Not Many Left: Dodge Omni O24

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Every now and again, a car pops up that I can barely recall even existing, making it a shock that there’s still a driving example on the road. This Dodge Omni 024 is an unusual left-behind from the malaise era, crafted out of a desire to give Mopar a sporty small car that unfortunately could not deliver on the racy driving experience its shapely exterior promised. You’ll find this example here on eBay with a $1,995 Buy-It-Now in Waterford, New York.

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I actually quite like the tail design, with the integrated rear spoiler and headlights that morph into the rear bumper. That’s about it, however, since the rest of the package is let down by a homely-looking face and small, economy-class wheels that just scream “cheap.” It was effectively Dodge Omni performance in a swoopier body that only served to make the car less practical than the upright hatchback design.

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The interior doesn’t look too bad, but that’s about where my compliments end. An automatic transmission with an already lethargic engine up front is not a good combination, but the leather (or are they vinyl?) seats look presentable. I wish sellers would vacuum their cars out before taking a picture of the insides, but then again, with a $1,995 OBO listing price, I wouldn’t try too hard, either.

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The first year of the 024 featured a 1.7L VW engine; this later model “upgraded” to Chrysler’s popular 2.2L 4-cylinder mill. With only 71,000 miles, it should have some life left in it, but with so little to go on from the seller as it relates to previous maintenance, you best tread carefully. I’m not sure what future there is for this little 024, but it could be the missing piece to a Mopar fanatic’s collection. When’s the last time you saw one?

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Comments

  1. 68custom

    The 2.2is a good motor and yes these are now quite rare but the body style does nothing for me. IF I was in the market for an early Mopar fwd I would choose a 600 convertible. Good luck to the seller and buyer. 🙂

  2. Steven Visek

    Leather? Hahahahahahaha!!!

    My Dad had the 1980 O24 from new; white with tan vinyl interior, VW engine, 4sp. While returning from a business trip to Seattle he diverted from Chicago O’Hare to Michigan and picked it up from one of those “just over invoice” new car firms; Nationwide I think was the name and drove home to PA. January 1980. I learned to drive in that car.

    Engine was good but that body rusted. Dad always required 10 years from a car, but time ran out on Omni in under 9.

  3. Vegas Vic

    Me third serious girlfriend owned one … What, early eighties some time
    She loved it. Said far superior to firebird n Mustsang … I recall ok styling, weak engine, rust , and a red pin stripe
    2k for this old girl listed here … Why not?
    Thanks for triggering the memories of Miami vice n first Bush

  4. Jumping g

    Junk yard rescue. Bottle of anti freeze behind the drivers seat filthy engine bay.tons of signs the car was not taken care of

  5. ccrvtt

    “Not many left…” for good reason. My mother was an antiques dealer. She said that if it wasn’t good when it was new it wasn’t going to get any better or more desirable when it got older. True here.

  6. Another Bob

    Nice car. I’ve wanted one all my life. Can’t let this one slip away at that price!!

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Standards elevation is prudent. You will thank Me later.

  7. Bobsmyuncle

    Punctuation
    Sentences
    Paragraphs
    Capitals
    Spaces

    All of these tools assist us in understanding what you are trying to say. Take a bit of extra time if you need to!

    And people complain about kids texting!

  8. Vegas Vic

    Relax, Uncle Bob, this is a fun, car crazy website. I will resolve to employ E B Strunks Elements of Style, if you resolve to lighten up.
    As the Eagles so poignantly sang: ” take it EZ..” Whoops, sorry, slipped up already!

    • Bobsmyuncle

      It only benefits us all to make one’s content SENSIBLE!

      Listen, spelling errors I expect, the odd formatting problem of course! But for some reason these kind of posts are exceptionally common here at Barnfinds, often not seldom, posts are literally nonsensical.

      I think we can raise the bar and still be relaxed, have fun, and share our collective wealth of knowledge.

      Use the edit feature!

      • DrinkinGasoline

        When the edit feature is functioning. Spell check is a must. (rolls wheelchair down the hall screaming: I need a sponge bath!..nurse?!…..nurse?!)…..dang it!

  9. Vegas Vic

    Amen, brother, amen. Where as that sentence lacks a verb and adjectives, it certainly conveys my meaning. In a clear and concise manner. Adored your closing comment,
    “share our collective wealth of knowledge.” That valued mechanical wisdom, plus the various personal stories and cherished memories make Barnfinds a real treat to be treasured!

  10. Art

    I had the TC3, I am not sure what the difference is, other than mine was stick

    • Steven Visek

      Art, the Horizon TC3 was the Plymouth version of the Dodge Omni O24.

  11. Mike D

    a former boss of mine ( an old lady) owned one of these, new, she couldn’t get rid of it fast enough, she swore off Chryslers, and bought Toyotas but on the positive note she did say it was good in snow, and she lived in a hilly area

  12. 5.4

    Relax, Bob.( eyes rolling)

  13. Charles Marks

    Had a 1982 TC3 when I lived in West Virginia in the 1980’s. Actually a great car. Easy on gas. Had a long commute to work so put 80,000 on it in a little over two years. Traded it then. Good memories though. Thanks! BTW – poor grammar and punctuation always gets my attention. Had some old-style English teachers in junior high that wouldn’t let us get by with anything except perfect writing. Has helped me in business. Somewhat alarming to see such poor writing skills in many venues.

  14. St. Ramone de V8

    I had an early one with the VW engine. Baby blue respray. As if the car needed to be uglier. It was good on gas, but had lots of issues. Oil pump seized, would not start often, and leaked every bodily fluid. The 2.2 Chrysler was a much better engine. Had several K based cars with the 2.2-2.5 . Easy to work on and reliable.

  15. sparecr

    Was my first car, well a two-tone blue 1980. 60,000 miles back in 87. I hated that car, wanted to get rid of it. blew 2 head gaskets and crashed it. Hey it my first car. Finally after 6 months got dad to agree to let me trade it for a Mazda B2000 pickup. Thinking back that probably was a bad thing for him to do. Now at 44 I have owned over 50 cars, owning very few more than 1 year.Now after all that time I look every now and then for one of these, today $2000 seems a little high for an O24, but then again they don’t come around often.

  16. Wayne Thomas

    crafted out of a desire to give Mopar a sporty small car that unfortunately could not deliver on the racy driving experience its shapely exterior promised

    ===

    This is so much of all the Malaise cars. A love affair with FWD makes restomodding these cars virtually impossible. Sure, some people make FWD cars RWD, but if this car were RWD, it’d have been sold already.

  17. djkenny

    Way too over priced. Only a near minty 2.2 liter or the Sportier GLH style version is worth spending couple Gs or more on. Better at LEAST be a stick.

    The 1.7 liter is not a great engine. These are prone to rust big time.

    I would be concerned with the lack of care this one seems to present.

    Odd someone would ask elevated amounts of cash for a car and not even bother cleaning it up for 25 minutes?

    $500 is someone has time on their hands, does not mind the awful auto transmission, and does not mind the near constant engine problems.

  18. duke

    there may be a head gasket issue—note the coolant in the back seat—plus the interior looks like a mulch bin—-not well taken care of-

  19. Prowler

    024…025. Whatever it takes

  20. Mike

    This is my car lol I bought this off a guy in Nov 2016 I’m getting around to fixing it now. In case you are all wondering the water pump housing had a crack in it apposed to replacing it they just kept adding antifreeze. I love this lil car!

  21. Mike

    I owned one, a 1979 grey with black stripes. It had overheating issues and cost me $320 and a motel room for me my wife and 3 kids…the car was fun to drive with the 4 speed plus I had a thrush muffler on it….i would have another..

  22. Darryl S

    The 024 I owned in the early 80s had more miles on it going up and down on the lift at the shop than it did rolling down the road. Then one of the rear spring blew through its body nest. No thanks.

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