The Shelby Dakota started with a short-wheelbase, short-bed, standard-cab pickup. The 3.9 L V6 was removed in favor of the company's 5.2 L V8 with throttle-body injection. On paper, the swap looked simple since both engines were similar, but the tight space in the Dakota's engine compartment meant removing the engine-driven fan in front and using electric ones instead. Removing the belt-driven fan increased the stock 5.2L V8's output by 5 hp (3.7 kW) up (to 175 hp) but torque was 270 ft·lbf (370 N·m).
Special wheels and trim, as well as individually numbered dash plaques proclaimed the car's heritage. At the time, it was the highest-performing pickup truck in existence, and would set the stage for later factory efforts like the GMC Syclone and Ford Lightning. Total Production: 1475. 480 in white and 995 in red. List price was $15,813 plus freight.
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