Dodge Omni Shelby GLHS Was An 80's Beast on the Streets

The Dodge Omni Shelby GLHS was a mini monster on the 1980s American streets.
Written by Andrew Kidd
Reviewed by Serena Aburahma
Remember the
Omni Shelby GLHS? Don't be ashamed if you don't; its heyday was nearly 40 years ago.
But for those who want a little throwback to when this little beast ruled the streets, we've got you covered.
Let's take a look at a
Car and Driver
write-up on the "Go Like Hell" Omni hatchback from April 1986.

Blast from the past

C&D called the Dodge Omni GLH the "late bloomer" of the small hatch world for its ability to perform admirably. At the time of the review, the car was already eight years old—ancient in the automotive world—and thus had its kinks and undesirable quirks worked out long ago.
But for this particular model year, the Omni GLH was handled by Carroll Shelby. We'll let them get you up to speed:
"If you've been held incommunicado in a padded cell for the past few years, you might not know that Mr. Shelby is back in the car business and that this time he's playing with Dodges," C&D's Patrick Bedard wrote. 
"A new venture called Shelby Automobiles in Whittier, California, will produce some 500 GLHSs this year, which will be sold through Dodge dealers who sign up for Shelby franchises."
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A spicy little hatchback

This iteration of the GLH—appropriately dubbed the GLHS—put out
175 horsepower
from its 2.2-liter turbocharged engine, with a peak torque of 175 lb.-ft.
The C&D team's write-up came after its test drive of the GLHS at the Willow Springs racetrack and on the street. 
It noted that Shelby installed a roll bar to keep overzealous auto journalists from becoming road pizza—which turned out to be a great call, considering one of the test drivers from another publication rolled his GLHS at one of Willow Springs' infamously sharp turns.
Opting to test the car right side up, C&D's drivers gave the following testimonial on its handling:
"First, this car has lots of stick; a limit of 0.81 g should be enough to keep your lap belt tensioned," Bedard wrote. "Second, the GLHS's steering is rather light. 
Third, this car is blessed with great poise. The suspension, at least on the track, soaks up the rough stuff without losing directional stability or wrenching the wheel from your hands."
Interesting to note is the performance of the GLHS's inline four-cylinder; C&D's reviewers remarked that it feels like a V-12 under the hood and outperformed most contemporary V-8s on the road at the time. 
With a 0-to-60 time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph, you'd be dumb to dismiss it as another economy hatch.

How much did it cost?

When it was new in 1986, the Dodge Omni Shelby GLHS hatchback had a base price of just under $11,000. Adjusted for inflation, you're looking at just shy of $30,000 in today's value.
But if you're interested in buying a used GLHS, listings occasionally pop up on sites like Bring A Trailer. One relatively pristine example with a clean title and just 89,000 miles on the odometer
sold in May 2022
for $17,350.

Save where you can

If you're in the market for a used Dodge Omni Shelby GLHS, pickings are slim, given there were just 500 made for that particular model year. But if you're willing to pay top dollar for a pristine used model, you should try to save money where it counts by revisiting what you're paying for your car insurance.
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MORE: Drool-worthy: Kevin Hart’s 1970 Dodge Charger Hellraiser
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