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.
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).