While Carrol Shelby's name has been most closely associated with high-powered Fords from projects like his famous work on the Mustang and Cobra, his moniker also appeared on one of the coolest performance SUVs of the late 1990s –the supercharged Dodge Durango Shelby SP-360. This gorgeous example for sale in Michigan packs even more engine upgrades to make it an even more potent family hauler.
Unlike the plentiful, high-horsepower choices from Mercedes-AMG and the BMW M division today, the Durango SP-360 arrived when performance SUVs were still a niche segment. A group of aftermarket companies led by Performance West saw an opportunity there and created the Durango Super Pursuit as a SEMA Show car. The response to it was good enough to explore putting the supercharged SUV into production. To give the model extra cachet, they worked with Carrol Shelby to put his famous name on the vehicle.
Durango Shelby SP-360 bolted a Kenne Bell twin-screw supercharger to the SUV's standard 5.9-liter V8. Revised engine management, an upgraded intake, equal-length headers, and a 2.5-inch diameter exhaust made the most of the forced induction. The result was 360 horsepower (269 kilowatts) – about 90 hp (67 kW) more than stock. Power runs through a four-speed automatic, and four-wheel drive means the ample power should be manageable even when the roads gets slippery. A scan of a Motor Trend story from 1999 about the beast reports the run to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) takes 6.7 seconds. This one could be even quicker because features upgrades like a custom camshafts, larger throttle body, and high-volume fuel pump.
To handle the additional power, these Durangos featured suspension and brake upgrades. New bushings and Eibach shocks sharpened the handling. A set of Stillen six-piston front calipers made sure the driver could slow down the big SUV.
The SP-360 advertises its extra power with a very aggressive body kit. It includes a big front fascia with mesh grilles and integrated fog lights. Two massive intakes sprout from the hood, but they don't appear to be functional from the view in the engine bay. Around back, the exhausts now sprout from cutouts in the bumper. The Viper Blue paint and White stripes complete the SUV's eye-catching appearance. The chrome 18-inch wheels are a little too flashy, though.
The interior looks old fashioned by modern standards but is a major upgrade over the stock Durango at the time. The first two rows of seats feature thickly bolstered racing buckets with gray and black leather upholstery. Carbon fiber trim decorates the dashboard, and there are additional gauges for boost and fuel pressure on the A-pillar. The VCR-based is an original part of the SP-360 package but might be due for an upgrade.
According to the seller, this Durango had an original price of just under $58,000 (a modern equivalent of $85,262). This one is currently going for $31,100.