With the new Mustang Shelby GT500 currently dominating news headlines, this might be the ideal time to remind folks that the relationship with Ford and Shelby wasn’t always a thing. For nearly 20 years, Shelby was associated with various hopped-up vehicles from Dodge, with the striped Shelby Durango seen here being the swan song of that relationship.
We’ve talked about the Shelby Durango before, but this video from TFL Classics caught our eye for a couple of reasons. The big one is the Tesla connection, as the current owner of this rig says he actually bought it from a Tesla dealer where it had been traded in. We find that oddly fascinating for reasons we can’t fully explain – who trades an exceedingly rare performance SUV with Shelby branding for a Tesla? That’s not a dig on Tesla, or praise for a 20-year-old Dodge SUV with stripes and a supercharger. It’s just a marriage of two very different motoring worlds that sends our collective minds into a frenzy of questions.
The plot thickens, however, which brings us to the second reason. The video says the Shelby only had 32,000 miles on the odometer when purchased, but we can’t help noticing quite a bit of exterior wear in spots. There are also some modifications to the lower fascia that indicate this Shelby was towed behind an RV – the tow bar mounts are clearly visible, along with an electrical plug in the middle. We aren’t going to jump into the towing debate that still rages in the RV community, but it certainly adds a bit more character to the history of this already-intriguing vehicle. Here’s hoping the transmission was properly taken care of during all those miles spent behind a motorhome.
Otherwise, we’d say this old Shelby has fared rather well. The modified 5.9-liter V8 develops 360 horsepower (268 kilowatts), and this particular version is off-road ready with four-wheel drive. It also has Shelby suspension which, according to the video makes this Durango something of a rough rider. The interior is fitted with Shelby-branded racing seats, there’s carbon-fiber trim on the dash, and plaques inside and out identify this specific Durango as number 68. Exactly how many were built all total is unknown, but it’s believed to be around 300.
Did the previous owner make the right decision by trading this rare Shelby SUV for a new Tesla? Or, is this just an old Durango that will depreciate further over time? Let us know your thoughts on this unlikely automotive trade.