Two Point Two Senior vs. Junior – Dodge Shelby Charger and Dodge Spirit R/T

Roll back to 1983 if you will. You’re young, graduated from school and have been working for a couple of years. You’re all done with the used ’69 Nova you got when you were a senior, and you’re looking for something better in which to rock those aviators and Reynolds/Selleck-stache. Memories of the lines for gas are still fresh in your mind, so a V8 Mustang or Camaro is out, and while you like the European styling on the recently restyled Scirocco, the new Isuzu Impulse, and the Renault Fuego, their dealer networks mean you’d have to drive an hour just for service. Fortunately, you’re not out of luck for a sports coupe with modern style – check out this 1983 Dodge Shelby Charger for sale 33 years later for $3999 in Bellevue, WA. Thanks to reader Steve D. for this submission.

1983-shelby-charger-right-front

The Plymouth Turismo/Dodge Charger was based on the L-body Omni/Horizon, just as the VW Scirocco shared its platform with the Golf. Not for you the base engine, though – you’re after the 107hp high-compression engine on the Dodge Shelby Charger. The car got a full suite of upgrades, including better brakes, shorter springs, quicker steering, upgraded wheels, and best of all, a body kit including racing stripes and louvers on the rear window. This particular car looks to be in great condition inside and out, and the polished alloys are a nice touch.

1983-shelby-charger-interior

This particular car benefits from much recent maintenance and an updated shift linkage. If you’re wondering why a Shelby is so cheap, well, this car predates the Turbo 1 and Turbo 2 versions of the 2.2. Back to our premise, imagine it’s a few years on, you pulled a big-haired bombshell with your Charger and now you’re expecting kids. You were happy with the coupe, but you need a couple back seats, and frankly, that 107hp four isn’t cutting it anymore. Nonetheless, you were quite happy with the car, and so you find the hot version of the Spirit at the local dealer. Renault’s dead in the US, Isuzu is losing its way, and VW is questionable, so you don’t even consider those guys anymore. And who’s thinking of that when the Spirit R/T is faster than an M5? Check out this 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T for sale for $4500 in Seattle, WA.

1991-dodge-spirit-rt-left-front

All-white is a little 1980s, but you won’t be thinking of that when you’re passing every other car on the way to 60. You can get the whole family on what seems to be an ordinary sedan, but you can rock the quarter mile drags on the weekend. This particular car is said to only have 82,000 miles, and 224hp/217 lb.-ft. are respectable numbers that will hold their own for many years to come.

1991-dodge-spirit-rt-interior

These engines are said to be quite robust, so a little bit of work might yield you a car with performance, if not durability, to rival modern performance sedans. White is less fade-prone than the more popular red, and in terms of upgrades, this car got bigger brakes, a bespoke 5-speed manual transmission, and a16-valve had designed by Lotus.

Moving info the modern day, which would you pick? A fancy suit with not much performance, or a lot of performance in a plain suit?

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2 Responses to “Two Point Two Senior vs. Junior – Dodge Shelby Charger and Dodge Spirit R/T”

  1. 1977chevytruck Says:

    Oh, definitely the Spirit R/T.

    I have a 1990 Taurus SHO, and I’ve always been curious how this rarer and slightly faster competitor stacked up.

  2. Steve in Podunk Says:

    that Spirit is a screaming deal; the Charger looks pretty sharp for the coin also

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