That’s A Shelby? Shelby Dakota Pickup Trucks

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Shelby American has announced that they are moving their headquarters from near the Las Vegas Speedway to closer to the action, with a new location just a block off of the famous Vegas “strip”, most likely to get more walk-in traffic from tourists visiting Sin City. Jalopnik says that they hope this means there will be a Shelby Fiesta: “Hopefully the expansion means we’re getting a Shelby Fiesta, if only for how wonderfully ridiculous that sounds.” If a Shelby Fiesta sounds wonderfully ridiculous, what then to make of a Shelby pickup truck? Discovery Channel’s Fast ‘N Loud may have dissed the Shelby Dakota, considering it not worthy of a restoration, but the 1989 Shelby Dakota was actually the first V8 powered Shelby since the 1960s.

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It was also the only rear wheel drive Dodge to carry the Shelby brand. More than just a tape and trim package, the midsize Dakota’s V6 was replaced with the venerable 318 CI V8 though it did have a distinctive light bar and striped and “Shelby” slathered all over the truck, inside and out, even woven into the upholstery and door panel trim. Other performance upgrades were gas-filled shock absorbers and a limited slip rear end. A 0-60 time of 8 seconds doesn’t sound very quick today, but that was a respectable time slip from the late malaise period (and actually pretty fast by 1960s standards).

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