Crapwagon Outtake: 1987 Shelby CSX

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
crapwagon outtake 1987 shelby csx

I grew up thinking – nay, knowing – that Mopars were crap. What can I say? I’m a child of the Eighties. A kid that grew up in an import household. All of the Chrysler products I ever saw were causing headaches for their hapless owners. Most were unremarkable, unmistakable derivations of the venerable K-car platform, seemingly built in endless minor variations to minimize the time spent on engineering.

For whatever reason, I didn’t “get” the hype around Carroll Shelby, either. Whatever his racing/engineering genius, he seemed to be a publicity-hungry blowhard who would put his name on anything for a massive pile of cash. Again, this was a time before televised classic-car auctions, where anything with Shelby’s name requires a massive pile of cash.

So, when I surreptitiously took my dad’s Car and Driver and Road & Track in my backpack to school, to read at lunch or on the toilet, the waves of Turbo Dodges spilling from the page made little impression. (Thanks to the excellent for the reprinted road test.) These cars were seriously quick for the time, putting out 175 hp or more with decent (if harsh) handling for the time. They actually threatened pony cars on the track!

This car for sale in South Dakota, of 750, looks rather clean, save some needed detailing. Under seventy thousand on the odometer looks impressive, too, though I’d be concerned about deferred maintenance on a car that’s likely been sitting a good bit. I wonder if these will ever command big money like Carroll’s Ford-derived specials do. At $9,000, this doesn’t look like too much of a gamble.

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5 of 36 comments
  • Mohammed Khan Mohammed Khan on Jun 19, 2015

    One thing not mentioned here is that this car was the first with a VNT(variable nozzle turbocharger) turbo. Correct me if i am wrong.

    • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Jun 19, 2015

      The '89 CSX was certainly one of the earliest VNT turbo motors, predating Porsche. Don't know if it was the first.

  • Madanthony Madanthony on Jun 19, 2015

    I was the opposite - I grew up in a family that only owned AMC's and Mopars, so I read about this as a kid and always wanted one.

  • Irieite Irieite on Jun 22, 2015

    Price has been reduced to $7350.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jun 22, 2015

    I think it's a CP, all the way. Even 20 years from now, it will still be a little econobox with "performance trims" from a very dark time in the (probably disbanded by then) ChryCo history. It's not big enough to be an elegant barge like ye olde 70's, and it's not wacko enough to be interesting like a hydro-suspended Citroen DS. It sits in the sagging middle of rare car history. A lime Jell-O in a sea of raspberry cheesecakes.