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

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. Output was just 5 hp (3.7 kW) up (to 175 hp) but torque was 270 ft·lbf (370 N·m).

Special wheels and trim proclaimed the car's heritage. At the time, it was the highest-performing pickup truck in existence, and would set the stage for later factory efforts like the GMC Syclone and Ford Lightning. Just 1,500 were built.


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