The Other GLHS: 1987 Shelby Charger

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While they’re sometimes maligned for not being the brawny hot rods that wore the Shelby nameplate in the 60s, Mopars like this 1987 Shelby Charger GLHS here on eBay are appealing simply because they followed a similar formula of hotting-up cars straight from the factory, warranty intact. With a turbocharged powerplant, thickly bolstered bucket seats and Koni suspension, these warmed-over Chargers make a compelling case as a modern collectible that’s fun to hustle – and a rarely-seen alternative to the venerable Omni GLHS. 

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That interior looks downright special, with thickly bolstered and two-tone bucket seats, a sport steering wheel and the requisite manual transmission. With less than 30,000 original miles, you’d expect it to look this good, but the lack of sunfade is a nice bonus. Carroll Shelby’s signature graces the dashboard, reminding you that this otherwise ordinary car stepped up a level when the man behind the country’s most famous muscle and racing cars got involved. In fact, the badging of this car refers to it as a Shelby, not as a Dodge.

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Just over 1,000 of the Shelby Chargers were produced for 1987. I recall an issue of Car & Driver magazine around that time gushing about the non-Shelby Charger’s out of the box handling capabilities when stacked up against other entry-level coupes that year. The engine in the turbocharged Shelby churns out about 175 b.h.p. and an identical 175 lb. ft. of torque. That’s a fair amount of scoot in a lightweight platform, and when new, they were paired with upgraded summer tires to put that power down.

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With the Koni adjustables at all four corners and the extra power on board, these Shelby GLHS’s had to be fun to hustle. This example remains as-new, so I’m not sure just how much use it will get with the next owner. The Mopar-Shelby connection has never led to soaring values of the late-80s limited production specials, but the GLHS cars in particular strike me as having the potential to start enjoying a modest rise in value sooner rather than later. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jim S. for the find!

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Comments

  1. steven

    Pig with knickers

    • Mark-A

      Isn’t the saying either a Pig in Knickers or a Pig in Lipstick? 😉

  2. JW

    A good friend of mine in the late 80’s was staying with me and the wife for a couple months. He bought one of these new (Black) and went on vacation for a week so he left it with us to drive. I taught my wife how to drive manual trans in that car. It was a really nice handling car and she loved it but we couldn’t afford another new car because we had just bought our first house. Nice Find.

    Like 1
  3. Paul

    What an awesome car! Truely an 80’s pocket rocket with attitude and then some! Gotta love it!👍

    Like 2
  4. Rick

    Cool little car. Not cool enough to spend $10K over the initial sale price in 1987 though. Always wondered about the vent on the hood… says intercooled… but that vent leads nowhere? Am I missing something?

    • dutchb340

      The vents in the hood were above the turbo to let some hot air out. The intercooler on the Turbo II cars is up front next to the radiator, on the drivers side.

      I really liked these cars when they came out, but I already had a Turbo Daytona :-)

  5. Vegas vic

    Great rides!
    Nice alternative to stangs n granny’s
    Quick off the line, decent brakes, good handling

  6. Scotty G

    I can still remember test-driving one of the “regular” Daytona turbos in 1984 at a dealership in Cloquet, MN; it was eye-opening, to say the least. At the time I was driving a 1974 Dodge van with a 225 slant-six and a three-on-the-tree so it was quite a different experience than driving that van was. When that turbo kicked in I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever experienced, or at least car-wise.. I’ve wanted one for the last three decades.

    • Philip Lepel

      These are the cars I’d start to clear if I had the space and the money. The Turbo Glhs Charger the turbo Daytona, the Ford Mustang SVO,Mustang GT Turbo and the Buick Skyhawk turbo. Fun fact little cars .So I see appreciated and yet the forerunners of the modern tuner market.

      Like 1
  7. AMC STEVE

    Nice car but this guy is waaaaaay out of line
    http://www.nadaguides.com/Classic-Cars/1987/Dodge/Charger-Shelby/2-Door-Hatchback/Values
    Sounds like the wife told him to sell it so he put an unrealistic price on it and doesn’t really want to sell it.

    Like 1
    • DA

      This pricing is based on a Shelby not the Shelby GLHS. Shelby bought the last 1000 units of the Charger to build the GLHS which has the Inercooled Turbo II power train.
      Great collector car but asking price still high.

    • Paul

      You should change your name to NADASTEVE. LOL

    • MjModern

      There were two “Shelby” versions of this car… A regular GLH which was not a numbered, limited production version and it had less horsepower. More marketing than actual Shelby involvement.

      The GLHS version was something different, special and the cars actually had Shelby’s hand in making them great.

      I had a friend who was very passionate about these cars and had 3 of them. He built one into a “One Lap of America” car that he co-drove with Brock Yates Jr. where they finished respectably in the rankings, ahead of much more expensive machinerey.

      Your pricing seems to reflect a regular Charger GLH turbo.

    • The Walrus
    • Bobsmyuncle

      Came to straighten you out… Showed up late to the party.

    • dave

      Show me a car with 25,000 miles that is cool like this one for around 10,000.

  8. AMC STEVE

    Haha yeah Paul! Really though this is one of the only ways to vet out these prices.

  9. Walter Joy

    I do like the speedo.

  10. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Dang, I like this car. And this is after owning what was probably the worst Shelby Charger ever…

  11. Silas

    Cars from the 80’s are starting to become collectible. Well, certain ones anyway. Low mileage IROC-Z Camaros and GT Mustangs are on top of that list, but these are not that far down. Now would be the time to buy this one and put it away for a few years.

  12. Bobsmyuncle

    Great submission! If I was loaded this would be on my long list for sure.

  13. flmikey

    My brother has one of these in his garage…hasn’t turned a wheel in over 20 years…and always says what we have all heard…not selling it…gonna fix it some day….

  14. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Here’s one not as nice going for a lot less:
    http://appleton.craigslist.org/cto/5466429555.html

    • dave

      Not even close in comparison. Double miles and a lot of ware and tare.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Agreed, Dave, but at least this one is remotely within my budget! :-)

  15. Bill Yann

    She is potentially going to a new home in a couple of weeks!

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Please keep us updated Bill!

      • Bill Yann

        Will do Jesse.

        Thanks

  16. Bill Yann

    Jesse,

    As of last weekend she has found a new home with a great new owner in Michigan!👍🏼😊

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      That’s great news Bill! Did you snap any photos of her leaving? We’d love to do a success story.

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