Shelby's pocket rocket: Dodge Omni GLH (Goes Like Hell)
In 1977, Chrysler decided to produce a small subcompact to rival the European cars, so they created this little thing. In the States, it was sold as Dodge Omni or Plymouth Horizon, while in Europe, it was known as Simca-Talbot Horizon or Chrysler Horizon. Despite not being very popular this little subcompact still won the award for the European Car of the Year 1979.
The reason for his unpopularity was that it was sold under a not-so-popular name. Plus, the engines were old, and handling was rubbish. But, Chrysler was aware of the problem and decided to change things for the US market, and they turned to Shelby for help. Immediately, Shelby got rid of the 1.7-litre Volkswagen straight-4 with 77 HP. They fitted a new 2.2-litre straight-4 engine with 146 HP, and presented it in 1984.
The initial name "Coyote" was rejected, so Carroll Shelby decided to name it GLH (short for "Goes Like Hell"). This new hot hatch was able to go 0-100 km/h in 7 seconds, and Shelby bragged that his little car could beat any Ferrari and Porsche in a straight line. The following year, they made a turbocharged version called GLH-T which was a bit faster. But still, the car didn't reach the sales numbers that Chrysler hoped for, so the production of GLH was put to a halt.
In 1986, the production continued and Shelby thought that the solution to all problems was more POWEEEEERRR. So, he took the last 500 GLH units that weren't able find their owners and tuned them even more. He fitted them with a new 2.2-litre turbocharged straight-4 with a two-piece blow-through intake, Shelby ECU, a new turbocharger compressor cover and an intercooler at the front.
The new car was producing 175 HP and 237 Nm of torque. It was called GLH-S ("Goes Like Hell S'more") and was able to go 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds while its top speed was 209 km/h. The interior featured a leather trim on the dashboard, steering wheel and the gear knob. Also, there was air-con and every car came with Shelby's personal signature.
The standard Dodge Omni became forgotten, but the Shelby GLH-S had earned a lot of respect during its life. Today, a GLH-S in a good condition can be yours for somewhere between $20.000-$25.000. For a car that wears a Shelby badge, I think that's a bargain.
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