1987-1989 CSX

Based on the Dodge Shadow ES — Modified and sold as Shelbys

The Shelby CSX (Carroll Shelby experimental) was the fourth model in the Shelby/Dodge series of limited-production high performance vehicles. These cars were offered by Shelby Automobiles Inc. from 1987 through 1989.

With the CSX, Carroll Shelby showed that you could take an ordinary four-cylinder front-wheel-drive car such as the Dodge Shadow and turn it into a high-performance, 130 mph sports coupe.



Limited to 750
Base price: $13,495

The Shelby engineers took the Chrysler 2.2-liter Turbo I “long block” engine and substituted Turbo II components for its induction and exhaust tracts, modified the election fuel injection system, and larger turbocharger.

The modifications also included a Shelby-programmed logic module, a special manifold-pressure sensor, and an air-to-air intercooler. The AiResearch T3 blower supplies a maximum of 12.0 psi of boost. The modified powerplant produced 175 hp at 5300 rpm and 175 lb-ft of torque up to 4800 rpm.

Performance in the CSX gave impressive numbers: 0 to 60 in 7.1 seconds, ET of 15.4 seconds, and a top speed of 131 mph.Note: This engine was also used in Shelby’s 1986 GLH-S, 1987 GLH-S and Shelby Lancer.

The suspension was modified with low pressure gas-charged Monroe Formula GP struts with coilover high-rate sport springs and specially calibrated anti-roll bars were used on the front. In the rear is a semi-independent trailing arm suspension featuring Monroe Formula GP shocks and a large-diameter solid anti-roll bar.

This lowered the car by 0.7-0.75 inch. Power-assisted vented front disc brakes and Kelsey-Hayes solid rear disc brakes were adapted from the Daytona Shelby Z. The larger brakes improved stopping power and allowed the CSX to stop in 176 feet from 70 mph.

The CSX wore the same Goodyear Eagle VR50 205/50VR-15 Gatorback tires as the Shadow ES, but are mounted on 6.0-by-15-inch new Shelby Centurion II brushed aluminum wheels.The interior was similar to the Shadow. Each ’87 Shelby CSX was identically equipped. There were no available options.

However, it had a generous list of standard equipment that included air conditioning, a four-speaker AM/FM cassette radio, special floor mats, rear defrost, and 60/40 split folding rear seat.

It had full rally sport instrumentation, unique Shelby turbo boost gauge, premium quality AM/FM stereo with cassette tape player and digital clock.

Shelby additions were a four-spoke sport steering wheel with his signature and Shelby Logo horn button and a numbered dash plaque.


The exterior came only in a two-tone paint scheme with black on the top and silver on the bottom. With this unique paint combination was a custom designed Shelby aero package that included a redesigned front grille, new air dam, lowered side skirts, modified lower rear valance, and wraparound rear spoiler that gave it a distinctive appearance that was genuine Shelby.

There was an assortment of Shelby decals: “Shelby” across the top of the windshield, “Shelby CSX” on both doors, “Intercooled” on either side of the hood bulge, and “CSX” above the grille and a Shelby rear deck lid medallion.




Limited to 1000

1988 was the second year for the Shelby CSX. This year, Shelby worked out a deal with Thrifty to create the limited production CSX-T specifically for Thifty’s rental car business. The ‘T’ in CSX-T stood for Thrifty.

It was not available to the general public — much like Carroll Shelby had done in the 60s for Hertz Car Rental with the Mustang GT-350H. Eventually cars filtered into public hands through direct sales and auctions after the cars had run their cycle as rentals.


The CSX-T was mechanically similar to the 1987 CSX with one major exception — It had the non-intercooled Turbo I engine. It featured the standard 1988 Dodge 2.2-liter turbo engine with no modifications.

Externally only two major things changed from the previous year: the color and the wheels. Where the ‘87 was only available in black, the ’88 was only available in white. The badges and decals with grey and blue trim remained the same except for the added ‘T’ on the CSX-T decals.

The wheels were a new polished aluminum, 5-spoke design, 15 x 6.5 — a first for Shelby’s Dodge cars.

The interior was essentially carried over from ’87 as well except for two changes: a three-spoke ½ leather sport steering wheel with Shelby’s signature, and numbered dash plaque now bore the logo of Thrifty Rental Corporation rather than Carroll’s signature.




Limited to 500
Base Price: $15,663

Under the hood of the ’89 CSX was an air-to-air aluminum intercooler-equipped 2.2-liter powerplant, featuring an advanced new Garrett AiResearch Variable Nozzle Turbocharger (VNT). The Garrett VNT provides V-8-like response and virtually eliminated turbo lag.

This was the first VNT seen on a production car anywhere in the world. Mated with a 5-speed Getrag gearset it produced 175 hp at 5300 rpm and a torque rating of 205 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm.

The car boosted 0-60 in 7.0 seconds and the quarter mile in 15.3 seconds at 90 mph; top speed was 132 mph.As with all other Shelby vehicles, the suspension was modified “Shelby Style”.

Upgraded front and rear solid anti-roll bars, Monroe Formula GP gas-charged shocks and struts, power-assisted vented front disc brakes and solid rear disc brakes were all part of the package. This year the CSX wore Goodyear Eagle P195/60HR 15 Eagle GT+4 as standard equipment.

Larger P225/50VR 15 Goodyear Gatorbacks were available as an option. The new Shelby five-spoke sport “Fiberide” composite wheels were also a first on a production car. Made of a fiberglass-reinforced plastic they were lighter and stronger than aluminum.

They were made by Carroll’s own Motor Wheel of Shelby. On the inside, it carried many premium features as standard equipment.

Full Shadow instrumentation included a 125 mph speedometer, tachometer, Shelby turbo boost gauge, voltage, temperature and oil pressure, air conditioning, AM/FM four-speaker stereo, full-length console, light package, dual remote outside mirrors, rear defrost and split-folding rear seat.

Shelby’s touches included Shelby front and rear floor mats, seats and door panels upholstered with special Shelby charcoal cloth, the three-spoke Shelby Signature sport steering wheel with Shelby Logo horn button and a numbered dash plaque.

The only interior option available was Recaro seats with Shelby upholstery.


Like the previous years, the exterior was only available in one color. This time it was Exotic Red with Shelby graphics.

The Shelby-designed Kaminari-built body kit included a front air dam, side skirts, a lower rear valance, and an oversized rear spoiler. It was finished off with gold CSX decals and a gold Shelby decal across the top of the windshield.


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