Live Auctions

Estate Sale Turbo: 1986 Dodge Omni GLH

The seller of this 1986 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo is just the second owner of this 1980s pocket rocket. He supposedly snagged it out of an estate after the original owner passed away, and boy, did he stumble upon a very nice example. The Omni has under 84,000 original miles on the clock and has been in California since new, so the cosmetics remain quite tidy. The seller has made some very sensible improvements without actually restoring the car, and replaced some big ticket items like the turbocharger and the manual transmission. Find it here on craigslist for $7,500.

The seller was definitely in the right place at the right time to snag this survivor GLH, but the asking price seems more than fair considering the current market for these and what he’s already invested. I doubt he’s making much money on it, even if it was purchased for peanuts, as most everyone knows these turbo Dodges are smart buys as a potential collector’s item. The seller notes he refreshed the upholstery without tearing the whole seat down, leaving the vinyl alone but replacing the cloth inlay portions of the bucket seats. There is no air conditioning in this Omni, and the description reads as if it was spec’d that way when it was ordered.

The turbocharged four-cylinder was a hellion when it was introduced, changing the econocar image of the Omni seemingly overnight. Suddenly, GLH was a series of letters on the same page as the GTI and CRX. The Omni in turbocharged form can be made quite powerful, assuming you’re content with all that power being routed through the front wheels. The seller has upgraded the exhaust; installed a new catalytic converter; installed a new high-performance head from Turbo Dodge Parts; replaced the injectors and fuel pump; replaced the timing belt, water pump, and distributor; and much, much more, all of which should offer a fairly reliable driving experience.

The Omni looks quite nice cosmetically, complete all the way down to the original Bosch fog light rock shields still being intact. The seller has refreshed some of the paint, noting he sanded the roof and hood and sealed it; additionally, the top half of the GLH down to the body molding was wrapped and had new decals installed. The original alloy wheels were also powdercoated. Overall, I love everything this seller did to improve the Omni, as he seemingly preserved originality wherever possible while not hesitating to replace original components with smart upgrades. This seems like a bargain if you want a fully-sorted GLH.

Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    I wasn’t aware that there’s a Turbo,& non turbo model
    of these,until I test drove a non Turbo version,& researched them.

    Like 3
  2. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Gone already, and someone is going to have the most fun that $7.500 can buy.

    I loved my ’86 GLH-T. I bought it new and unfortunately wrecked it after a year or two of ownership.

    Like 16
  3. Mike

    GLH=Goes Like Hell!

    Like 18
  4. Rick in Oregon Rick in Oregon

    Having owned a pair of the Charger version of these I attest to the utter enjoyment they are to drive! Darned fast and extremely quick they had a habit of snuffing SBC’s all over San Jose at stop lights. I always loved the other drivers puzzled looks at the next light! The GLHS version was the pinnacle of these cars with intercooling and some gentle massaging by the Shelby crew too make a sizable boost to the torque and HP.

    Like 12
  5. Carman

    G.L.H….stood for Goes Like Hell….sold a few of these in my 39 year career at our local Chrysler dealer, Tom Ahl’s in Lima, Ohio!

    Like 17
  6. Jimbo

    Is it an interference motor?

    Like 4
    • Garrett

      What does that mean?

      • Carbuzzard Member

        Basically, if the camshaft stops turning, will the pistons not whatever valves are open.

    • Glhs0075

      No

      Like 4
  7. joenywf64

    IMO, this performance variant(& WRX & similar past Mitz Evo) should have ALL been(or be) 2 door ONLY – same with the Neon SRT(even worse for the latter since Chrysler years earlier ironically also offered a 2 door Neon – roof too high tho, but discarded it before SRT).
    Imagine if all the american muscle cars of the ’60s & early ’70s only got the hi po engines in their 4 door variants! Or worse, if 2 doors were not offered at all!

    Like 2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Why can’t people have muscle AND convenience at the same time?

      Kudos to Dodge for making all of their performance variants available in the Charger body. I owned a Charger for 9 years (just sold it), and it was great having those back doors – made the car so much more useful.

      So much so that I miss not having those 2 back doors in my new 2 door Bronco.

      Like 13
    • Jakespeed

      There were plenty on 4 Door Mopar Muscle Cars. Some were Notable-like the 7(?) Hemi powered B-body sedans. Sone were wagons complete with 335 HP Road Runner 383 Super Commando V-8s. But most came with two-tone Paint, HD Cooling, HD Brakes, Higher Rate Torsion Bars, Higher Rate Anti-Sway Bars, a Leece-Neville High-Amp Alternator, and a Certified Speedometer, ready for its secondary upfit to make it into a Police Car.

      Like 3
  8. nlpnt

    This would’ve been the ultimate sleeper in the ’80s if only the GLH had been offered in the ice blue metallic color some 60% of base Omnirizons were painted by the mid ’80s.

    Like 6
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      It was available in a bright blue. You didn’t see many of them.
      Not sure what ice blue looked like.

      Like 17
  9. Walter

    My taste and wants have changed considerably over the years. Still admire the muscle cars but this GLH is really high on my want list. The fact that they can be acquired for reasonable money helps too.
    I agree with the comment above, someone is going to have a blast with this car and I sort of envy them.

    Like 7
  10. tiger66

    Not the Shelby version (GLH-S). So “goes like hell’ in this case means 7.5 to 60, 15.8 in the quarter, stock (which if you live in CA is what you are basically dealing with).

    Like 2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Yeah, I wanted a GLH-S, but they were a lot more $$ and hard to find.

      Still, the GLH-T was no slouch. As mentioned, it surprised a lot of people at the stop light drags. I loved pouncing on IROC Z’s of the day. That may not be saying much, but you have to remember what limited performance was available from the dealerships at that time.

      These things were a performance bargain, but you did have to deal with the looks and the build quality. To some of us, that hardly mattered.

      Like 6
  11. Carbuzzard Member

    I had a GLH Turbo and I could write a lot about but just two items I’ll mention. First, Handling. These were often accused of having terrible torque steer. Nope. It had enough power steering that if you pointed it and hold on, it would go straight. In fact it would always go where you kept those front wheels pointed. There wasn’t much feel through the power steering, but there also wasn’t much to worry about with the rear wheels. They would follow along wherever the front wheels led them.

    Second, the GLH turbo was, to the insurance company, Just another Omni. That, combined with a need for three seatbelts in the backseat, made a four-door most practical. The same era charger Carried a premium, even with the base, whatever it was, 100 horse engine. They omnis relative light weight allowed the 145 hp to scoot.

    For $7500 and all the work done on it, it looks like the buyer got a real deal. I hope they’re will be no surprises.

    Like 6
  12. John Graham

    Having owned in 83 and a half Shelby Charger, and then an 87 Shelby Charger, I can tell you that additional roughly 38 horsepower and additional torque made these quite the quick vehicle in their day. The steering is super tight as well as the suspension. I remember I could rotate my tires by just lifting the front wheel off the ground by a couple of inches in the back wheel will be off the ground as well. Of course, that tight suspension also meant for a kidney jarring ride but we didn’t care because we were young :-) I would like to try the Omni version of one of these someday.

    Like 1
  13. Carbob Member

    I had a base Omni for a company vehicle back in the mid eighties. I liked it too. Even in base form it was a nice ride compared to the competition. I got the Omni as a promotion at my job and handed off my Chevette to a co worker. The improvement was very noticeable. Happy motoring to the new owners.

    Like 3
    • Squigly

      Except for awful door handles and a rubbery shifter, not bad little cars, esp in 2.2 form. (though a 2.5 would have been better) Practical with that tall hatchback, could carry all sorts of stuff. Why don’t they make nice entry level cars like these anymore? America needs a car without a 7-10 year bay back note.

      Like 3
  14. SaabGirl900

    Had a gold ’85 GLH-T…….wish I still had it. The handling and performance were great and the car was the ultimate sleeper….absolutely no one in an IROC Z expected a dowdy little Omni to blow its doors off at a red light.

    When Chrysler introduced the America series in 1987, the L body was offered in 5 colours….white, black, ice blue, garnet red and charcoal grey. I had an ’89 Horizon in ice blue……I think half of the Horizons built in 88 and 89 were painted that colour. It was a pale semi-metallic blue that had a bad habit of coming off of the car in strips as the paint failed after about 5 years on the road.

    I traded my Horizon in on my first Saab. Still have the Saab…..wish I still had my Horizon as well………tough little car that took a lot of abuse and never failed me.

    Like 1
  15. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking car. If only the Craigslist ad hadn’t been removed. I would like to have seen the pics of the car. I remember when this, and the Plymouth Horizon was on the market. I don’t know whether the Horizon was ever available in a GLH package of its own, or if it was simply a Dodge Omni package. Anyone know? Thanks. :)

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      GLH package was only available on the Omni.
      And as far as I know, the turbo engine could not be had on the Horizon, sporty package or not.

      Maybe on the 2 Door, but I can’t remember one of those either.

      Like 1
      • Carbuzzard Member

        Indeed. Plymouth was zChrysler’s economy brand.

  16. SaabGirl900

    Chrysler never offered the GLH as a Horizon or the Turismo. The turbocharged engine was also never placed (at least by the factory) under the hood of a Horizon or a Turismo. There was talk in 1983 of making a Horizon GLH, but it was just that…talk. So, if you wanted a GLH or a GLH turbo, you went to your local Dodge dealer and drove out of the place with an Omni or a Charger……….

    Like 1

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