Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Car Pr0n #13

For our weekly car pic, here's a numerically accurate vehicle:


That's a Dodge Omni GLHS, a front-wheel-drive turbocharged 2.2L 4 cylinder powered econobox-from-hell released by Mopar in the early 1980s. The Omni was Mopar's first FWD econobox, released in 1978 and running through 1990 (when it was replaced by the Shadow), and the GLHS was the Carroll Shelby-produced sport version released in 1985.

Why 13? The 175 HP engine propelled the GLHS to the quarter mile in a little over 13 seconds, and minor modifications would have the little grocery getter well into the 13s with ease. 0-60 times for the car were very respectable for the time period - 6.9 seconds at a time when the Mustang GT was hitting 60 MPH not even a second faster. The big marketing point was that the Omni GLHS was faster off the line than Carroll Shelby's GT350 of some 20 years prior.

This is one of the few cars I'd like to see salvaged from that rather dark period in American automotive history...

That is all.

6 comments:

Phil L. said...

Yes, this car was one bright spot at the end of the malaise period of US auto manufacturing.

It was quick, but rough around the edges (noted for nasty torque steer). It couldn't quite outrun its humble Omni roots, or its propensity to rust - so you'll rarely find one today.

Curiously, a low mileage (56K) example showed up on bringatrailer.com just last May. It was listed on eBay with a $8750 buy-it-now price.

That's fairly steep money for 1986 performance (other carmakers were snapping out of their 70's-induced fog at that time), but it's not an outrageous expense if you simply must have a GLHS to relive your youth.

Mopar said...

While I never owned the the GLHS, I did own both a normally aspirated 2.2L Omni, as well as a 2.2L turbo Laser (which was the Dodge Daytona with a Chrysler badge and different spoiler). My best friend's cousin did own the GLHS though. While both the Lazer and the Omni were fun in their own right, the Omni with the right tires and a few mods was probably more fun to drive hard. Like mentioned above, those early FWD performance cars suffered both from horrible torque steer which really limited how hard you could mash the pedal, and also a fair amount of turbo lag. My mildly modified normally aspirated Omni definitely responded to the go pedal better.

DaddyBear said...

I have the honor of owning both an Omni and a Shadow. Good cars, reliable, and relatively boring.

Neither was the 'sports' package, but the Omni was respectable on the interstate, and I was able to hang with the Germans on the Autobahn with the Shadow. In fact, when I got back from Germany, I was surprised to get a ticket for doing 96 in a 55 in a 4 cylinder Shadow. Didn't know it would go that fast.

El Capitan said...

Mom had the Plymouth Horizon version of the Omni my last couple of years in high school. I'm pretty sure the phrase "drive it like ya stole it" was coined by my neighbors watching me sneak that thing out at 3 AM.

Poor thing died several years earlier than it should have. Ran like a striped-ass ape while it lived, though...

Ed said...

I had a '80 Dodge Omni with a modified VW Rabbit engine with a 2 barrel carburetor instead of VW's fuel injection system mated with a Chrysler four speed transmission. It was fun to drive and good in the snow as long as it did not get too deep.

http://www.allpar.com/omni/engines.html

Weer'd Beard said...

Daddybear, I owned a Dodge Shadow once...it wasn't very fast

http://www.weerdworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Endboard.jpg