1989 Dodge Dakota Pro Street
STREETSIDE CLASSIC CARS DALLAS
Fort Worth, TX 76137
If you were a Mopar fan in the '80s, you'll instantly recognize this unique 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota. Chrysler teamed up with Shelby to breathe some V8-powered life into their brand, and the result was a limited production run (this one is #266 of 1475 ever made) of one of the era's highest-performance pickup trucks. That boost of performance wasn't enough for the owner of this 'lil red beauty though, so a 360 V8, built transmission, and tubbed rear end were all added to transform this pedigreed lightweight pickup into a pro-street menace. Take a closer look...
Shelby Dakotas only came in white or red from the factory, but if we had to choose between the two, we'd go with that vivid shade of red every time. Likely repainted at some point in its past, the paint maintains a glossy finish and still looks fantastic, especially when you consider the sheer speeds this truck has seen on the street/strip. Perfect it is not, but this truck was built to take pink slips, not win any trailer-queen trophies. A blacked-out grille, bumpers and fender flares are all part of the Shelby performance package and look great up against the red paint. The original decals are long gone, replaced with a more modern SHELBY set that runs down the bottom of the truck before swooping up before the back of the bed: a simple configuration that lets everyone know that this isn't just a regular grocery-getter. A glance at the back of the truck tells the same story, as those fat Mickey Thompson rubbers fill up the wheel wells completely, and the inside of the bed shows off the tubs, fuel cell, and battery box all neatly organized in the spray-in red bed-lined floor.
The Shelby treatment continues inside the cab, with burgundy upholstery contrasted by the gray Shelby inserts on the bench seat and door panels. The interior is nicely preserved and despite the upgrades to the power train and exterior, the owners knew that messing with the rare Shelby branding inside would've been sacrilege. The seat, door panels, and carpet only show minor signs of use from years of wide-eyed enjoyment and a Shelby embroidered carpet mat on the dash has been added to prevent any further cracking. A dash-mounted Sunpro tachometer was installed to keep the driver's eye on revs, accompanied by auxiliary oil pressure and temperature gauges underdash. The reverse manual valve-body B&M floor shifter is a welcomed upgrade in this high-horsepower Shelby, allowing the driver to bang through gears without wasting precious milliseconds engaging a clutch. And like many of these ""budget"" Mopar trucks of the era, options were sacrificed to make room for performance, although a music-loving former owner did install an AM/FM/CD/AUX aftermarket head unit to add a soundtrack to all that horsepower rumble.
Buying a Shelby Dakota in 1989 meant you were getting a 318 V8 that was slightly modified to output 175 HP and a hefty 270 lb/ft torque rating. For a 1989 lightweight truck that was a lot, in fact pretty much unrivaled for a production pickup. But for modern times that's fairly tame, so the builders decided to kick up the power and regain this Shelby's street supremacy. A built-up 360 V8 was swapped in; a very responsive and powerful motor aided by a 4-barrel Holley 750CFM carb and Edelbrock high-rise intake. The full MSD ignition system snaps the motor quickly to attention and a pat of the gas produces a deliciously loud rumble provided by Hedman headers that feed into a Flowmaster dual exhaust that exits right before the rear wheels on each side. Shifts are firm and crisp and the 727 Torqueflight automatic transmission spins the narrowed 9"" rear end that houses 4.56 gears. The ladder bar rear suspension and wheelie bars keep the truck from doing a back flip at the drag strip, and the QA1 shocks up front and rear coilovers in the rear make regular driving easy and enjoyable, in concert with the tight power steering system and power 4-wheel discs. Weld Drag Stars are five-spoke rims that pay homage to the Shelby-issued wheels that originally came with this package but are much flashier and better equipped for the aggressive driving this truck is now built for.
Big horsepower in a truck is pretty common these days, but to find that power in a pedigreed classic pick-up is very rare to come by. The Mopar and Shelby combo was a thing of beauty, and this truck manages to make that marriage even more exciting. This street legal drag truck is already drawing big interest in our showroom, which means it surely won't last long. Call today!