1985 Dodge Shelby Charger hatchback coupe

At Mecum Kissimmee 2022, a Dodge Shelby Charger sold for $12,000.

“32% nastier.”

For 1985, the Dodge Shelby Charger gained an upgraded engine. Gone was the 107 bhp naturally aspirated inline four, replaced with a Turbo I 146 bhp 2.2 liter/135 ci inline four with fuel injection and (natch) a turbocharger. A power bulge was added to the hood to clear the turbocharger, and, of course, there were new Turbo badges. Inside, the high back front bucket seats were notably improved. This combination of changes yielded a substantially improved Shelby Charger over what was initially released in the middle of the 1983 model year.

Shelby Charger pages from the 1985 Dodge Performance brochure

With the aid of a 2,456 pound curb weight, 0-60 mph came in a little under 8 seconds—sprightly for a reasonably priced sport coupe in 1985. Fuel economy ratings were 19 city/29 highway by the day’s standards (17/26 by today’s measures). With a 13-gallon gas tank, the owner of a Shelby Charger could expect a range of 250 to 280 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on the $9,553 Shelby Charger included tinted glass, halogen headlamps, a rear spoiler, rack and pinion steering, power front disc/rear drum brakes, and P205/50VR15 Goodyear Eagle tires (a size still readily available) with 15-inch cast aluminum wheels. Inside, a Rallye cluster with tachometer and trip odometer, a front console, a power liftgate release, a Sport steering wheel, and the aforementioned high back front bucket seats were included.

Options & Production Numbers

Options included a removable glass sunroof ($315), a rear window defroster ($132), a rear cargo area tonneau cover ($69), air conditioning ($643), and two upmarket stereos. A $779 Sun/Sound/Shade Discount Package included the sunroof, an AM/FM Premium stereo with cassette, and black rear deck window louvers.

Dodge produced 7,709 Shelby Chargers for the 1985 model year, making that year the second highest production of the five years the model was available. After 1987, the front-wheel-drive Charger would be gone, replaced by the Shadow.

The View From 2022

Shelby Chargers have their followers as a part of Dodge’s storied high-performance history. They are sometimes available in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds, on eBay Motors, and at online auctions such as Bring a Trailer that cater to the eighties car market.

Make mine Santa Fe Blue Metallic, please. That also gets me the silver stripe.

I have also written about the 1985 Omni GLH hatchback sedan.


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