Final Shelby Dodge: 1989 Dodge Shadow Shelby CSX-VNT

At the tail end of the 1980s, Carroll Shelby got his hands on the P-Body Dodge Shadow and Plymouth Sundance compact cars and created the limited-production Shelby CSX, an acronym that stands for “Carroll Shelby eXperimental.” This 1989 Dodge Shadow Shelby CSX-VNT will be available at Mecum Auctions’ upcoming Dallas, Texas, and you can view this pristine example here on Mecum’s site before it goes across the auction block on Wednesday, September 4th.

Though the ad does not specify, it is safe to assume that this well-kept example wouldn’t be going through Mecum’s auctions without a clean title. This CSX-VNT looks flawless in photos, and it also seems to be a completely original example.

One of the neatest things about this car is the stock “Fiberride” wheels, which consist of a plastic and fiberglass composite. Of course, as the years went on, these wheels were more prone to damage than your typical set, so seeing them in fantastic shape is impressive in itself. Additionally, the vehicle’s sale includes a second matching set of the uncommon wheels.

This CSX-VNT is the 114th of 500 models produced, and the ad states that it is one of 273 to feature optional Recaro bucket seats with a Shelby-exclusive upholstery pattern. There’s also a certified signature from the late Carroll Shelby himself inside the glovebox door and blemish-free factory floor mats.

Shelby named the CSX-VNT after a unique piece of technology – a computer-controlled, variable-nozzle turbocharger manufactured by Garrett. This system was very advanced for its time, and also finicky if it did not receive proper maintenance, so it’s impressive to see that this example still uses its factory turbocharger. The advertisement mentions that the turbocharged 2.2-liter engine only has 19,000 original miles on it, and like all CSX models, it uses a 5-speed manual transmission to drive the front wheels.

I’ve always thought Dodge’s P-Body vehicles were stylish, but this Shelby CSX is the crème de la crème of the bunch – especially with the Recaro interior package and original turbo. What do you think this CSX-VNT will fetch at auction?

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. Rube Goldberg

    (crickets) My daughters 1st car was a Shadow. Was no Shelby, but looked very similar. It was a great car and served her well. Hers was an automatic, but this looks like a lot of fun. This is a nice one, but like with Scotty G’s Renault GTA, only a handful will appreciate it.

    3
  2. Coventrycat

    If it didn’t have Shelby’s name attached to it, it would be just an old Dodge with a body kit. I doubt many would give it a second glance.

    1
    • Sean

      Thats like saying the Shelby GT500 is just a mustang. This car came equipped not only with Kamimari body kit which was way ahead of its time, it had the fiberide composite wheels, suspension upgrades, 4 wheel upgraded disk brakes, recaro seats, custom interior, and it was on of the first cars to use the variable nozzle turbo. It was intercooled and also received Chrysler’s upgraded electronics a year before they were released on any other car.

      7
      • Coventrycat

        No argument about the performance aspect, just that in general it’s a dull looking car.

      • Goes Like Hell

        Peter Brock did the ground effects on the CSX for his longtime friend. Carroll Shelby.

        1
  3. Bakyrdhero Member

    Nice little car. I had a regular shadow (87) and I really liked the car. Of course I was 17 at the time, but still. Far better than ford and GM offerings at the time. IMO

    4
  4. Keith

    Naaaaaaaaaaah not exciting but they were peppy. They also fell apart in front of your eyes, not very well made.

  5. James Schwartz

    Anyone want to try to guess the final hammer price? I’m thinking 25k dollars is about right for this. It’ll need two interested buyers in the room, but I think it’ll happen.

    1
    • bikefixr

      Shelby’s personal car sold in January for less than that.

      1
  6. Poncho

    Back then kids thought a car like this was fast. They clearly never had a ride in a V8 car.
    Dare I say Shelby sold out on this deal?

  7. Rjonec

    First and foremost, Shelby was a businessman. The term “he sold out” does not make any sense. Iacocca was charged with bringing Chrysler back from the brink of financial ruin. Iacocca was a very smart engineer and marketeer and knew he need a halo car. He used a tried and true formula and asked Shelby to develop and brand their cars K-cars using the “Shelby Magic” on creating a line a of pocket rockets. Since Chrysler went to the US government for financial aid there were stipulations put on Chrysler by Uncle Sam. One of those was to move away from gas guzzlers i.e. V8’s and create cars that would compete with the flood of gas sipping Japanese brands that were hitting the US market post gas crisis #2 under the Carter Administration.
    They pulled it off the first time during their Ford relationship in the 60’s and did it again during their Chrysler relationship in the 80’s and early 90’s. While Ford and GM were able to leverage their iconic brands like Camaro and Mustang with V8 power at the advent of the modern muscle car era. Chrysler was left with K-car econo boxes powered by 4 bangers. In the early 80’s V8 powered Corvettes were barely able to hit 200 Hp and the Camaro and Mustangs were less than 170 Hp. So, by the time Chrysler and Shelby engineers leveraged turbo technology combined with a reliable 4 banger they had cars that performed on par with V8’s of the era. Maybe from an ultimate horsepower number standpoint they did not make as much of a splash, however, from a power to weight ratio evaluation they certainly were on par with these modern muscle / pony cars of the era. Although, they were saddle with FWD architecture they were able to hold their own in the dawn of the new performance race. The culmination of this second partnership ultimately led to the Viper. I doubt one would say he sold out then.
    Bottom line Chrysler and Shelby created another significant automotive trend which led to the pocket rocket / import craze of the late 90’s early 2000’s. We as automotive enthusiast are certainly better for it.

    15
    • Mike

      Agreed! That ol chicken farmer from Texas didn’t sell out at all! These cars, along with the Charger/Daytona and Omni GLH/GLHS might not have had big engines, but, they were very quick and fun to drive in their day.

      6
  8. Bakyrdhero Member

    Well put Rjonec. These cars mean something to a generation of us that grew up with them, just like generations past with their muscle cars. My favorite Chrysler Shelby’s were the mid to late 80’s Daytona’s. I hope they never command the ridiculous prices of the 60’s and 70’s cars. These cars remind me of the Mustang 2 in the sense that they actually mean something to automotive history even if they rarely get any of the credit they deserve.

    3
  9. Fiete T.

    Sorry, they started with a cheap, re-hashed K-car and gussied it up. They always looked cheap & tacky. The only K-derived platform that looked decent “Shelby-ized” was the LeBaron 5-door, and certain Daytona years & color combos. The composite wheels & the VNT turbo were the only interesting things about this. The rest? Ticky-tacky

  10. Tracy

    Did the same guy own all of the last three dismal crap boxes? Just more junk. I can’t believe Shelby put his name on this!

    • glhs0075

      Your inability to believe it does not change history.

      2
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Absolutely! I owned a “regular” GLH-T and that thing blew doors on most stuff out of the factory in those days.
        It would have been a dream to have one of the official Shelby versions.
        No matter the make, the man knew how to raise the performance bar – believe that!

  11. Rjonec

    I saw this car at Mecum Dallas this weekend. This was a very nice car, high bid was $9k. Bid goes on.

  12. Todd

    I believe it sold for $13,200.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.