Factory Moonroof: 1987 Dodge Shelby Charger

This 1987 Dodge Shelby Charger is a barn find of sorts, but it hasn’t been hiding in the dark corners of an ancient structure for long; it went into storage in 2018, so it remains somewhat fresh despite its hiatus from the road. Big money was spent on the car in the preceding years, which makes it even stranger that it ended up being forgotten in storage. The Shelby’s paint is tired in places, and the headliner is said to need replacement, but it’s still a decent driver-quality example of a rare 1980s performance car that offers respectable performance today. Find it here on craigslist with an asking price of $6,500 and located near Buffalo, New York.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Mitchell G. for the find. 1987 was the final year of the Shelby Charger, with just over 1,000 built and sold as-is, with another 1,000 or so purchased by Shelby to convert into GLHS models. By this point, Shelby had performed some additional fine tuning to extract more performance out of the homely 2.2L four-cylinder, making a 1987 model the one to buy if you’re looking for this rarely seen Shelby car. The combination of a Garrett turbocharger and fuel injection pushed output to a respectable 146 b.h.p. Anecdotally, as someone who grew up with these old-school New York plates on his car, I miss this design – so simple, yet so patriotic. You never seem them anymore.

The interior features the Shelby-specific bucket seats and the preferred manual transmission (an automatic was optional). Despite the upgraded power not seeming all that impressive by today’s standards, you have to look at the overall Shelby package to fully appreciate it. It included firmer suspension, quicker steering, better brakes, a free-flowing exhaust, and obviously all of the visual clues, from body stripes to the front air dam. The interior appears to be in good shape overall, with what looks like a factory radio still in place. As described above, the seller feels the headliner should be replaced, but doesn’t elaborate as to why. I wonder if that moonroof – which the seller claims was factory installed – caused water ingress that stained the headliner.

Production numbers probably exist somewhere on a Shelby fanatic’s site that tell us how many of the Shelby Chargers left the factory with the moonroof option; I don’t know that it matters much in terms of increasing the value of one of these cars. They are desirable, yes, but it seems to me their values haven’t reached the level where specific options are swaying prices dramatically in one direction or another. The seller notes $2,800 in repairs spent in 2017, but doesn’t elaborate as to what they included. The tires are new and it has a fresh New York State inspection, so the odds seem decent that there’s a good runner underneath those racing stripes.

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Comments

  1. 66FB

    A lot of air freshener’s in there, wonder what smell it did have.

    5
  2. Sfm5

    Another low horsepower relic from the malaise era, with fancy decals & graphics packages to give the illusion of performance. These remind me of the Cosworth Vega, and their anemic 110 HP rating, yet owners bragging about their association with Cosworth and implied performance. These kinds of cars will never appreciate to any legitimate status with real collectors, as their build quality & fit/finish was as shoddy as the materials used and meant to be disposable – the automotive equivalent to the BIC lighter. Thankfully, starting in the 90’s cars were being designed & built for real performance again, cars that were worth being well taken care of for future collectability.

  3. Ten50boy

    Had several CS turbo cars in the early 90’s. Fun…… WHEN they run…..Lol. True story. High maintenance girlfriend. Followers, cam, axles, turbo, head gaskets……… they don’t like continuous “spirited” driving

    4
  4. Jay

    I had one exactly like this, you had to order the “Sun, Sound, and Shade” package which included the rear slats and upgraded stereo to get the glass top. It was miserably hot in Texas during the summer.

    2
  5. Kenny

    I had that exact car. Black and silver, moon roof, black slatts, stick and turbo.
    Moon roof leaked and the battery altenator voltage regulator would burn up every 6 months. It was still under warranty and the dealer could not fix it. Lucky I had a Dodge dealership down hill from my house. I could coast it there. Sold it at 25000 miles.

  6. Paolo

    “You’ll find one in every car, you’ll see.”

    1
  7. Paolo

    The shifters were always “notchy” and I don’t think they ever got them really smoothed out.

    2

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