This Vintage Motorweek Review Of A 1985 Dodge Shelby Charger Is Great – These Were Good For Their Time

This Vintage Motorweek Review Of A 1985 Dodge Shelby Charger Is Great – These Were Good For Their Time

Jay Leno often says that the last days of an old technology are better than the first days of a new one. The 1985 Dodge Shelby Charger lived up to that adage perfectly as it was the last year for production and the car was definitely the best of its breed. Turning to Carroll Shelby for help in spicing up the otherwise said Charger at the time,the result was one of the best bucks down performance cars of its day. Yeah, yeah we know that the numbers are not exciting and a modern mini-van would likely wax this thing hard in almost all metrics but you have to look at cars in their proper context and in the context of 1985 this was reason for performance enthusiasts to get excited.

We dig the paint scheme on this thing, we dig the seats and other aspect of the interior (not the dash…bleck) and we also dig the fact that the car was more than just some stickers and extra body cladding. While we’re not sure these cars will ever be “collectable” in the sense that old muscle cars are, it seems that there’s always a market for performance cars that have a limited production run, right?

We always talk about the mid-1990s as being the time when performance really returned to Detroit but the reality is that cars like this were the candles that kept the performance room from completely going dark in the 1980s. As a car of today it ain’t all that much. As a car for 1985 it was the world.

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4 thoughts on “This Vintage Motorweek Review Of A 1985 Dodge Shelby Charger Is Great – These Were Good For Their Time

  1. BobMan

    With a 1983 Turismo 2.2 being my first new car and the normally aspirated Shelby Charger coming out 4 months after I bought mine, I really like these cars. I had a blast with my Turismo, autocrossing it in H Stock. I managed to put over 100,000 miles on it before trading it with my brother for an old car of his.

    Back in the day, the early 5.0 Mustangs & Camaros were the big dogs. But these little pocket rockets would surprise you.

  2. Caine440

    I really enjoyed my Turbo Shelby Charger, The imports had nothing that could touch it back then. I used to love running them on the street. A simple add from Mopar was the cpu that bumped boost for very little cash.

  3. James F

    These things were deceptively fast. If you work out the power to weight numbers and don’t forget to compensate for the lower parasitic loss vs RWD, you would find that these things shou be a bit faster than their Z28 and 5.0 counterparts. The problem? FWD traction of the era. No traction on first and half of second gear and lots of wheel hop with the “almost” traction of the Eagle VRs.

    Davy turbo Dodge guys carefully picked their replacements. Yokohama AVS Drys were popular picks which were good for up to 4 tenths down the quarter mile and made these these things monsters in stoplight to stoplight drags.

    Other “secrets” include the too small air filter designed for airflow of 90hp so a K&N was significant on these cars and the good for 200hp race computer that would actually make emissions cleaner.

    Yes, today minivans are faster.

  4. James F

    Sorry, mis-quoted the race computer stats. I quoted for the GLHS models. The non intercooled computwr brought the number up to a little over 165hp. The K&N also reduced a lot of the turbo lag.

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