This is Carroll Shelby's personal 1983 Dodge Shelby Charger

Thought that Carroll Shelby only worked on Mustangs? This Dodge Shelby Charger was his personal car, but now it could be yours at it heads to auction.

Carroll Shelby is most famed for his work with Ford, where he used one of its V8s to build the mighty Cobra, helped win Le Mans, and then built powerful Mustangs.

However, Shelby also worked his magic on rival manufacturer Dodge’s products from time to time. This 1983 Dodge Shelby Charger was the personal car of Carroll Shelby himself and it’s now going under the hammer at Bonhams' 2019 Scottsdale auction.

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During the late 1970s and '80s, the American muscle car was dying. Government legislation created a war on horsepower and an oil crisis made thirsty cars far less appealing. This forced manufacturers to create some rather underwhelming successors to once great names. The mighty Dodge Charger of old was reduced from a big-screen personality to a four-cylinder car with the looks of an apologetic hatchback.

Carroll Shelby and Lee Iacocca worked together on the Charger in 1983 to produce the Dodge Shelby Charger, a faster and more agile car worthy of its name. The 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine was retained but was given a new camshaft, an altered compression ratio, and a new exhaust.

Power output was still only 107bhp, but Shelby focused on the car’s handling as opposed to outright speed. Faster steering was fitted for a quicker change of direction, stiffer springs managed weight transfer better, larger brakes were fitted as were lower profile tyres. The end result was a marked improvement over the car on which the Shelby was based.

The bodywork also received some attention, with an aerodynamic bodykit being developed. Spoilers and skirts served to manipulate the air, although given that the car had a top speed of 117mph, it is debatable how functional these were. More distinctive were the Shelby decals and unique paint options offered to customers of the Charger.

This very example is in excellent condition and has only covered 3005 miles, having been the personal car of Carroll Shelby and spending a number of years on display in the Shelby museum. Complete with its original window sticker and a certificate of authenticity, this car is an interesting footnote in muscle car history.

If you want to add Shelby’s Charger to your collection, it’ll be auctioned off at Bonhams' Scottsdale event on January 17, 2019. And, unlike most of Shelby's personal collection, it's affordable for the masses, with a sales estimate of only $15,000 - $20,000  (£12,000 - £16,000).

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