The Ultimate Omni: 1985 Dodge Omni GLH-T

The Dodge Omni GLH is revered in enthusiast circles; the GLH-T even more so. Clearly, these cars are disappearing at a furious rate, so preserving the ones that are left is a priority. However, this 1985 GLH-T is quite battered cosmetically despite its proven running condition, which will demand an investment beyond most diehard’s level of committment. Is it worth restoring? Find it here on eBay with a $1,500 Buy-It-Now.

The seller has done an admirable job of breathing new life into the powerplant of this Omni, including a top-end refresh that included a new headgasket, timing belt and thermostat. New tires were also added, along with shocks and confirmation that the Turbo is in strong shape. However, the rear quarter has been whacked badly and paint is rough all over the car.

The interior presents nicely – far better than you’d expect given the outward appearance – so it has that going for it. A sea of red cloth and plastic is typical for the era, and even the more expensive Turbo models made do with the standard bargain basement fit and finish of the standard Omni model. But for a cheap autocrosser or simply an entertaining corner carver, the interior doesn’t need a thing compared to the body.

The turbocharged Omni GLH is absolutely the one to buy, but this example will challenge even the most committed enthusiast’s budget justifications. That rear bodywork needs to be addressed, and even with the engine refresh performed, there are still a few lingering issues, such as a leaking thermostat gasket and vacuum lines. The seller promises to keep working on these issues while the car is for sale, but it may be worth throwing him a lower offer and taking it on yourself.

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Comments

  1. Blindmarc

    Leaking thermostat housing and vacuuum lines are easy to change

    Like 1
  2. redwagon

    there is no title because back in 2001 it was considered an insurance loss due to accident.

    this could present a bit of a problem. make certain your ducks are in a row.

  3. Royal

    This is a good buy and worth the effort to restore, especially since the interior looks to be in great shape for a three decade old car. There are many FB Groups dedicated to preserving these mopars. My friend had one when they were new in 85. A nice little peppy ride. I have the 2.2 Turbo in my LeBaron Convertible but I am just getting acquainted with my new acquisition.

    BTW, title issues are always fixable with a proper title service.

  4. Don

    What is a GLH-T? I have heard of the GLH and the GLHS.

    • glen

      T=Turbo

      • Don

        Weren’t all the GLH’s a turbo?

  5. Big Mike

    Title issue would be an easy fix in Missouri, all you would have to do is take a notarized letter to the local DMV apply for a salvage title, and in this case out of state purchase, been there done that.
    For the damaged quarter panel you should still be able to find at least one that is still in good enough shape to get that section of body then all you have to do is cut, weld, smooth out and paint. Oh yeah put interior back together,
    On a little after thought, My ex-Brother in law worked for Chrysler when it was still up at Fenton, Missouri and he drove one of these back and forth to work, with 3 buddies, for years he always said you could not hurt the turbo engine.

  6. dougP

    bought an 1985 off my boss for $ 3000 in 1990 same color. Had a leaky antenna base that caused the computer to go bad had to put the stock one back in. Some old lady crashed into the right front corner and bent the frame. Real peppy car off the line for its time.

  7. Oingo

    As the author said it might be a inexpensive racer but I don’t see anything other than the title issue holding it back from being a winter beater or restoration candidate, daily driver etc.

  8. Rustytech Member

    Nice ride! There may be some NOS quarter panels still available for this thing. If you want one of these, there’s an old statement that fits ” buy it when you see it”. There can’t be many running examples left.

  9. Tueboomni

    The ultimate GLH is the GLHS not the GLHT or the GLH.

  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    As mentioned here previously, I bought a GLH-T new in 1986 and it was a blast to drive. Probably the car I miss the most. You drive it fast, with no pretenses.

    This is too ambitious of a project for me, but the person that decides to take it on will be greatly rewarded.

  11. PAPERBKWRITER

    Junk back in the day, junk now.

  12. Ram Rod

    The top of the line omni for 85. Not the best omni. That would be the 86 GLHS. But if you want to see one of these babies really roll. Search James Reeves. He has the worlds fastest 5sp omni. Think he just ran low 8s in a 4cyl omni.

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