When Carroll Shelby worked with Chrysler, not Ford.
Not everyone may know this, but the Dodge Daytona's bones were derived from the automaker's K car platform, which underpinned the unloved but money-making models like the Chrysler LeBaron and Plymouth Reliant. Along with the original Dodge Caravan minivan, it was the K cars that saved Chrysler, then led by the one and only Lee Iacocca, from bankruptcy. So naturally, Iacocca wanted to keep using this platform to maximum benefit, which resulted in the G platform. Derived from the K platform, this was also a front-wheel-drive setup that served as the basis for the Dodge Daytona three-door hatchback. Sure, it may have looked sporty but in reality, it was somewhat dull.
Enter Carroll Shelby, Iacocca's longtime pal from their days at Ferrari-beating Ford. The Chrysler leader called up Shelby with the goal of turning some Chryslers into performance machines despite some limitations like FWD. The Daytona was called into service and the result was the Daytona Shelby in 1987.
Today, there aren't too many still around, let alone in stock form. It may even be more challenging to find a Dayton Shelby Z, which not only came with a turbo engine but also suspension upgrades, a heavy-duty transaxle, and improved brakes.
But, lo and behold, there's currently one up for auction right now on Cars & Bids. Powered by a 2.2-liter turbocharged inline-four with a total of 174 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque and a five-speed manual channeling power to the front wheels, this Daytona Shelby Z has only 84,100 miles despite its 34 years. The Bright White exterior paint is in overall outstanding condition though there are some rock chips on the front bumper. The 15-inch wheels appear to be fine as well.
The maroon interior also appears to be nearly flawless. Other features include the cool T-Bar Roof Package, four-wheel disc brakes, a boost gauge, and those very 1980s pop-up headlights. There's an AM/FM cassette player (of course), a 6-way power driver's seat, leather-trimmed bucket seats, air conditioning, and a cargo area with a tonneau cover, tie-downs, and rear sun visors.
The car has supposedly been in California only all these years, which explains why it's in such good overall condition. It comes with a service record plus the original owner's manual and window sticker. As of this writing, the highest bid has reached $5,175 and the auction ends on February 1. The Daytona Shelby Z may never become a highly prized collectible, but it's still extremely cool for any Shelby fan.