1987 Shelby Lancer

1987 Shelby Lancer

Based on the Dodge Lancer — Modified and sold as Shelbys

Limited to 800

Base price: $16,995

Shelby’s introduction to the high performance luxury sedan market was the limited edition 1987 Shelby Lancer — A departure from his previous ventures. This car was designed with a single goal in mind; to be the ultimate expression of how a true enthusiast’s automobile should perform.

Shelby aimed to make the Lancer much more lavishly equipped than his previous Dodge-based offerings. Each Shelby Lancer came identically equipped and there were no options.

The engine was the Turbo II — a turbocharged, intercooled version of the 2.2 engineered with input from Carroll Shelby producing the familiar 175 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque at 6800 rpm (an improvement over the Lancer ES’s 168 lb-ft).

This engine was first used in the 1986 Shelby GLH-S. It was also appeared in Shelby’s ’87 GLHS and the ’87 & ’88 CSX. It was combined with either a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission.

The powerplant produced some very impressive numbers: 0 to 60 in 7.7 seconds and the ¼ mile in 15.7 seconds at 89 mph; top speed of 130 mph. 

The Shelby engineers equipped their Lancer with a Shelby Touring Suspension package that featured Monroe Formula GP gas-charged shocks and struts with shorter and tighter springs that lowered ride height about ¾ inch.

There were specially calibrated anti-sway bar in the front and rear. The tires were 205/60VR15 Goodyear Eagle VR “Gatorback” radials mounted on Shelby CSS + VR 15-inch one-piece lace-spoke cast aluminum wheels with center caps and Shelby logo medallions.

The brakes were power vented discs in front with Kelsey-Hayes solid discs in back.

On the inside, the list of standard equipment is impressive, including air conditioning; full analog instrumentation; Shelby’s Signature four-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with Shelby logo horn button; tilt steering column; overhead console with outside temperature, compass, and courtesy lights; full-length console with arm rest; dual outside power remote mirrors; power windows; power door locks; and 120-watt Pioneer DEX 77 AM/FM/CD stereo with nine-band graphic equalizer, anti-theft coding capability, 10 speakers, integrated digital clock, and remote control in rear seat compartment.

The reclining sport seats were ergonomically designed with lumbar support and side bolsters and adjustable head rests. The 5-speed models came with premium cloth while the automatics came with leather. The final touch was the serialized dash plaque.

The exterior received mild changes. Available only in Graphic Red, all trim was blacked out including the grill, headlight bezels, antenna, and moldings.

Body modifications included a deeper front wraparound air dam with integrated driving lights, rear wraparound air dams, side skirts, and rear deck spoiler.

“Shelby Lancer” graphics spanned the lower front doors, “Intercooled Turbo” beneath the front side-marker lights, “Shelby” in red letters across the top of the windshield, and a Shelby medallion was centered on the rear deck lid. 

Of the 800 produced 400 automatics and 400 five-speeds.

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