but even I noticed the terrible quality, laughed at the salesman as I got out of the car and walked out the door.

    Like 2
  7. Quidditas

    French Lotus Elize but bigger. And just as fun

  8. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Just like the GLH-T featured here not long ago, this appears to be a performance bargain. Granted, it will have limited appeal, but at the asking price, there can’t be much downside.

    I don’t expect to see it for sale for very long.

  9. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Sold for $6,900!

    Like 1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Thanks for the update Scotty!
      Someone is going to have a heluvalottafun!

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