BF EXCLUSIVE: 1992 Dodge Spirit R/T

Update 5/10/2018 – Andrew has had a lot of bites on this Dodge, but no one has pulled the trigger yet. In hopes of getting it moved on down the road, he’s lowering his asking price to $7,000 or best offer! This is one heck of a fun car for the money, so be sure to message him via the form below if you’d like to buy it.

From 5/3/2018 – While it might be newer than our typical find, this BF Exclusive is one heck of a barn find! Reader Andrew L has decided it’s time to part ways with this 1992 Dodge Spirit R/T and thought the BF Community should get first dibs. If you don’t know what a Spirit R/T is, let me just say, it’s one special turbocharged Dodge. This car is one of just 191 built and of those is one of 92 painted bright red. Andrew has owned it since 1998 and it has racked up just 53k miles since new. If you’d love to give this wicked sedan a new home, be sure to contact him via the form below.

From Andrew – 1 of 191 made (1 of 92 in red). The vehicle is equipped with the 2.2 TIII turbocharged/intercooled 4 cylinder dual overhead cam engine and is mated to the A568 Getrag 5 speed manual transmission. All options except for ABS, I do have the factory Infinity Cassette player though, currently has Infinity CD/Cassette.

I have owned this R/T since July 1998 with 51400 miles, bought from the original owner who had purchased the car new in March 1993 from Van Dyke Dodge in Warren, MI. It has always been garaged and never seen winter. The cylinder head is a Chrysler Service Contract replacement done in 1999 with all internal head parts replaced, I do have the factory cylinder head that goes with the vehicle. It has less than 300 miles since the repair was completed.

It has only been serviced at the dealership since new, all available paperwork since day one. Mobil 1 oil used from the 1st oil change on. The vehicle has been in storage since 2003. A/C will need to be converted to R-134a, but I am including NOS A/C hoses and A/C Schrader valve with the vehicle, along with a spare factory wheel. It’s all original and rust free. Contact me anytime with questions, more pictures available upon request. Asking $8500 or best offer.

If you’ve been lucky enough to experience one of these cars, then you already know what a thrill they are to drive. The turbo lag takes a bit to get used to, but there’s something intoxicating about it that just makes you want to mash the accelerator at every light. And with over 220 horsepower and 217-foot-pounds of torque, your going to want to hold that steering wheel real tight! You don’t find these cars very often, especially low mileage survivors, so we are quite excited to be featuring this one as an Exclusive! So our special thanks to Andrew for listing it with us. If you’d love to give this special car a new home, make sure to message him using the form below!

Asking Price: $8,500
Location: Hudson, Wisconsin
Mileage: 53,026
Title Status: Clean

If you have a rare survivor that needs a new home, please consider listing it here on Barn Finds!

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  1. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Ugh, Powerball, do not fail me yet again! What a car. I had a 1991 Dodge Spirit and it may have been the most trouble-free car that I ever owned right up until it literally rusted into the ground in a Home Depot parking lot at 315,000 miles and had to be towed to the junk yard. I have always wanted an R/T and I’m glad (for the respect that they deserve) yet sad (for me) to see that prices are rising. This looks like the one to get since the pesky head gasket issue has been taken care of. Very, very nice.

    • Josh Mortensen Josh Mortensen Staff

      Agreed Scotty! If it were here in Boise, I’d be figuring out how to get the money together to buy it! The Turbo III a heck of an engine, it’s crazy how much power you can get out of them before they break. If only!

  2. sparkster

    I was vacationing in Hawaii and the rental car company informed me that the jeep I requested wasn’t there. They asked if I drove “stick” ? Ahhh hell ya . They pulled out of these in white. Had a blast for three days with that car. Yes they did have turbo lag, but after few hours you could figure it out and then the fun began.

  3. CanuckCarGuy

    Great car, these early Mopar turbo cars are great value and a good start into the hobby..good luck with the sale!

  4. Miguel Member

    They must have sent most of those to Mexico because there are a ton of those here, and cheap too. We also have a lot of the Shadow GTS, I think it was. It was the turbo model with those weird wheels.

  5. Mountainwoodie

    Just hard to believe these are 26 years old! Tempus fugit.

  6. YooperMike

    No one has seen how many doors ?

    • Steve

      It has four, much like a Taurus SHO.

  7. edh

    I sat in and drove one of these when they were new, I ran back to GM and felt like I dodged a bullet. Total crap box the build quality and materials were awful. I knew people who bought these and the 53K miles seems believable as they spent a lot of time in the shop or sent to the junkyard as the cost of repair was more than the value of the car. $8500 can buy you a better and faster car.

    • John m leyshon

      Ran back to GM and bought a total crap box ! That ’91 GM line was swell. Did you get a Lumina or Grand MA ?

      • Miguel Member

        John, do you see yourself as the lone defender of this crap car?

        The GM cars from that era are still on the road, while the Chrysler products, are not.

      • edh

        I bought a 1992 Cavalier owned it until 2005 when it got totaled. My experience was that GM made better cars in ’70s through early ’90s, I had problems with their vehicles starting in ’96 and it got worse as time went on. My last GM was that 2005, now my garage is populated with a Toyota and a Nissan, switching to all Toyota soon. I experienced quite a few Chrysler products over the years and although the company has changed a lot over the years, the issues with the product has still remained the same. Engines and transmissions that have reliability issues, cheap interiors and bad overall assembly.

        I hope the owner can sell this car for as much he can to someone that will drive it and enjoy it. Who knows in another 20 some years my eyes and memory will degenerate to a point where I will appreciate this machine.

  8. Rustytech

    I was still working at the Mopar dealership when these were produced. They looked great, they were fast, and they were fun. The engine was a tank, but the rest of the car quickly fell apart ( literally), pieces started falling off while they were still under warranty. That’s why there so hard to find today. I’m sure the drivers had something to do with that, but they weren’t real hardy. Still this would be a blast to drive.

    • Miguel Member

      I worked at a Chevrolet dealer back in 1987.

      The used car manager and I had to drive to our Pontiac store and we chose a 1985 Dodge Lancer non turbo from the used car lot. It had like 15,000 miles on it.

      The car was falling apart.

      The only comment the used car manager made, was “What a piece of SH**!”

      I agreed with him.

  9. Carstories Member

    Wow, a Spirit RT! I have always admired these cars. I would love to have this. It’s the perfect sleeper! Every car does not have to be a two door, and this car drives home that point well. 224 horses moved this light little econobox, surprising more than a few drivers “not in the know” as to its existence.

    Great shape, very few made, reasonable price, interesting representation of the era- an exciting find, in my opinion. Thanks for the story.

  10. Nova Scotian

    Had a Sundance model. Not the fast hotted up model shown here. Our new family liked the hatchback for its versatility. ‘Course the head gasket popped halfway into ownership. No big deal, I fixed that in my driveway. What I do remember is how damn comfortable the seats were. Hugged me right in. Oh, and baby barf cleaned off well…lol!

  11. Bob C.

    These were considered the Hellcat of the 90s.

  12. John m leyshon

    Hell cat they were and still are ! Less than 150 of these made.

    I Had to defend it from the clowns who always have comments to post and have no clue what they speak of…

    Would love to know what “edh” bought when he “ran back to GM” lmao…

    All ears ! (shhhh…He’s busy working on his ’91 Beretta Z 23 & 1/2 !)

    • Dan in Tx

      Yup, nothing works better to prove your point than calling people names.

  13. DG

    Last of the K-cars.

  14. Dave

    Probably the best of the K-cars. But still, all in all, a k-car.

    Fun engine, but I remember these cars from Chrysler in high school. Love that turn signal stalk that feels like it is going to break every time.

    There is a BIW with no panels in the Chrysler museum in Auburn Hills. Oh, boy that unibody is junk.

  15. Miguel Member

    I find the production numbers hard to believe as I just found 5 Spirit R/T’s for sale all at once.

  16. Carstories Member

    Miguel, the numbers are correct! There were 1399 produced between the two years- 1208 and 191, respectively. But what is hard to believe is that you found five for sale “all at once.” I have done a search for these as well, and have found a few, but nowhere were there five in the same link, “all at once.” There are not that many left.

    And your quality story doesn’t fly, my friend. You compared an 85 to a 92. Seven years is a long time in the auto industry. Quality did improve during that time, even if it was modestly. Either way, these were no more “junk” than any other cars from the era.. including GM.

    And if a strong presence of those still exists on the roads where you live, surely it is the exception… because everywhere else, they’re long gone!

  17. Carstories Member

    Miguel, the examples you list are not equivalent to those we are discussing.

    For one, they’re not 91 & 92 models. Secondly, they don’t have the Turbo lll motor, or the low production numbers of the U.S. cars. Heck, these cars don’t even carry the Dodge name.

    And they are obviously just thrown together- one to resemble a Plymouth Acclaim and the other a Chrysler Lebaron. You’re right, they’re junk!

    However, the one listed above is not and, to me, looks well worth the asking price.

    No offense, but there’s only one person who knows for sure what the above car is worth… the guy who gives up his money for it.

  18. Dick Johnson

    “If you can find a better car, buy it!”
    — Lee Iacocca

    • Dave

      And they did!

  19. olddavidp

    For every story of bad experience there is an equal story of good experience. What I fail to understand is the vitriol. What is it about someone’s viewpoint makes it important for you guys to be “right”? Everybody here has had bad Fords, bad GM, bad Chrysler. As well as good for each brand. To demean someone else’s product as not worth the time is short sighted and ridiculous. Respect is not an abstract theory.

  20. Mark-A

    The thing a lot of people seem to forget is this is the very similar to the EU Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth (also a 2ltr Twin-Cam with 220ish hp) just look up the prices for those & seems like a deal with the history, Sapphire Cossie with same provenance I’d reckon it’d b twice as much?)

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