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Autotrader Find: 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T

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author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2016

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.

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.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Autotrader Find: 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T - Autotrader