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Monday, February 16, 2015

Forgotten Mopar: The Dodge Durango Super Pursuit II


dodge super pursuit ii photo

In the late ’90s, Chrysler had a brilliant idea: take its big Dodge Durango SUV, bolt-on a bunch of high-performance parts, and unleash it to consumers in a limited production run. That Durango became the Shelby SP360, and for what it’s worth, it accomplished those goals… though perhaps not the way Chrysler had initially planned.

This is not an SP360. It’s called the Dodge Durango Super Pursuit II, and it was the immediate (albeit unofficial) follow-up to the heady Shelby. This rare bit of Mopar history is up for sale on eBay, and – somewhat surprisingly – not for a huge chunk of change.

ebay dodge super pursuit ii photo

A bit of history first. The SP360 came about in 1997 in the form of a Dodge Durango concept vehicle. The design went over so swimmingly with Chrysler that they decided to turn that concept into a factory performance package.

 Chrysler got Carroll Shelby to sign-off on the project, and the resultant vehicles bore his name as well as a slew of aftermarket suspension, engine, and performance mods. The SP360 name denotes the SUV’s 360 horsepower, squeezed out of the 5.9-liter V8 thanks to a Kenne Bell supercharger.

Chrysler enlisted California’s Race Truck Trends and Georgia’s Star Coach Performance to modify the Durango utes. Although original plans intended for 3,000 SP360s to be produced, around 200 to 300 actually saw completion. Star Coach continued to offer the package. However it had to source a few different components and give the truck a new name. Thus, the Super Pursuit II was born.

dodge super pursuit fan photo

Chrysler never officially commissioned the Super Pursuit II. While that might shake off some fans, it doesn’t detract from its rarity. This example looks remarkably clean for a 16-year-old vehicle, especially the undercarriage. What doesn’t look so remarkable is the desk fan in the engine compartment. No, we’re not kidding. Check out the photo.