The Dodge Lancer name has been used three different times through out Dodge’s history. The first time was in 1955 for the Dodge Custom Royal Lancer. Dodge also used the Lnacer name to designate both two and four door hardtop models in the Coronet, the Royal and the Custom Royal lines.
The name was brought back again in 1962 For the Lancer GT. For the base Lancer GT, a slant six engine was used. The consumer had the option of chosing a larger engine which was a 3.7 Liter engine. The transmissions available for both trim models were the Chrysler-built A903 three speed manual transmission with the shifter on the floor. In 1962 a pushbutton operated A904 Torqueflite three speed automatic was also offered.
The Dodge Lancer had a very similiar cousin, the Valiant which also employed the very popular and very reliable slant six engine. Because Lancer sales were slow from the start and never meet expectation, the Dodge Lancer was discontinued after 1963.
By 1985 though the name had not done well with two different models, Dodge decided to give it another try. In 1985, the Dodge Lancer was reintroduced to the public as a mid size five door hatch back. Identical in many ways to its stable mate the Chrysler Lebaron GTS, the 1985 Dodge Lancer was founded on a Chrysler H platform this time.
For 1988 and 1989 Dodge introduced the Lancer Shelby which was a sportier model and featurend a handling package with upgraded sway bars, shorter springs and quicker steering along with an assortment of comfort and convenience features.
This sporty version was given an intercooled Turbo II engineand had a manual transmission. Although Dodge never revealed planned to make the Lancer Shelby a limited edition, only 279 of these cars were produced in 1988 and only 209 were produced in 1989. Unfortunately the car was never fully embraced by the public and the Lancer was once again discontinued.
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