The Shelby Mustang GT350 is an impressive sports car. 526 hp, a flat plane crank, and ready for the track. But what it can't do is seat more than four people. Or haul much of their luggage. Our autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week this week is a Shelby that can haul. And not just on the drag strip. This one will haul seven people, luggage, and probably even your boat. Oh, and it has a VCR in the trunk. It's a 1999 Shelby Durango SP 360.
...this Shelby is ready to haul a...nything you want it to.
When driver turned racecar builder Carroll Shelby stopped building Cobras and Ford Mustangs, he didn't stop building cars. Shelby moved to Dodge in the 1980s, invited by then Chrysler Chair Lee Iacocca. Iacocca was the exec responsible for bringing Shelby to the Mustang in the first place, so the continued relationship was a logical one.
At Dodge, Shelby made some of his most interesting cars. Small displacement, big boost, front-wheel drive. A massive change from twin-supercharged Cobras and big block Mustangs. One of the highlights was the Omni GLH turbocharged hot hatch.
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Near the end of that run, and not long before his return to Ford, Shelby jumped into then-burgeoning SUV field. Back to rear-drive and V8, Shelby turned his attention to the Dodge Durango.
At the time, SUVs were still mostly utilitarian. There might have been V8s available under the hood, but they were big, underpowered, and not what anyone would call quick. With a few exceptions like the limited-run GMC Typhoon.
By the late 1990s, though, things were starting to change. Fiat Chrysler is turning heads now with a 707 hp supercharged Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and a 475 hp 6.4L V8 Durango SRT, but that escalation to massively (and delightfully) overpowered SUVs started in 1998. That's when Jeep dropped the 245 hp 5.9L V8 into the Grand Cherokee and Dodge put the same engine into the Durango for the first time.
That's when Carroll Shelby got hold of the 5.9 Durango. Or just slapped his name onto it, depending on who you ask.
The Shelby Durango was badged the SP 360, for Super Pursuit. The 5.9L engine got a new intake, new headers, and a larger exhaust. That boosted power to somewhere around 280 hp. A healthy increase from stock and impressive numbers for the time. You could even buy these at your local Dodge dealer. At least if your dealer was cool.
But some of them got an even bigger upgrade. A twin-screw supercharger from Kenne Bell. Adding boost to the V8 finally let it breathe. Suddenly, the 360 in the name didn't just refer to the 5.9L of displacement. Now the Magnum V8 made 360 hp as well. Suddenly this was a real performance SUV. 0-100 km/h in under 6.7 seconds and a top speed that's faster than you'd ever want to take a 1990s SUV.
There were more upgrades than just more power, though. Like upgraded shocks and springs, and revised bushings. Ang bigger brakes, which you're definitely going to need in this beast. Stillen six-pot callipers up front helped charm this snake.
There was a new body kit, too. That massive front bumper let less air pass under the nose, hopefully reducing lift at speed. The side skirts just look cool, and the exhausts passing through the rear bumper do the same. You could get the SP-360 in any colour you wanted, too. As long as it was Viper Blue with white stripes.
The interior saw some upgrades too. like the two-tone leather seats in all three rows. The front row gets big bolstered buckets with harness holes, but the passengers in the back are left to be thrown around with just their conventional three-point belts. There is some carbon fibre trim and a numbered plaque. Oh yeah, and a VCR-based entertainment system for when the V8 isn't keeping your passengers occupied.
This SP 360, for sale in Toronto, Ontario, is number 34 of just around 300 to be built. Like the rest, it came in blue and white. This one has the optional supercharger, which means that you're getting the full 360 hp. This is a rare beast, with fewer made than there were big block Cobras. Not all of them had the supercharger or the four-wheel drive, making this one even more unusual. With just over 100,000 km on the odometer, this Shelby is ready to haul a...nything you want it to.
Pioneering performance SUV 8/15/2018 12:14:56 PM 8/15/2018 12:14:56 PM