Dodge Daytona Shelby Z Is A Quirky Modern Classic

Nov 27, 2019 2 min read
Dodge Daytona Shelby Z Is A Quirky Modern Classic

This standalone sports car is turbocharged and front-wheel drive.

During the 1980s, there were a lot of cars that dabbled in the sports car niche, like the traditionally muscle car branded Trans Am and Mustang, and ones that fully dominated the segment like the Nissan 300ZX and Mazda RX-7. Most automakers had a model or two in production that catered to the 80s driver who wanted a zippy car in their collection - except Dodge, that was late to the game. When they did slide into the sports car market, they did so with Dodge Daytona, a front-wheel-drive K-car.

Dodge Daytona Shelby Z Is A Quirky Modern Classic

By the time 1987 rolled around, the Shelby Z was the new hot car from the K-platform. The car somewhat resembled an Americanize Porsche, and was meeting a need in the performance orientated, FWD hot-hatch segment that wasn’t fully explored during the era, especially not in terms of American branded cars.

As with this example, the Shelby Z was built with turbocharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine - internal upgrades include a forged crank, Mahle pistons, stronger connecting rods and bearing caps, and a cross-drilled block. The 174-horsepower, 200 lbs/ft of torque rated engine carried the 2,800-pound car to 50-mph in 5.76-seconds. The Shelby Z rode on larger anti-roll bars, four-wheel disc brakes, upgraded struts, and wider tires.

One of only 7,152 built, this 1987 Dodge Daytona Shelby Z was purchased new from Zartman Dodge in Lititza, PA. While originally intended to be a sporty daily driver, it was eventually kept as a weekend car, and this helped keep the miles on the low side. The Shelby Z has most recently been kept as a show car. The car was loaned to the AACA Hershey Museum’s Shelby display in 2015, and was on exhibit at last year’s Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle.

This vehicle is part of the Vault's Classic Car Christmas Auction; an online auction with over 100 collector cars and motorcycles. The lots are open for bidding and will close on December 5th. Click here to learn more about bidding.

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