Bidder Backed Out: 1986 Dodge Shelby Charger

There are few things more frustrating than a bidder that wins an auction and never pays. Unfortunately, the seller of a low-mileage 1986 Dodge Shelby Charger is dealing with lightning striking twice and now is hoping the third time’s a charm for finding the Shelby a home. It looks like a worthwhile project, with under 60,000 original miles, decent paint and only some minor tune-up issues standing in its way. Find it here on eBay with an opening bid of $500 and the reserve unmet. 

Just over 7,000 Shelby Chargers were made in 1986, and this model year featured the more powerful “T1” turbocharged mill. With close to 150 b.h.p. on tap, these were decent performers, and the Shelby treatment included other performance tweaks to the suspension and plenty of cosmetic enhancements. This example shows nicely, with particularly sharp paint underhood and a valve cover that looks clean enough to eat the proverbial meal off of.

The interior featured thickly bolstered sport bucket seats up front and the backseats had corresponding upholstery. The seller notes this Shelby Charger shows evidence of sitting for some time, with dry-rotted tires and some minor running issues, like a high idle. The shift linkage may also need some attention due to being tough to get into reverse. The seller mentions his dealership took the car in on trade, so records are likely minimal.

The classic Shelby-specific wheels look great here, and will be even better when shod with new rubber. The seller mentions that they’ve done a timing belt job, along with a a new fuel pump, but that the brakes will also likely need some attention. Sure, it’s a project car, but if the reserve is less than $2K, this looks like an awfully good start for one of Shelby’s classic Mopar projects. Anyone want to be the good luck charm that finds this Shelby Charger a home?


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  1. Matt Member


  2. Beatnik Bedouin

    Looks like a pretty good deal on a future collectable, Matt.

  3. Richard

    I’ve seen situations like this in the past, with shill bidding. Hope that’s not the case here.

    • ed the welder

      exactly my thought. the shill bidder won the auction . i’m pretty sure i fell victim to this in ‘ 06 when i was uneducated about ebay .

  4. Derek

    I sure hope the sale goes through this time, I’ve had that happen to me too and it’s incredibly frustrating. It’s the cowardly scam bidders who think it’s all just a big joke to throw in a bid and then back out or lie or blame it on their kids or some other BS that ruins eBay as a car selling venue for all the honest buyers and sellers. It looks like a nice car and an honest description, let’s hope the seller gets a break this time.

    • Brakeservo

      Because of all the dead-beat bidders I”ve stopped listing cars on eBay altogether. And while the people behind Bring-A-Tampon or whatever that other site is called may be arrogant faux-elitist wannabes, they at least got a few things right with their auctions – 1) a bidder has to put up a deposit in order to bid (that should keep the time-wasters and losers out) and 2) Allowing people to share their knowledge and comment. Helps to keep the fraud down (but not entirely successful, I know of one guy who shared some true but negative information about a terribly mis-represented Bentley listing and he got kicked off for posting the truth!).

      Like 1
      • The_Driver

        “Bring-A-Tampon”, LOVE IT!

      • Dave T

        Brakeservo – love you nickname for BaT and have to agree about the sometime arrogant and elitist comments that show up frequently. To me, it appears there a a large number of 1 percenters don’t know what to do next with their money but pay exorbitant money for some vehicles.
        The only thing you can never find out is how many sales weren’t completed. Sure, they relist a couple every once in awhile, but how many owners just say to hell with all this??
        Care to respond here or on BaT?

    • carsofchaos

      I’ll put myself through the torture of using eBay about once a year, just to see if it’s gotten any better. No, no it hasn’t.

  5. Metoo

    That’s a Charger? Those were pathetically sad days indeed.

  6. RoKo

    I thought these little Shelby’s were the coolest things when they first appeared, mind you, I was in Grade 7.

    That being said, I wouldn’t mind having one, but it would have to be blue/silver.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Funny, I had a silver/blue 1984 non-turbo Shelby and always wanted a red/silver one. This one fits that bill, too. Not now, unfortunately.

  7. CanuckCarGuy

    Nice car to buy and hold onto…I’d daily drive this one in decent weather.

  8. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    BTW, the reserve is now met at $1625…darnit.

  9. Metoo

    When you compare it next to, let’s say, a 1969 charger, there is no comparison.

    • Billy 007

      Thats right. Better performance, better handling, by far better gas mileage, much better for the air we breath. Like you said, no comparison.

      • Metoo

        To me it is a typical mid-80’s, no style, crapbox. But hey, opinions vary. You could paint it orange with a rebel flag on the roof and call it the General Lee, but people would just laugh.

      • Billy 007

        Meto, have you ever driven a 69 Charger? Fun in a straight line, maybe at a drag strip or street light shaming a Chevy, but that’s about it. I had a 1970 Plymouth and an 88 Daytona, I can tell you which was the better car. When I was 17, the 1970 was my world, but what else was out there? The 88 was comfortable, handled great, lots more power, quieter for sure. What is nostalgia worth? I am at the point where I will not pay big bucks for it. A modern car is by far the best bang for your buck, plus it will put a smile on your face. Perhaps what we need, is for some enterprising fella to make these 69 bodies again, then allow us to put in our own engines, etc. that would give you a new car in an old style, plus be more reliable. I would place in a modern drive train and proper handling components, plus for sure better braking.

  10. RoughDiamond

    While it’s technically a dealer, I refer to that kind of lot as a Mom and Pop car lot. Not the best feedback and those of you who are in the know on eBay, why does the seller have 116 transactions and only 5 feedback with 1 of them being negative? Can someone also explain shill bidding to me.
    Makes me wonder who did the work, the previous owner or the car lot owner? The Shelby Charger looks to have great potential.

    • Richard

      Shill bidding is when the seller has someone bid up the car to push the price higher. Sometimes the Shill bidder wins, and seller has to cancel the deal and start over using the story of the buyer changed their mind…

      • carsofchaos

        Very true. Though I can tell you that back when I used to use eBay a lot, I never used shill bidders, and still had the “winner” back out around 30% of the time. There are a lot of people who want to buy a car, spot 4-5 of them that they like, become the winning bidder on all of them, and then just choose whichever one was the best deal or they want the most. As a seller you can’t leave the person negative feedback, so….there’s little to deter people from doing that.

  11. Chris

    I owned a 86 black and silver one nick named the skunk!!!! My cousin had one exactly the same as mine. My engine blew cousin bought it for parts then hers burnt in a garage fire….

  12. edh

    These don’t last a long time before the engine or transmission blows. Also it’s likely that you will be humiliated by any modern vehicle you encounter at a stop light.

    • Dan in Texas

      What you wrote is true for at least half of the cars on here. But at least you will look cool doing it!

    • Billy 007

      The turbos had a problem with head gaskets, esp if you got them just a little hot. Trouble was, it was just too darn much fun to run them through the gears, esp when that turbo spun up and then thrust threw you back in the seat. A more annoying problem on these Omni variants was the cheap door handles, esp. in Midwestern subzero weather. Nothing like getting done from work at 1AM with 30 below zero plus a stiff wind and having that door handle snap off on you.

      • bowmade

        I had 2 Chevy Monza hatchbacks back in the 80’s-90’s. Loved those cars & this would bring me a smile, maybe even a goofy grin from time to time zig-zagging in and out of traffic. I would be cautious and prepared for a turbo repair/replacement. I agree, if you ran ’em hot and just shut the car off with-out letting things cool down, there was a wallet drain a comin’. I had an ’88 T-Bird turbo coupe for several years that someone unloaded after replacing the turbo back in the mid ’90’s. Drove it like hell the first half of a trip & kept my foot out of it the second. Nary a problem.

  13. Neil

    I asked the eBay seller for the correct VIN since the one he or she posted is for a Dodge Laramie Pickup truck and never got a response. I wanted to run a CarFax report before I bid but am still waiting for the correct VIN. Buyer beware, something seems off with this listing.

  14. Poptheclutch

    Actually I like the daytona’s better
    Like the one the late great Darrell Alderman drove in the early 90s
    When he won back-to-back championships
    Man that was some good drag racing!
    The B-1 Bomber!

  15. Maestro1

    If anybody wants in this game be sincere or get out. Things are hard enough as they are. The Shelby looks like a decent example and someone should give it the TLC it needs and enjoy.

  16. flmikey

    My brother has this exact car sitting in his garage…has not run in 15 years…and he think’s he’s gonna make a fortune on it someday…better give him the bad news now….

    • bowmade

      He shoulda bought a Cosworth Vega :-)

  17. Craig Kingsbury

    Up to almost $2500, looks to be in good shape. I wonder where the front air dam is though, hopefully that part won’t be hard to find. Just doesn’t look quite right without it. I had a bought brand new one in 1985, was such a fun car loved that thing but it sure did had some serious torque steer. Put in a DC upgrade computer that increased the go factor even little more. Wish that car was bit closer.

  18. David Miraglia

    I have a eBay site with a 100 percent approval as a buyer and a seller.
    I sell miscellaneous items along with books. I would love to sell cars or buses.
    But no place to keep anything here in Brooklyn. I will not scam or misinterpret the
    merchandise I am selling. You can locate me on Ebay as Startrek Cowboy…

    • Richard Spratley

      No body needs you to sell their stuff on Ebay.

  19. Mark Looman

    I drove a chipped and well sorted version of this in the 90s. A friend’s father bought one with a full cage and countless spares. The car went like stink and handled better than anything I’ve driven. There was a snaking road nearby we took at full speed with no sweat. The car was one hell of a ride back in the day, but now is dated I’m sure. For the money, this is quite a deal in my eyes, but it’s only because I love New Order, Public Enemy and a litany of other 80s bands. Good luck with the sale. I hope the car gets countless miles and visits shows in the area.

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