Thursday, July 17, 2014

O is for Overruled: 1986 Dodge Omni GLH-S

"Honey, I can explain. The car that's about to do a piledriver on our checking account could really be worth a lot someday. I know it looks like a worthless 30-year-old Dodge crapbox but trust me, because it has compressed air shoved through it and a bunch of SHELBY badges slapped on it, it's a legend. Please don't tell your mother. Thanks, I love you too." Find this 1986 Dodge Omni GLH-S in Omaha, NE for $12,000 via Autotrader.

"Look, this was the spiritual successor to the Neon SRT-4, Dodge's first real performance compact after sleeping through the sport compact car craze. I shouldn't need to explain to you why that's important. Just like you shouldn't expect to use this Shelby's hatchback for hauling things if you want it to retain its value. Also, the kids probably shouldn't ride in the backseat. Safety wasn't a priority for Dodge until... well maybe I shouldn't finish that sentence. Oh and I'll still keep the other car for track events. Too risky to use this one."

"But don't worry - it won't take up garage space. The previous owner let the paint fade so we can keep it uncovered, right in front of the house. See? I was thinking about you. By the way, I'll need a few more thousand for paint and new-old-stock decals."

"Oh and I'm buying a second one for only $500 to use for parts." 

See an obscure Shelby-breathed turbo crap box in better condition? Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.

This post is part of Daily Turismo's 2nd Birthday Celebration --DT's ABCs
Previous: N is for Naughty: 1991 Acura NSX
Next: P is for Poseur: 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser


  1. My girlfriend (yes my girlfriend) bought one of these in about '92/'93. It would be stupid fast if the tires could ever hook up. What ever plans you had after the apex, when the turbo hit, throw them out the door because you're going to understeer until your foots on the floor and the tires are bald. Except for being completely impossible to drive quickly, everything else about the car was total crap (in my humble opinion).

  2. It's a "legend" of a Shelby logo slathered crap-box, a hard attempt at polishing a soft turd :)

  3. I thought about this, and wondered what could have been if at the time Chrysler actually gave Caroll Shelby a model to hop up that wasn't quite as lame to begin with? Even an '86 Shelby Diplomat couldn't have been as bad as having to deal with an Omni! So many of those models the big 3 came up with to "appeal to the youth buyers," something they don't worry about so much anymore as few kids today can even consider buying a brand new car, ended up being jokers.

  4. Well, back then everyone had to have their GTI.

    The Omni was basically a badly-built Simca clone of the Golf/Rabbit built to 102% scale, and the GLH made competitive numbers with the Rabbit GTI.

    The problem was that, absent a decent limited-slip which no one was doing back then, none of those cars could put more than 120HP to the ground, and it didn't matter what wonderful numbers you had in your marketing literature, more power just made them nastier to drive.

  5. 12k??

    "The sun'll come out...tomorrow. Betcha bottom dollar..."


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