Tuesday, November 13, 2018

1989 Shelby CSX - A Sleeper If There Ever Was One

Talk about a sleeper. The CSX was based on the Dodge Shadow, a completely forgettable car if there ever was one.

Lee Iacocca joined Chrysler in 1978. His basic task was to keep the company in business. This was no small task given the state of Chrysler's finances. In 1981 Chrysler introduced the K car. It saved Chrysler. The Aries and Reliant were not exciting, but were good enough to be awarded Motor Trend's “Car of the Year” award. That award, along with Iacocca's “if you find a better car – buy it” ad campaign bought Chrysler back from the brink.

In 1982 Iacocca brought old pal Carroll Shelby to Chrysler. His job was to ad some excitement to Chrysler's lineup. His first cars were the Shelby Charger and Omni GLH. While not on the same level - or anywhere near the same level - as the Shelby Mustang, they did grab the attention of the automotive press. (Especially the GLH which was one of the earliest "hot hatches" offered in the US.)

In 1987 Shelby created the incredibly fast Shelby Lancer sedan and this, the Shelby CSX, based on the Dodge Shadow.

The first CSX had a 2.2 L inline-four engine. It made 175 hp and 175 lb ft of torque. It made it to 60 MPH in around 7 seconds, which was quite good in 1987.

In 1989 CSX was given had a Garrett variable-nozzle turbo (VNT). This turbo all but eliminated turbo lag. The torque was now 205 lb-ft, and full power was available from around 2100 RPM right up until the redline. Horsepower remained at 175 and the 0-60 time of the 1989 was similar to the earlier model, but the engine was much more refined. Top speed - depending on the source - was between 132 and 156 MPH.

This CSX looks to be in nice shape. We're not given a lot of information in the ad, just that it has "been stored by the original owner for the last 12 years" and that it "runs and drives great."

The asking price is $5500.00. That's not a lot of money for a car that offers the performance that this car does and has the Shelby name attached to it.

When you drive down the street in this, no one - other than car geeks, Mopar fans and Shelby fanatics - will know what this car is and what it can do. It is the perfect low key performance car.

Located in Hartford, WI, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

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