Domestic Turbo Rocket: 1985 Dodge Daytona Z

Dodge z turbo 1

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Here is a cool 1980’s rocket ship. This Daytona is a rare and interesting car, featuring Dodge’s cult classic 2.2l turbo engine. The mileage on this Daytona is just shy of 22,000 miles. The engine is nicely modified, and the exterior and interior look fantastic. The seller is knowledgeable and protective of this Daytona’s future owner. The seller mentions he has cut his original asking price in half, leaving this Daytona reasonably priced at $6,995. Find it here on craigslist out of Tucson, Arizona.

dodge z turbo 3

This cult Classic Dodge 2.2l Turbo is clean and tastefully modified. The engine bay is clean and sports many Mopar Performance decals. The seller has mentioned the addition of a larger turbo and the top mount intercooler. He also mentions that it is possible to spin tires in every gear from the 30 Psi boost pressure the engine is currently tuned to. Stock power would have been 146 horsepower, but it is difficult to guess what this Daytona may be making now.

dodge z turbo 2

1985 was the Second year of the Daytona Z. The styling is very much a product of the 1980’s. The two tone paint scheme is a pleasant mix of color and is in nice shape. The wrap around spoiler and the hood vent were standard options for the Turbo Daytona. The recessed headlights and the “phone dial” style wheels are a familiar sight of the 1980s. The exterior shows very well, giving an indication of garage storage, and plenty of pampering.

dodge z turbo 4

The interior is, dare we say, perfect. The seats are wonderfully plush and the fabric is not even matted from minimal use. The coloring looks perfect with no indication of excessive exposure to the sun. The dash is nicely laid out with ancillary gauges mounted in the center region of the dash. The Digital clock and the equalizer remind us of the premium qualities of this Daytona. Speaking of premium, the seller claims this Daytona has a factory installed radar detector.

dodge z turbo 5

This Daytona is an excellent example of a 1980s turbo Dodge. It has become increasingly difficult to find these in any condition. This is an excellent example that appears to be very original aside from the engine modifications. The seller has stated that it is a blast to drive, and we certainly believe that it would be. What would you do with this cool Daytona? Make it a Sunday driver and protect its low mileage? Maybe you would like to autocross it? Or maybe you would like to enjoy it as is and drive it whenever the urge hits you. Tell us what you would do with this cool Turbo Dodge.

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  1. Paul

    I don’t mean to be A negative Nancy like some commenters here on barn finds are, but that cowl induction hood is not original and in my opinion, is extremely tacky and is only there because the seller chose to put a top mounted intercooler on the engine and then the hood wouldn’t close. On the plus side I think the car is extremely beautiful except for the hood, and I have been looking for one of these for a long time but it would have to have the T-top option. Take the intercooler and the hood off, return it back to original and you have a fantastic car for the money!

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  2. Van

    I was always disappointed that Mopar didn’t build a Shelby Rampage.

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    • sparecr

      I believe they did do a Shelby Edition for Cali only. a few hundred examples. I have never been able to officially confirm. I have seen them offered but am well aware how easy it is to build your own.

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  3. Allan

    Fully agree on the hood. Looks garish and certainly not original. I had the Chrysler Laser for a while, but it was always considered the red headed stepsister to the Daytona.

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  4. Van

    Somewhere there’s an angry IROC owner that wants his hood grills back!

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    • Rando

      Yes that hood just about ruins the whole car to me. Awful.

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  5. Silas

    I also agree with the previous comments on the hood. If this guy wanted a Camaro he should have bought one. Otherwise a pretty nice car. With all of the modifications, it will never be collectible, even with the low mileage. Either return it to stock or use it as a cool driver.

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  6. Reno rick

    Beautiful ride , good performance
    Yes, needs a new hood, the original one , otherwise a great different summer cruiser and big Miami Vice,
    Macgyver hit at car shows
    Really decent asking price

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  7. Bob Hess

    Have said this before… Bought a new ’86 Shelby Daytona Turbo Z 5 speed, fully loaded. A blast to drive. Took on the 5 litre Mustangs at autocrosses. Hit in the 140s on a cross country trip one time. Fun! Hood looks like my roof vents….

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  8. Cody

    Remove the inter-cooler to go back to the original hood? I guess I’m more in the function over form category. I’ll take the added tire spinning power. Who cares what it looks like.

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    • Paul

      If you relocated the intercooler to in front of the engine where it would gather more fresh air to lower the intake temperature better than the top mounted intercooler you would gain even more function and you could have the form back With the original hood too…… But hey, like you said Cody, everybody has their own taste …..

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    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      Absolutely. The difference between a cooled charge and uncooled is night and day. This is a huge return on investment modification and unless you’re a stuck-in-the-mud gotta-be-original-only guy, there’s absolutely no loss in value for this.

      I’ll thumbs-down my post on the way out, thank you.

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  9. james burton

    this is the first gen. inter coolers and is what would be orig. to the car. i use to have one years ago. see these eng. setup the turbo boost came in after the throtle blades instead of before like the setups now. i conveted it to a front mount in front of the rad. like an idiot but i have forgot what the hoods looked like. on the glhs it would fit under the hoods. i’ve owned a lot of these turboed cars but now the parts are getting hard to come by and are unavalible. when cash for clunkers was in force it wiped out about all of these cars

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  10. Paul

    James, that intercooler was a aftermarket performance accessory offered through Chrysler high performance division, and was definitely not original to the car in any way shape or form. It may work on there but it was never originally stock on the cars. I have a picture of an original setup in my comment.

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    • Paul

      Wasnt it mopar direct connection or something like that?

      Like 2
  11. Tony

    The cowl hood is certainly not original. My dad thought it would be funny to mock the Camaro guys in the late 80s. Kind of an ugly oversight today. I know this car inside and out because it was mine after the original owner (my dad) gave it to me. This little car won some car shows back in the day, I’ve got trophies to prove it! Just stopping to by to give credit to my dad for all the work he did. It’s not slow by any means. Pretty impressive for yesterday’s tech. At one point, that motor was the recipient of a healthy dose of laughing gas that I sold separately from the car. In 1992, my dad took a friend for a ride one night (with me on the back seat.) Nitrous and a lot of boost resulted in the destruction of the stock A525. Car was parked for two decades after that. It was given to me, I had little interest in it. Sold it off to friend at the time, nice to see it back on the road and running!

    Like 1
    • Bryan Raye Parker

      Hello tony, so I currently have the car at my house out in marana. I am storing the car for a friend of mine. we would love to have a talk if you don’t mind.

      Like 1
      • Tony

        Wish I had seen this a few years ago! I’m still in Tucson! Any idea where the car is now? Thanks!

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      • Bryan Parker

        Tony I own the car, if you want to give me a email feel free.

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  12. Ten50boy

    Wish I saw it first! I have owned about 30 cars….. from a 65 A code Mustang, to a 66 k code, fox bodies, 2nd and 3rd gen T/A’s, Firebirds, Camaros, numerous foreign rides including an 86 300zx that I still have….. but freshman year of college, I had an 86 Turbo Daytona C/S. It was super rare…..i bought it on Long Island from a nephew of a former owner of a Chrysler dealership. Was allegedly used at the Auto Show in the Dodge area for 86. The dealer acquired it after. It was Gunmetal Blue Metallic, it had a 5spd, the black leather Mark Cross interior, ttops and analog (sooooo much better) gauges. Try finding one with that combo….. it won’t happen. But if you do……. let me know!!!!! I loved that car. Great memories. Lost my scholarship being a stupid kid chasing girls…. came home to attend Community College and get my grades up before moving on again to another college. Folks had me sell the car. Some guy who worked for Chrysler showed up, checked the codes with a few flips of the key in the ignition and waved $$$ ……. driving off into the sunset (literally) with my pride and joy. Yeah, all those other cars came later…… but….. even though they are worth more, are faster, by most people’s standards…. cooler……I would trade any car I once owned to have that car back. Being this link is so old, no one will most likely read this……. but just in case……… if anyone knows that guy from Port Jefferson Long Island that bought my car in 94……… let me know if you have any idea where it is or where it went. I last saw it in 95 on the 4th of July headed away from Jones Beach……I was unfortunately traveling the opposite way…… damn divided parkway with no turn around!!!!!! Anyhow, great car, better memories. Seriously though….. if anyone ever reads this or knows anything about my lost pride and joy…… let me know

    Like 0

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