The one-year-only Shelby Dakota was the first RWD vehicle offered by Shelby in 20 years
This was the worlds first production sport truck, created by transplanting the 318 V8 from the full-size pickup line. (Previously, Dakotas only ever came with 4cyl or 6cyl engines). Just one year later, Chevrolet debuted a similar offering, transplanting the 7.4L V8 from the HD truck line into their single cab Silverado and naming it the SS
Since the Dakota’s engine bay was smaller than the typical full-size truck, the 318’s cooling fan had to be upgraded from a mechanical belt-driven unit to a smaller electric unit. This reduced parasitic loss and net the Shelby a 5hp increase (now 175hp)
All Shelby Dakotas came with a 3:90:1 “SureGrip” limited slip differential, Shelby five-spoke aluminum wheels, Goodyear Eagle GT+4 radials, and ABS brakes (which was a new technology for the decade)
Those with a keen eye will notice two different steering wheels used on the 1-year-only Shelby Dakota. This is because Izumi (Shelby’s steering wheel manufacturer) had leftover Shelby steering wheels from the 1988 model year (these were skinny, half inch thick GT wheels). Rather than discard them, Shelby had them installed in early production Shelby Dakotas. Once supply ran out, Shelby switched to the thicker 1989 steering wheels. The Shelby on this page is an early truck with the thinner 1988 steering wheel
As a fun throwback, all Shelby Dakotas feature a dual snorkel air cleaner – a design found on many vintage muscle cars. The primary snorkel is plumbed to the grille to receive cool, outside air
Key Model Year Changes:
Built for one year only
Of the 1,475 produced, only 480 of them were Bright White. The other 995 were Exotic Red
*SAE rated from factory. May not reflect current output.
*Performance numbers pulled from either the factory brochure or reputable automotive road tests.
*Base price when new does not reflect original MSRP of this particular car, nor does it reflect what the original owner paid for it.
*Advertised price at time of posting. Sellers can raise or lower prices on their original ad at any time. Click on the original ad to view current price/availability.
Mileage Disclaimer: NOC has not confirmed if the mileage stated by the seller is true and accurate. It is up to the buyer to verify these claims. Vehicle history reports, service records stating mileage, and even inspections of odometer tampering are recommended.