Trophy Potential: 1987 Dodge Charger

I’m ashamed to admit this, but original stickers and graphics kits really do make an otherwise mundane car way more appealing to me (just take a look at my junkyard find Isuzu Trooper project, acquired in large part because of its period-awesome 4WD stickers). Anyway, that sad admission aside, this 1987 Dodge Charger proudly proclaims that it has a rather small engine under the hood, but doesn’t such courage deserve our respect? Check it out here on craigslist for $3K, where the seller says it’s nice enough to take home trophies at car shows.

I don’t know about that last part, but it is impressive that those original factory-applied garnishes have survived so well – especially in a sunshine-heavy state like Florida. I’m not sure why Dodge felt it was appealing to consumers to advertise that the latest version of the Dodge Charger made a severe reversal in performance qualities from the original concept, but they did – and it wasn’t just the Charger, since the Rampage got the same treatment.

Not consistently, though, as plenty of Chargers left the factory without this get-up. I’m sure one of our Mopar experts can clarify whether there was an in-between trim level, as this one seems to have the sport seats normally reserved for a Shelby-ized Charger. The interior looks great, and is likely the highlight of the car if you’re not blown away by the exterior graphics like I am. The automatic is a serious bummer, though, stunting its performance even further.

The old-school Florida antique plates tell you how long this one has been someone’s collector car, which I have to respect – these are oddballs for sure, and it’s rare to see one so nicely preserved. The A/C still works and the seller has replaced a few items, including the ECM and ignition coil, and you’ll even get a clean title for your troubles. Does this Charger’s cool period graphics sway you as much as they do me? Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the find.

WANT ADS

WANTED 1960 to 1980 International Scout 4×4 Contact

WANTED 1973 Dodge Challenger Wanted – 1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye or 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS (must be reasonably rust free) Contact

WANTED 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 cabriolet I am looking to buy foreign classic car projects Barnfinds call adam (203)-507-7900 Contact

WANTED 1960-1964 Chevrolet corvair WTB Gen1 Chevrolet Corvair Contact

WANTED 1972 Yamaha G7S (80cc) These are now referred to as “cafe racers”, although we never heard of such a term in 1972. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Sandy Claws

    I think these were one of the prettiest cars of the 80s. A nicely priced little car that was fairly dependable.

    Like 13
    • Lynn Dockey Member

      Unless dodge made great strides in quality control in 4 years, I disagree with the fairly dependable statement. I owned an 83 Shelby charger and it made me never want to buy a mopar again. 36 years later and ihaven’t bought anything mopar.

      Like 2
      • Angelo Taylor

        I have a 1984 Plymouth Horizon with almost 317,000 miles that I drag race…it really was NOT made for this, but NOW it is bullet proof…ditched the 5 speed, broke 11 of them in the first 100,000 miles, a automatic went in…lasted another 100,000, now another automatic but with a full manual valve body and Coan built convertor….still going strong. It has won the vast majority of my 48 NHRA/IHRA Championships…don’t know how many actual wins, I only count championships…even won the 93 and 95 Corvette Nationals!

        Like 5
  2. Rock On

    I almost bought one of these when they came out. The 2.2 graphics is advertising the fact that it is not one of the earlier models with the 1.8 litre engine that I believe was shared with Volkswagen.

    Like 7
  3. Bakyrdhero

    Again with the Omni steering wheel…ugh. Nice car though, I like it. Nice Reagan era survivor.

    Like 2
  4. robh693

    Had the exact same car in the Plymouth Turismo with a manual trans. Loved that car. Went through 2 clutches and had to rebuild the carb a couple of times but ran nearly 130k on it before I sold it.

    Like 2
    • Lance Platt

      The Chrysler corporation Charger/Turismo siblings did have a lot of advantages over traditional sporty coupes. Better fuel economy. Shorter and Easier to park. The traction gained by front wheel drive. My Firebird spun it’s real wheels on rain and snow. This example looks clean so definitely worth having inspected.

      Like 2
      • Mike akermant

        I had an 87 with 5 speed manual trans , ran it very hard and only let me down once broken timing belt.hell of a car 30 mph any day straight pipe no converter crysler direct connection ecm. Wife blew it up after 325,000 miles . I would rather have this than a honda.

  5. Stevieg Member

    Those are the highback seat option. If I remember correctly, that was the “base” seat. The optional “luxury” interior had low back bucket seats. I might be wrong…
    I like the car. I had a few of them way back when. The 1.8 was a Mitsubishi engine, and my favorite. The 1.7 (I think…might have been a 1.6) was the VW engine. Got great mileage with that but the performance was odd. Not my cup of tea. Maybe because it was old (even back then) it wasn’t running right, but it was smooth even if not right. The 2.2, even as the “big” engine, in the sporty (lol) model was my least favorite. My favorite was a 1979 024 2 door hatchback with a 1.8. I drove that car EVERYWHERE, and got great mileage. It handled like a go-cart, was kinda peppy with the 4 speed, and soooo reliable. I should have never sold it. Wish I still had it as a daily driver.

    Like 1
    • Sandy Claws

      I think the 1.6 was a French engine in later base models, the 1.7 was the early VW engine. The 2.2 didn’t spin as fast but had more pull at the low end. I always thought a balanced 2.5 with a good five speed should have been offered.

      Like 2
      • Angelos Taylor

        2.5s came out later on….my Matchbox has a 2.5 from a 94 Dodge Shadow, switched over to my carb and exhaust. To keep it rich enough to drive on the hiway…im using a secondary jet on the primary side! 16 time world champ John Force sat in it back in 1994 and this pic was 20 years later…he was shocked I still had it.

        Like 2
    • Mr. Bill

      You are correct about the seats. My 1984 Charger 2.2 had very comfortable low back bucket seats. A miserable little car…

      Like 3
  6. Stevieg Member

    Sandy Claws, I think you are correct. I forgot they also had a Peugeot engine. I now wonder which European engine I had lol. Either way, that was one I did NOT like.

    Like 1
  7. Howard A Member

    Well, I’m not sure about trophy worthy, just the name selection for this car turned many off, like the Challenger. I like K cars in any form, I just never thought of any being worthy of a trophy, unless there’s a trophy for the car that saved the #3 automaker from extinction.

    Like 3
    • Sandy Claws

      Not a K Car, based on the French Simca platform, I believe.

      Like 1
      • Bill W

        Yes, the Omni and Horizon started out as the Chrysler Horizon in France. It was an update of the Simca 1100 first introduced in 1967. The 1100 and the French Horizon had longitudinal torsion bars in the front, transverse bars in the rear and a hydraulic clutch. The American engineers converted it to MacPerson strut in the front and coil springs in the rear while the clutch became cable operated..

        The coupe was an American design based on the Omnirizon platform – or L body Neatest thing about it was the mixture of US bolt threads and metric. At least on the front fenders.. .

  8. Moparman Member

    I liked these cars a LOT better before they enclosed the back windows. The TC-3 that I found for my sisters’ first car was sharp looking..and she loved it! Still, this is a nice one, and I’d not kick it out of the driveway! :-)

  9. TinCanSailor

    I had an 85 Charger 2.2… louvers and all. Great little first new car (for the era). It was sporty, good looking, and the little 2.2 was pretty reliable.

  10. Will C

    My girlfriend back then had the Plymouth Turismo version. I rode in and drove it for lots of miles. It was a comfortable ride. It seemed slow, since my toy at the time was a ’70 Road Runner convertible. Too bad this is not one of the Shelby GLHS versions, but it would be priced a lot higher.

  11. z28th1s

    The Charger 2.2 graphics have been added to this car. The graphics are from the ’82-’83 models.

    Like 2
  12. Lynn Dockey Member

    Junk, run away.

    • Howard A Member

      How so? I had half a dozen K cars ( minivans, Aries, a 600, a Shadow) and they were all good cars. Sorry you think they’re junk, and probably have your reasons, but put me in the pile with the millions of others saying they were good cars.

      Like 1
  13. Miguel

    This car with the automatic is a dog.

    My blood pressure wouldn’t survive this trying to get on the freeway.

  14. SJarrett

    Had an ’85 2.2; drove it for 5 years; the automatic trans was the only thing that
    didn’t crap out.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.