Shelby Dakota

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Shelby Dakota
1989 Dodge Dakota Shelby.jpg
Manufacturer Chrysler Corporation
Production 1989
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size pickup truck
Body style 2-door truck
Layout FR layout
Platform N-body
Related Dodge Dakota
Engine 5.2 L (318 ci) LA V8
Transmission 4-speed A500 automatic

The Shelby Dakota was a limited-production performance version of the Dodge Dakota Sport pickup truck. Offered by Shelby for 1989 only, it was his first rear wheel drive vehicle in many years.

The Shelby Dakota started with a short-wheelbase, short-bed, standard-cab pickup. The 3.9 L V6 was removed in favor of the company's 5.2 L V8 with throttle-body injection. On paper, the swap looked simple since both engines were similar, but the tight space in the Dakota's engine compartment meant removing the engine-driven fan in front and using electric ones instead. Removing the belt-driven fan increased the stock 5.2L V8's output by 5 hp (3.7 kW) up (to 175 hp) but torque was 270 ft·lbf (370 N·m).

Special wheels and trim, as well as individually numbered dash plaques proclaimed the car's heritage. At the time, it was the highest-performing pickup truck in existence, except for the Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck, and would set the stage for later factory efforts like the GMC Syclone and Ford Lightning. Total Production: 1475. 480 in white and 995 in red. 1 was made in two-tone with red below the stripe and white above the stripe. List price was $15,813 plus freight.


  1. Shelby Dakota page at