As the most performance-focused Daytona for 1991, the Shelby trim level includes a sports suspension with stiffer springs, performance-tuned struts and shocks, and larger sway bars. The brakes were also upgraded with power front/rear vented disc brakes, and the steering system was upgraded as well. Shelby cars came with 16″ aluminum “pumper” wheels, exterior ground effects, and Shelby graphics
The story of this car begins in the early 80’s, when Lee Iacocca decided it was time to spice up the Mopar lineup with some fresh performance offerings. Turbocharging was wildly gaining popularity in motorsport, and carmakers were pushing their engineering and development departments to tame this power adder for street use – all for the sake of profiting on the Turbo craze. Iacocca knew he had to go turbo, or go home
But Iacocca also knew that slapping a “Turbo” badge on a Chrysler wasn’t going to be enough to win buyers over – he needed a name that people were familiar with. Iacocca decided to capitalize on his relationship with Carroll Shelby, a man he worked with extensively at Ford during his Mustang years. Initially, all Iacocca wanted was for Shelby to take their Dodge Charger and enhance the steering, handling, and styling – Chrysler would develop their own turbo engine in house. Known as the “Turbo I” engine, this 2.2 SOHC Turbo motor was paired with Shelby’s handling and styling modifications to produce the 1983 Dodge Shelby Charger
In 1986, Shelby purchased 1000 Dodge Chargers to modify on his own. He began fiddling with the engine, adding a forged steel crankshaft, forged steel rods, and boosting power output from 148hp to 175hp. This new engine, dubbed “Turbo II”, was put into regular production by Chrysler the following year in the 1987 Shelby Daytona Turbo Z
In 1991, Chrysler dropped this engine in favor a larger unit with slightly less horsepower but noticeably more torque down low, dubbed the 2.5L “High Torque” turbo engine. This new motor had less turbo lag, was quieter, and provided the same gas mileage as the smaller 2.2L
During development, one of the required objectives was for the Shelby Daytona to out-handle the Porsche 924. Such a task required the right man for the job, and that man was Scott Harvey – a Chrysler suspension engineer with thorough experience in rallying
Scott pushed the boundaries of both the chassis and the tires during testing, yet he found the lap times were held back by the seats. Specifically, the seats were unable to provide adequate lateral seat retention for the driver, making it difficult to achieve optimal cornering speeds
Scott was temporarily transferred to the seat department to help develop a proper seat. He handed engineers the Recaro seat out of his rally car for inspiration. The resulting seat design included inflatable bolsters that hug the driver when needed, but can be relaxed to allow easy entry/exit
The new seat design did the trick, with prototype mules beating the Porsche’s lap times on both high and low speed courses
Key Model Year Changes:
First year of the 2.5L “High Torque” turbo engine, replacing the 2.2L Turbo “II” engine
Final year of pop-up headlights
The front suspension is heavily revised with new parts as well as updated geometry and alignment settings. Caster was increased to improve steering feel. Not only is the handling improved, but the ride is smoother as well
The steering system is updated
Final year of the “Shelby” designation. As the contract with Carroll Shelby expired, the “IROC” designation took over halfway through the year as the Daytona replaced the Camaro as the official car of IROC racing. This granted Dodge the authority to use the “IROC” label in their model naming schemes, just like Chevrolet did with the Camaro for many years
The following year (1992) saw the final major facelift for the Daytona. 1992 marked the first year of the IROC R/T with the new Turbo III engine (Lotus designed cylinder heads)
1993 was the final year of production for the Daytona. The only notable change this year is A/C as a standard feature (rather than an option). New colors include Emerald Green and Electric Blue
*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.