Shelby Built: 1989 Dodge Dakota

This 1989 Shelby Dakota has been in Southern California since new, and is rust-free with no major body damage. However, it comes with some transmission issues and it is missing some of its Shelby-specific add-ons that will be hard to find. Still, it’s selling cheaply enough that those issues can be fixed without too much buyer’s remorse. Find this Shelby Dakota here on eBay with bidding just over $2K at the moment. 

The seller is quite upfront about the issues, noting the Shelby will go into reverse when first fired up but then loses the ability to go backwards when warm. The Shelby graphics are quite faded on the sides and the Shelby windshield banner is also gone, likely due to windshield replacement. All of the Shelby-specific center caps are also missing, and I imagine those will take some detective work to track down. The light bar extension on the back of the cab is also MIA.

Surprisingly, the interior is way better than expected. The damaged bed and the aforementioned missing pieces would have convinced me the Shelby-specific seat pattern and door panels would be in shambles but it’s actually quite nice. Carpets are shockingly clean, too, and the door jamb paint looks new. The dash is also presentable with no obvious signs of damage. Mileage is low at 73K, and the seller notes he is selling this for financial reasons.

Thankfully, the awesome Shelby steering wheel is still attached, along with the must-have horn button. While these Shelby Dakotas may seem downright slow compared to the modern-day Ecoboost or Hemi, they were formidable performers for the day with an eight second run to 60 and the ideal combination of V8 power and rear-wheel drive. While this one has some needs, the rust-free body and super clean interior may make it worth gambling that the transmission issues are computer-related and not completely terminal.

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  1. Chuck Sibio

    the steering wheel is cool…

  2. Francisco

    I’d like to know if Carroll Shelby ever drove one of these trucks. I doubt it.

  3. Classic Steel

    I heard Carol drove these trucks loaded to the ground dragging mufflers to take the hand
    over fist Brand name cash 💰💰💰 to the bank 🤠

  4. JW

    I bought a used 89 Dakota 4×4 from a dealer, black with red interior, rollbar with lights and a sunvisor with amber lights in it, even had a push bar. Had some graphics on the side and nice wheels & tires. Was a great truck except every time it rained the anti-lock brake light would come on. dealer said it was because the switch was not water sealed and the 90 version it was but was not interchangeable so I had to disconnect both battery cable for 20 minutes to reset the computer so the light would go off. I got tired of that and just put black tape over the light.


    Owned my V/8 Dakota for well over 20 years….towed a car trailer just today…..318 motor still churning with a rebuild on the trannie at 225,000….it’s tough enough !

  6. SAM61

    I always thought these were the perfect size PU for the weekend warrior…squarely between an S10/Ranger and full size F150/GM flavor of the day.

    Shelby was certainly iconic in motorsports but had his name on more stuff then Ron Popeil.

  7. John D

    I like his Shelby brand suspension under my Shelby Dodge.

  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    I never saw the attraction in these so called “sport trucks”. Just a contradiction of terms. A truck, for me, was usually a truck, for hauling things, not a sporty cruiser. I had a Dakota, brother had a couple, many miles, nice trucks, but I think Shelby had a lot nicer vehicles with his name on it, than a pickup truck. Just shows, try whatever might sell, and these didn’t.

  9. Maestro1 Member

    i would be a buyer at the right price assuming the truck needs a transmission to begin with, and cosmetics fixes thereafter. I never frankly saw the sense of these, as Rube Goldberg says, and again, they were flops and didn’t sell. So get it at the right price.

  10. rod

    I had one of these. Picked it up in CA too in a bit nicer shape than this, redid the decals, buffed it up, cleaned, spit, polished, detailed to death after driving it all the way back to Canada. Made a mere $1000 on it after finally finding a Dakota fanatic who didn’t even know that Shelby splashed his name all over these little beasts. A ‘collector’ they are not. At least not yet.

    I think I got more fun out of starting it up and having people walk over and say, “that’s not a V6 in there, is it?”

  11. Jerry Brentnell

    ever notice on all these so called car shows on tv, they never go near dakotas! I have 2 #1 5.2 ,stick 2 wheel drive reg cab short box, magenta color took me 7 months to get it because of the color!#2 1998 dakota 5.9 auto, air, cruise, 355 gears , love both of them! beats ford rangers, and s10s all day long mopar or no car! live it belive it!

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