Junkyard Find: 1991 Dodge Shadow Convertible

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1991 dodge shadow convertible

The Dodge Shadow and its Plymouth Sundance sibling were among the last members of the extended Chrysler K-car family to be built, sold from the 1987 through 1994 model years and replaced by the Neon after that. Millions were sold, but these cars are all but forgotten today. Chrysler built a handful of convertible Shadows, perhaps inspired by GM’s feat of selling some Geo Metro convertibles, and I’ve found this ’91 in a North Carolina self-service yard.

I visited a big Charlotte yard on my way to the airport after working at the 24 Hours of Lemons South Fall race last year, and it had some great stuff. How about an Audi S8, a Chrysler 300C, a 330k-mile Toyota MasterAce van, and a Route 66 Edition PT Cruiser, for starters? On one of my typical U-Wrench-It junkyard walk-throughs, I’ll find one or two vehicles I think are worth shooting, so this was a very productive visit.

This car lived outdoors with a deteriorating convertible top for quite a few years before coming to this place, so the interior was in an olfactory state that would have benefited from a Charlotte Stack of Little Tree air fresheners.

The convertible Shadow was sold for just the 1991 through 1993 model years, and the base engine in the soft-top was this 100-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (you could get the 93-horse 2.2L version in ordinary Shadows).

This one has door speaker grilles that look like something from an apartment door intercom of the 1950s.

The resale value of the Shadow and Sundance plummeted quickly during the 1990s, but this one provided better than 150,000 miles of (potential) top-down driving enjoyment and outlasted most of its allegedly more valuable competition.

Welcome home, America, to the affordable advantage of Dodge!

If you like these junkyard posts, you can reach all 1600+ right here at the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand!

Join the conversation
2 of 25 comments
  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Mar 06, 2019

    The body is pretty straight - a new top, thorough scrubbing, a simonize, and it would look pretty good on the outside. More scrubbing and some plastic paint would make the interior tolerable. It's just not worth the work, if it can't handle a LS swap. I wonder if a Honda 2.2 would fit?

  • Vetteman111 Vetteman111 on Mar 17, 2019

    I knew a girl in college that had one of these. She used to take it to the beach every weekend, and within a year it was rusted out. We live in the South where there is no snow or ice, but the beach totally ravaged this car. After 2 years, the convertible top was getting pretty ragged as well.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic And this too shall pass.....Ford went thru this when the model T was introduced. It took the moving assembly line to make real money. As time progressed, it got refined, eventually moving to the Model A. Same kind of hiccups with fuel injection, 4 speed automatic, Firestone tires, dashboards with no radio knobs, etc, etc, etc. Same thing with EVs. Yep, a fire or two in the parking lot, espresso time at the charging stations, other issues yet to be encountered, just give it time. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Art Vandelay 2025 Camaro and Challenger
  • Mike Beranek Any car whose engine makes less than 300 ft-lbs of torque.
  • Malcolm Mini temporarily halted manual transmission production but brought it back as it was a surprisingly good seller. The downside is that they should have made awd standard with the manual instead of nixing it. Ford said recently that 4dr were 7% manual take rate and I think the two door was 15%.
  • Master Baiter It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. It will be interesting to see if demand for Ford’s EVs will match the production capacity they are putting on line.