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Autotrader Find: 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T

The quickest sedan of the early 1990s wasn’t a Mercedes-Benz, a BMW or an Audi. It wasn’t German at all. It also wasn’t British, Swedish or Japanese. In fact, it wasn’t even imported. It was a front-wheel-drive Dodge with a 4-cylinder engine. It was called the Spirit R/T, and there’s a pristine one currently for sale on Autotrader.

Offered by D&D Auto Sales in rural Onsted, Michigan, this particular Spirit R/T is a 1991 model that retains its original stock wheels with red accents, along with a well-kept interior and exterior and just 86,000 original miles. Asking price? $8,500. See the 1991 Dodge Spirit models for sale near you

So how exactly does a 25-year-old Dodge Spirit command an $8,500 asking price? Easy: Only approximately 1,400 Spirit R/T models were built over the sedan’s 2-year run, all with a 224-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, a 5-speed manual transmission and a 0-to-60 time of roughly 5.8 seconds — faster than the period’s BMW M5. And very few have survived, especially with under 100,000 miles and in relatively pristine condition. In fact, the Spirit R/T is so rare that there isn’t a single other example currently for sale on Autotrader.

Of course, the Spirit R/T could be easily dismissed as an anachronism, a time when Chrysler created a powerful car by throwing a big engine into a vehicle they already had and dressing it up a little with some wheels and a body kit. But true Mopar enthusiasts know that the Spirit R/T was one of the predecessors of the turbocharged-sedan era that came later in the form of the Subaru Impreza WRX, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Dodge’s own Neon SRT-4 — and for that reason, it may one day assert itself as a collector’s item. And if and when that happens, that $8,500 price tag might someday seem pretty reasonable. Find a 1991 Dodge Spirit for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I had 2 Spirit R/Ts-a White one bought new and a red one bought with 11k on it for my wife. The only car I loved more was a Grand Prix GXP in 2008. I was looking to get a Ford Taurus SHO and took my Daytona Turbo in for the repairs the salesman told me I needed to get the trade value I needed. While the Daytona was in the back, the sales manager talked to me about the R/T so I test drove it. Took the R/T home and never got an SHO. I kept it until it had 145k and was starting to have expensive issues so I got a Contour SVT. Still miss the R/T though…

  2. I test drive one of those 1400 back 1991.  Very nice car but got a SHO back then.  The 0-60 is more like 6.8 seconds which was faster then the SHO. 

  3. Actually, the  Lancer Evo came out before the R/T, just not in the US, the 2nd Gen (known then as the Lancer EX 2000 Turbo came out in 1980, I owned one, a fantastic car to drive and as it wasn’t to flashy you could have a lot of fun at the stop lights with it.

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