Was the 1980s the death of American Petrol Head? (Part 2)
** The GLHS **
The GLHS was the fastest at 175 horsepower and 175 pound-feet. This was not a tool for the track, it was a weapon of mass destruction. It had a modified Garrett Turbo I engine, a long-travel (2-piece) tuned intake manifold, and an intercooler. The engine had a compression ratio of 8.5: 1, a maximum boost of 12 psi. Because of all this, it could do 060 mph in an incredible 6.70 seconds and a quarter mile in 14.7 seconds at 94 mph. He also threw 88g on the skid pad.
Rather than continue to produce Shelby-inspired Dodges, Carroll began building actual Shelby’s at his new facility in Whittier, California. These were cars that he purchased from Dodge, modified, and later sold through select Dodge dealers. These vehicles were produced in limited quantities. Each model was a one-year run and all received a numbered dash plaque.
The suspension was reworked with gas-charged low-pressure adjustable front struts and Koni rear shocks. The standard 1 in. front and 5/8 in. The rear stabilizer bars were retained as well as the factory brakes and steering. Shelby Centurion 15×6 on cast aluminum wheels were surrounded by 205 / 50VR15 Goodyear Gatorbacks.
With the added power, it now had a top speed of 130 mph. All this bundle of brilliance at what price? At the time, it was only $ 11,000. However, it wasn’t just Shelby fine-tuning the Dodges, as Dodge themselves got into the game with their own products. Products like the 1984 Dodge Colt Turbo. Sure, it may have been a Mitsubishi, but that didn’t stop this vehicle from being fast. Sure, it only had 060 mph in 8.9 seconds and just 103 horsepower. That was not the goal of the Colt. It was a handling machine meant to be more Lotus Elise, then Chevrolet Camaro.
It was lighter than the lightweight Alfa Romeo 4C. It might only have 103 horsepower, but it only weighed 1,896 pounds (or 860 kg). It also had a top speed of 112 mph. Not much, but like the Miata … It doesn’t have to be.
“Now, in this corner, we have the Dodge Omni GLH with 110 horsepower (82 kW).
In the other corner we have … Where did they go? They were scared?
Supossely Yes … “
The Omni GLH was a great hatch model. It was fast, fun, light, nimble, cheap, and frivolous. This is a classic. It is not as classic as the GNX; however, it remains a classic in its own right.
This car is fast, it’s a bummer when you modify it. This is also a very light car, weighing in at less than 2,400 pounds. While we don’t see many of these, they still prove that Dodge can make a proper small car … A proper hot hatch, but the GLH wasn’t the only “GLH” in the series.
So you had the GLHT. It was basically a GLH with a turbocharged engine. Although it was much more powerful, power output was now raised to 146 horsepower (108 kW) and 170 pound-feet. Making it one of the fastest cars of the trio, this car went from 0 to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds and a quarter mile in 16.2 seconds to 85.5. It could reach a top speed of 119.
The GLH turbo was upgraded to equal length axle shafts. Even though it was just (sort of) an engine upgrade, that didn’t take anything away. It was still an incredible hot hatch.
Then we have the car that nobody remembers. The Dodge Shadow ES, while the 87 looks better than the 89, they are good cars either way. These are really fun cars to drive too. Like many of the cars on this list, the Shadow was (and still is) a very light car. Weighing 2,535 pounds (or 1,150 kg) it had 146 horsepower and 170 pound-feet.
This car was less powerful than some of the cars on this list and slightly heavier. But this was not a Shadow tuned by Shelby. So I wasn’t going to be as focused on racing, even though it was still a lot of fun to drive.
This is the canvas Shelby used to make the CSX with his own hands. And it’s a nice little factory package. It basically turned the Shadow into an Evo, except without the AWD. Like almost every car on this list, it is turbocharged. Use the same engine in the following cars:
Omni GLH / GLHT / GLHS
Dodge Shelby Charger
There are many cars that have the same engine. But once 1989 rolled around, the horsepower was increased to 150 horsepower and 180 pound-feet. While it wasn’t as attractive as the year before, he was a bit surprised by the revamped model.
That’s how it is! We have a convertible. In 1991 Dodge introduced the Shadow convertible. It was a pretty good convertible at that! You could get an ES trim level, which means you could get a convertible with 150 horsepower and 180 lb ·ft. Since it was light, it was quite fast.
But wait, there’s more !!!
Could be? Yes, another sedan! The Dodge Spirit R / T with 224 horsepower and 218 lb-ft. This was the Charger Hellcat of its time. Because it has the most horsepower of all the vehicles on this list, it has the highest top speed. It has a top speed of 141 mph. That’s 190 E territory. It could do the quarter mile in 14.5 seconds, at 97 mph. This was tubular in its day. (Yes, I had to look for that). Their heads were also designed by Lotus. At the time, it was America’s fastest four-door sedan. It was also fuel efficient, hitting 26 miles per gallon on the highway.
It was very very cheap. Making it one of the fastest cars you could get for less than $ 20,000. As good as it was, it’s not nearly as memorable as the other cars on this list. (Aside from Shadow and Colt) … However, they are still quite popular within a certain group of people. ** Cough **
TurboDodge Guys ** Cough **
The Dodge Daytona is one of the coolest vehicles on this list. It produced 146 horsepower (109 kW) and 170 pound-feet. It is slightly heavier than some of the other vehicles on this list. It weighs 2,701 pounds (or 1,225 kg). It handled so well that it outperformed the Porsche 924.
You do not believe me? Here you have:
Read it and cry or admire. I had a Garret T3 Turbo. With 2 valves per cylinder. Lots of people love this car to this day, someone even swapped the 2.2-liter turbo for a 5.7-liter Hemi on their own and converted it to RWD. But that’s beside the point. It also has a T-top option for the ’86. Later in his life, he won pop-up headlights and a new variant. It was called the Shelby Z. It made more horsepower from 146 to 174 horsepower (130 kW) and 200 pound-feet, as well as a heavy-duty A555 transaxle with Getrag gearing. (If you want more information, I’ll provide links at the end of the article.)
The Dodge Caravan ES Turbo, the total sleeper. Like some of the vehicles on this list, it makes 150 horsepower and 170 pound-feet. It’s not the lightest vehicle on this list, it weighs 3,086 pounds. It is lighter and faster than some of the vehicles to come. It has a top speed of 110 mph, not very high. But for a pickup truck in the 1980s, that’s pretty quick. Combine that with 060 mph in 9.4 seconds, and you have the characteristics of a sleeper for those who sleep.
Ford came for the ride. They proved that the 80s were not the end with the Foxbody Mustang. Foxbodies are very popular now, they are known as a good platform for just about anything. They are the lightest of all Mustangs. Once upgraded to a dart block it can easily handle 900 HP. But these go beyond endurance racing. Because they are light and small, they make good budget track cars.
You could get a whole armada of engines. Here is the list:
2.3 L (140 cu in) 86 hp I4
2.3L (140 cu in) turbocharged I4
3.3 L (201 cu in) I6 85 hp
2.8 L (171 cu in) V6
3.8 L (232 cu in) Essex V6
4.2L (256 cu in) V8
302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8
Not much? It was also chosen as the rhythm of the Indy 500, they also made a special edition celebrating this. More than 10,000 were made. Unlike the Daytona, you can get a convertible or just a standard Coupe. The Fastback was the option if you wanted a sportier Mustang. The Daytona was just a factory fastback / hatch.
There were also a variety of broadcasts. From a 4 or 5 speed manual or a 3 or 4 speed automatic. But who could forget the Mustang SVO? This is the Foxbody we all remember. It had 200 horsepower, 240 pound-feet. and the new (for the moment) “aero” headlights. The Mustang was not the only one because on the “Foxbody” platform we also had the Thunderbird. Think of it like a Chrysler 300 Coupe. It was bigger than the Mustang and more luxurious. In a weird way, it reminds me of the Bentley Continental.
The Turbo Coupe had a 2.3-liter OHC (Over Head Cam) engine with EFI, an air-to-air intercooler, and a 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive. This was a luxury coupe with a dark side. At first, the engine produced 142 horsepower, but later it was increased to 155 horsepower. Unsurprisingly, this was heavier than the Mustang. It was also bigger. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. While the Mustang was more of a sports car, the Thunderbird was more of a cruiser. A GT because if you want.
Sadly, this is a very underrated car. Not getting as much love as Foxbody, which is really ironic given it’s built on the same platform. He’s just a shot away, losing the glory he once had to the ruthless mistress of time. Destined for a life of misery … it’s a great shame, because people had seen the potential in this car …
We may have seen more cruises of this forgotten beast.