Junkyard Find: 1994 Dodge Shadow ES

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1994 dodge shadow es
So many Chrysler P bodies in American wrecking yards today, so many that Shadows and Sundances generally make up a good quarter of your typical self-serve wrecking yard’s Chrysler section. You still see some of these cars on the street these days, though hit-bottom-years-ago resale values mean that a running Chrysler P is becoming semi-rare sight. I think the low-buck Shadow America and Sundance America are interesting enough to photograph, as is the Sundance Duster, but most of the time I just tune out the Ps when I see them during junkyard expeditions. The Shadow ES, with its goofy 80s-hangover tape graphics, manages to attract my attention, so let’s admire the exquisitely of-its-timeness of this ’94 that I spotted in Denver a couple months ago.

These cars were pretty cheap, and they weren’t slow (by mid-90s standards).

That is, they weren’t slow when equipped with the Mitsubishi 6G72 V6, as this car is. Though, as we’ve seen, this engine doesn’t guarantee reliability.

The early 90s are notable for having introduced the world to fake wood trim that was much more realistic than the Tormented Souls In Hell Simu-Wood™ of the 1970s and 1980s. Look, 20 years old and not faded or cracked!

There oughta be a law.

The snow is obscuring the mean-looking hood bulge with V6 emblems, but it’s there.

With manual transmission, this sort of car wouldn’t be a bad first car for a teenager interested in making a cheap machine to take to test-n-tune night. Grab the turbo hardware off a wrecked Stealth, experience the joys of Xtreem Torque Steer®.

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2 of 46 comments
  • Bluegoose03 Bluegoose03 on Mar 13, 2014

    I owned three of these cars. An 87 Sundance auto, a white 92 Sundance Duster manual V6, and a red 93 v6 Duster manual. The cars were pretty good cars. The Mitsu V6 had the nicest note I have ever heard coming from a V6. The car was simple, sturdy, and cheap to fix...unless you lost the gear box. You could stuff the car with a massive amount of cargo because it wide. The 92 I owned was a heavily modified V6 and could do the quarter in about 15 seconds. It was dinoed at 186hp at the crank. It was a true beast with a bullet muffler and an exhaust side pipe. It had Koni shocks/struts and custom sway bars. I embarrassed a lot of drivers with it. These cars get killed by automotive glitterati but if you a are bare bones car enthusiast these cars could be tons of fun in either turbo four or V6 configurations. If you wanted a car in the 12s you could get it with the 2.2 Turbo setup with the right mods.

  • Blppt Blppt on Mar 15, 2014

    Had a '94 with the 2.2 and 3 speed auto. Dreadfully slow, and I always wondered what the Shadow would have been like with the V6 or the high-torque 2.5 Turbo. Good handling though.

  • MaintenanceCosts I don't see what niche it would fill that's not already filled by either the high trims of the 4Runner or the GX.
  • Alan Many of the comments reflect a poor attitude of who should be f@#ked over with little thought on why the fines are imposed. Humans have used a system of penalties/imprisonment for centuries and it doesn't work. What does work is limiting a persons freedoms. If their is a compliance issue, ie, VW with its Dieselgate and huge fines doesn't alter the way VW operate (I'd bet VAG is still finding ways to circumvent the system). This is human, if we know there is no or little chance of a genuine effort to conform things will stay the same, until electronic devices are used to regulate speed. Then we will here the whining about freedumbs. When your behaviour impacts anothers' freedom it isn't freedom anymore. Like guns as well, as well as white collar crime, etc. Controls and regulations tend to protect the rich, even driving regulations, so just remove the driving licences of serial offenders, their freedom. If they persevere imprison them.
  • MaintenanceCosts The Thunderbird SVE used a supercharged version of the 2-valve Mod, not the 4-valve one at issue here.There were nonstop rumors in the early 90s that the 4-valve engine would end up in the P71, making a true competitor to the LT1-powered bubble Caprice, but it never happened.
  • MaintenanceCosts Removing hardware that is already present in a physical machine you bought is theft. Someone affected should sue Tesla for conversion.It's just one more example of the sort of sharp business practices that you expect with Elmo at the helm..
  • Theflyersfan Needed an updated picture of Philadelphia to replace the rather nice ones above.