Showroom Fresh: 2,000 Mile Dodge Daytona

Although its sharp exterior and famous namesake may have prompted collectors to think the Dodge Daytona of the late 80s was destined to be a collectible, reality and pricing guides say otherwise. This didn’t stop one collector from keeping his Daytona in low-mileage, preserved condition, as this example here on craigslist has only 2,000 miles on the clock from new, with a fresh battery and oil the only alterations from the factory. 

Although pictures and information are scarce, this is the upper-market ES model with the desirable 5-speed manual transmission. Although a far cry from the model from which it took its name, the Daytona of the late 80s was still a sharp looker, especially with the contrasting ground effects found on ES trims like this one. Although it doesn’t have the performance or rarity of the Shelby-tuned models, this is the next best option from an equipment standpoint.

Image courtesy of

If this low-mileage example was a Shelby like the one in this advertisement, we might be a tad more enthusiastic about the find. As-is, this is simply a nice survivor of a car that was never a show-stopper. While the seller is correct that this is effectively an as-new Daytona, his asking price of $12,500 is well above what the cleanest of Daytonas will trade for. While there certainly can’t be many left, even the high-spec ES model is still a few years away from achieving collector status, in my opinion.

Fast Finds


  1. Jeffro

    I was a couple years out of high school when these came out. I thought these were sharp cars. I didn’t like them enough to buy one though. I was on hunt for 68-69 GTO at this point in my life.

  2. Levi77

    Every car is not art. Every memory is not shared. Crush 94 % you peeps love Detroit, Germany, Italy. All good. Let’s all agree. 351 crate, 4 piston, patina, but….. .let me buy it cheap. Really, this is getting weak
    I like “barn finds”, just call it what it is.. Old white guys reposting. By the way I have an exclusive 83 GM.

    • billy

      I sure hope this car was started and ran until warm several times per year, other wise, a lot of stuff is going to have to be gone through. Low mile decades old cars, are not the treat many crave for, often leave a bitter taste.

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Your Valiant Shakespearean responses may be well received by the masses but i find them short fall.

  3. billy

    Crummy ad. No interior shots, not engine shots, not even telling us what the engine is. Is it a 2.2 or 2.5 turbo? All they say is four cylinder, maybe its the standard 2.5 four popper, who knows. Actually, as bad as the head gasket issue was (I know, had an 88 Shelby 2.2 turbo, in the shop more then it was on the road) the 2.5 non turbo might actually be better. I think that at my age, a standard 2.5 might actually be better, great little engine, with a 5 speed, more then I would ever need, nice highway machine…but at 12.5K? Not a chance, maybe at half that, maybe. Next question, what year is it? A 90 maybe? If the seller wants to sell it, for this price, he needs A LOT more info. This guy must be a nut job anyway, who preserves a car like this? 2000 miles? Is that accurate? Starting to really doubt this whole thing.

    • JamestownMike

      Craigslist ad says it’s a 1989.

    • RC46

      I believe these even came with a V6 near the end.

      • billy

        Yes, the 3.0 litre Mitsu. 150HP I believe, or something like that. Too bad Chrysler never did what Caroll Shelby suggested, put a 16 valve head on the 2.5 and forget the turbo. It had a long stroke for good torque, and a balance shaft as well. They were nice reliable engines at 100HP, but the 16v would have been like a 140 or 150 the way Shelby wanted it.

  4. JamestownMike

    The seller is asking $12,500 and they can only post two pics and hardly give ANY information with their FREE ad?? It was a mediocre car brand new, fast forward to now and it’s even worse!

    • billy

      Mine was a nightmare, though it was a blast to drive (when it ran).( Perhaps my spirited driving was partially to blame.) Beat many a V8 in stop light challenges. I do need to say, perhaps the most comfortable car I have ever owned. Those seats fit my ample butt, just right!

      • Rob Rose

        Did they know they were racing?

      • Riley

        I ran 14.40’s with my 89 Daytona Shelby 2.2 Turbo II ,I added a Mopar Computer rest was stock..It was a reliable car..Drove the hell out of it for 80,000 miles,maybe the next owner had problems..I never did ! 105,000 miles when I sold it,drove my 383 Road Runner daily for a few years,then bought a new 2001 Mustang GT..

        Reason I bought it,my Parents had a 1985 Laser X.E 2.2 Turbo automatic ,they had no issues with it and they put 100,000 miles on it from 1984-1990.They bought a new Daytona ES 2.5 Turbo automatic,very quick and smooth running engine..Lots of torque..Those ran 14.9-15.2 stock (I took it out when they were on holidays lol)

        I bought my 89 Daytona in 1991 with almost 25,000 on it..I put another 80,000 miles on it..5.0 L Mustangs were nothing,easily beat ! My 2001 4.6 was quicker ,but they alsos had a Daytona with 224 hp Turbo III that was a 5 second 0-60 car and would run 13.9-14.5 depending on traction,even the 2,2 Turbo would boil the tires off the line when you got the turbo boost up just a little..

  5. olddavid

    Give the poor sap a break, fellas. He is like many who assume that all people are in the know on his specific car. You know, like the guy who refers to a 1988 BMW 3 series as an “E30”, or some such nonsense. They’re everywhere and have even infected the magazine yahoos. This is obviously a clean used car. I’m guessing 150 h.p. with five speed and everything working? It should have an intrinsic value of $8-10k. But were it my cash? $5,000 would kill it.

    • billy

      Or its a scam. Have many more miles and a good paint job? Why no back story about this car? Bought new by some poor guy who bought the farm early on? Is this guy a flipper? Some simpleton inherit some money and got it in his head that THIS was a great investment? Anyone in the know would have known that many other cars would have been much better. It would be nice to hear the REAL story, but I guess we never will.

  6. Oil Slick

    I think it cool, that’s a fair price for a 2000 mile car. The seller obviously wants you to call him for the details. What don’t you get?

    Like 1
  7. Lord Humungous

    I think the Plymouth version was the Laser.

    • Newtown Jack

      Laser was a Chrysler (no Plymouth equivalent)

      • DrinkinGasoline

        yep !

    • billy

      Nope, the Plymouth Laser was a Mitsubishi based car. The Laser your thinking of was the Chrysler version of this car, only built for 2 or 3 years as my senile brain recalls.

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Billy…the Laser was a platform across the ChryCo line. The concept and design was incorporated with Mitsubishi, but was produced as a Chrysler Laser, with the Dodge Daytona and Plymouth following later.

      • Tom Member

        Who’s on first?……EXACTLY !!!!

        Those last 3 entries have a Laurel & Hardy thing starting up for sure!

      • The Walrus

        Chrysler Laser, which was the same car as a Daytona, was built from ’84-’86. It was dropped when the Daytona was refreshed in ’87. In ’87 the Conquest (which is a sister car to the Mitsubishi Starion) was moved upscale to TSi and sold exclusively as a Chrysler (before this it could be had as a Plymouth or Dodge). The Conquest was sold until 1989. In 1990 an entirely different car, the Plymouth Laser debuted. It was a sister car the the Mitsu Eclipse and Eagle Talon. So, there was never a Plymouth Laser that was the same as a Daytona. They were entirely different cars.

        Like 1
    • DrinkinGasoline

      The sister version was the Chrysler Laser.

      • billy

        Yes, but up above you said the Chrysler Laser came first after joint Mitsu/Chrysler development. Now ya say, I think you were right for the PLYMOUTH Laser, which came later. In 1984 there were the Chrysler Laser and Dodge Daytona, none of which included Mitsu (except an optional V6 years later) The Laser (later an Eagle twin as well) WAS a joint venture, but the original was a K Car platform (albeit, a damned nice K-Car)

  8. Rob

    The IROC R/T Daytona was a much sportier trim level package than the ES. And the IROC Z was a notch above that.

    • The Walrus

      IROC R/T was the top Daytona with the 16 valve Lotus head called the Turbo 3 or TIII with 225 HP. A standard IROC Daytona had the Mitsu 3 liter 6. Dodge never had an ‘IROC Z’, as GM had trademarked that moniker. They had Shelby Z in ’87 and ’88 and Turbo Z in ’85 and ’86, but never IROC Z.

  9. Rob

    Shoot I remember Stephanie Kramer driving one (Blue/Silver) as product placement for Chyrsler in some of the later Hunter episodes.

  10. Guggie 13

    I had one these with the 2.5 auto really good car had 189000 k on it when my daughter had a really bad accident and totaled it , but the safety elements Chryser built into this car at the time saved her life , really missed this car but got to keep my daughter !!

    • billy

      Yes, some things are VERY important. Happy about your daughter. Was that a turbo or a standard 2.5? I have heard of high mile turbos (esp 2.5 turbos) but usually not. Maybe with an auto, they don’t get revved so high and are not so abused (I sure abused mine, the short time I had it!) I would interested in this car if it was not a turbo and was a third the price, plus, don’t care for the ground effects. Oh well, my Mirada is almost back from body and paint work, that should satisfy me for a while.

      • Guggie 13

        nom turbo

      • Billy

        @Guggie 13 I wish I had been smart enough to buy a standard 2.5, but Mr. Idiot was approaching 30 and had an early mid life crisis and needed that adrenaline rush. Maybe if I had taken it easier on that turbo 2.2 when it was young, she would have broken in better, but it was so damn nice to spin that thing! I know everyone whines about turbo lag, but when that honey kicked in, it through you back in the seat and left a lingering smile on my face.

  11. djkenny

    $6500 would be a fair price for a non turbo model. Sadly, there is not much to attract a collector to one of the ES models.

    For $12k I can get a nice new Ford Fiesta with a 3 cyl turbo and even a few extras with some negotiation.

  12. Vernon

    Didn’t Didi on that show Hunter drive one of these. Hunters car was way cooler

  13. RJ

    My dad had a Daytona Pacifica 25 years ago. He drove the crap out of it. So did the kid he sold it to.

  14. Steve


  15. LAB3

    It’s not really old enough to be worth much yet and as mentioned was not one of the more sought after models. Drive it a bit more to keep it loosened up and the condensation out and another 15-20 years in the barn to make it a jewel.

  16. Tom

    The kids who were learning to drive in the mid 80’s are now in their late 40’s…probably busy raising kids now, and not yet into the collector car scene…maybe in 5-10 years they will start hunting down the cars that made an impact on them growing up. As far as I can tell, the only 80’s cars getting serious respect and $$$ are the trans-ams…?

  17. Larry

    DrinkinGasoline, you know EVERYTHING!! You’re the man!!!

    • Billy

      Not so sure if he has been drinking gasoline, but I strongly suspect he occasionally sniffs it.

  18. AMCFAN

    Because it has 2000 miles doesn’t always mean someone is putting it away for future profit. There is also death, divorce and the like. I am sure the car has a story and the seller can fill you in.

    Don’t beat up the seller for lack of info. He obviously threw it out there with enough info that it caught the attention of BF. If you happened to see it then you already know what you are looking at. If remotely interested contact the seller and don’t be a picture collector. Put the device or phone down and go see it in person. Don’t complain of the location fuel is at an all time low. Giving the seller a bit of respect you could walk away with a deal.

    FYI I find this more interesting over a no mileage, ho hum Monte SS or SS 454 truck any day. Forget those. Keep up the good work. Nice find. PS the ads do suck btw.

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