As a fan of smaller cars there is a special place in my heart for the hot hatch. Undersized with a peppy engine, they can come across as the underdog but are fun to drive. Muscle cars are awesome with low-end torque, but there is a unique form of pride when you can get great road performance with less horsepower. Plus what’s more fun pushing the limit of a hot hatch on a twisty two-lane road?
If you were a consumer in the mid-80s and prefer American cars you didn’t have a lot of hot hatch options from domestic producers, but Carroll Shelby provided his golden touch to one manufacturer.
“Though many know Carroll Shelby worked much of his career with Ford, there was a time in the 80’s that he was heavily improving the performance of the Dodge stable,” the listing states. “The Omni was an economy-minded car designed to help get from point A to point B as efficient as possible. A special trim GLH (for “goes Like Hell”) was introduced in 1984 with help from Mr. Shelby.”
Shelby’s influence on the Omni was immediate as the horsepower in the 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine was increased from 146 to 175 over the lower model GLH. Mopar fans had a proper hot hatch, but production was limited to 500.
This example is #53 and received a documented restoration, circa 2002-2003. The 2.2-liter inline-four turbo engine’s boost pressure was increased to 16-17 psi and the five-speed manual transmission features an upgraded limited-slip differential.
The asking price is $19,000 for this Shelby hot hatch from Dodge and the listing indicates that it has 10,538 miles since the rebuild. The pictures in the listing show a car that’s in solid shape on the inside and outside.