1985 Dodge Daytona: Turbo’d Z

1985 Dodge Daytona

The Dodge lineup in the 80s would seem like a tuner’s dream come true: liberal use of turbocharging, Carroll Shelby was a product planner, and the emphasis on air dams and wider wheels made for some sexy shapes. But rumor has it that build quality was nothing short of abhorrent, making even pocket rockets like the Shelby GLH a fairly miserable place to spend time. This 1985 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z found here on eBay is listed as a survivor-grade car for $4,900 and does look largely original. The 16″ wheels from the later Daytona Shelby edition are a nice OEM+ upgrade for this car, which thankfully is equipped with a manual transmission. The aero kit underneath the front lip and along the side sills looks pretty rough, so I’d probably strip that off and then get to extracting whatever is left of the engine’s 160-lbs. ft. of turbocharged torque!


  1. CS Guru

    I contacted the seller on this, unfortunately they have no information as to the significant modifications that can be seen on this car. In ’85 Chrysler had not yet purchased the Shelby naming rights for the Daytona (this would come in ’87), so this is not affiliated with Shelby in any way.

    This car has had an engine swap of some sort. The body and interior look great, but the drivetrain is anything but original. My guess, at least the engine (or most if its components) is from the 89-90 Shelby Daytona that the wheels came from. This motor clearly has an ’88 or later one piece intake and intercooler set up (these weren’t offered on Daytonas until ’87). There were no intercoolers on factory Dodge vehicles at all until ’87. The ’86 Shelby GLHS had the first intercooled 2.2. The engine in this car, assuming it was swapped in its entirety and didn’t just have the intercooler components added would be a good upgrade. The Turbo II block is much better than the Turbo I block it would have came with. However, if someone just plopped the intercooler components on the original car, it will be a headache. Further, if they kept the original 525 transmission in place, and didn’t swap in a 555 Getrag, that’s a time bomb with the additional HP. It’s unfortunate the seller can’t confirm what’s been done other than ‘looks like it’s all been changed’.

    Those underskirts were a very rare option in ’85 and were only available in ’85 and ’86. I’d think twice about losing them.

  2. Alan (Michigan)

    So funny!
    Saw the twin today in a front yard in Michigan.
    Stopped and took a look. Said to be original owner, miles not on the info sheet.
    This one a Shelby.
    Some rust popping rear wheel well.

    Took a couple of photos, no way to post here?

  3. Alan (Michigan)

    Darn phone.

  4. Tirefriar

    Crap is not wine, it doesn’t get better with age

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