Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Random Car Wednesday: 1989 Shelby CSX

Carroll Shelby is responsible for some of the most iconic performance vehicles of all time. The Cobra and Shelby Mustangs are obvious examples, and Shelby also had a hand in creating the Ford GT40. That said, after leaving Ford in the 1980's, Mr. Shelby went on to partner with Chrysler, which led to the creation of many interesting machines that are decidedly less iconic nowadays. Vehicles such as the Shelby Dakota, the Omni GLHS, and today's RCW: the Shelby CSX.

The CSX was essentially Shelby's take on the wholly unremarkable Dodge Shadow, which was a compact car with about as much style and substance as a plastic school chair. The first CSX debuted in 1987, followed by the CSX-T in 1988, and this car appears to be one of the final models, a CSX-VNT. Only 500 were produced, this car being number 62. In its final iteration, the CSX was surprisingly advanced. The bodywork was considerably more aggressive than the stock Shadow's bleak styling, and it was reasonably quick as well. The 2.2-liter "Turbo IV" powerplant was good for 175 horses, and made 205 pound-feet of torque at a staggering 2100 rpm. Top speed was somewhere along the lines of 156 mph, respectable considering the car's mundane roots.

This particular car was being offered at the Mecum auction in Austin not long ago, and I believe the bidding topped out around the $6,000 mark. Depending on what you think of the car, that's either a complete steal or a waste of money. Personally, I find the CSX to be quirky and different, an uncommon trait in 90's American cars. In particular, I'm amused by the upholstery: you'll certainly never forget what type of car you're in.

I'll have more auction photos up in the near future, but until then: Happy Holidays!

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