The Dodge Omni was one of those cars that helped bridge Chrysler’s comeback from certain oblivion in the 1970s. It and the K-Car kept Chrysler above water. It and stablemate Plymouth Horizon were the first front-wheel-drive economy cars in the US. But honestly, they were cheap and tinny and forgettable appliances. Now you never see them. So would you pay $75,000 for a Dodge Omni today?
Is this Omni GLH $75,000 special?
No, unless there was something exceedingly special about a particular one. That’s the case with this Omni, but is it $75,000 special? That depends on how much of a Carroll Shelby fan you are.
Once the Omni and Horizon got some legs Chrysler was looking to add some spice to a mostly unspicy toaster. Something along the lines of a VW Golf GTI, a vehicle that in its pedestrian form the Omni could have been mistaken for. With Shelby’s modifications, the boring Omni became the “GLH” which stood for “goes like hell.”
The Omni GLH featured a cranked-up, turbocharged 2.2-liter single overhead cam four-cylinder with 175 hp. That compared more than favorably with the GTI’s 105 hp. Zero to 60 times were 6.5 seconds which is not half bad. The transmission is a five-speed manual for some added fun.
Being a tin toy-like appliance meant it was a fairly lightweight spinner
Being a tin toy-like appliance meant it was a fairly lightweight spinner. Adding to the package were Goodyear Gatorback VR-rated tires mounted on special Shelby Centurian aluminum rims and a leather-wrapped steering wheel to grab onto. Bigger Bosch injectors also added to the power increase. All-in-all it was a sprightly package and surely a riot to push into the corners.
Of course, Shelby wanted one for himself and so number 86 of 500 built went to the snake charmer himself. Through the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust, this personal GLH of Shelby with only 8,200 miles on the ticker will be auctioned off. That is happening January 7-16 2021 at the Mecum Kissimmee auction in Florida.
Mecum estimates it will gavel at between $50,000-75,000
As you can imagine, with such low miles this one is original throughout including the paint and interior. Mecum estimates it will gavel at between $50,000-75,000. Now, far be it from us to suggest what something is worth but does that seem a bit high?
Its value may be as much due to its condition and low miles as that it was given to Shelby. That and it has garnered some notoriety as the subject of a Shelby calendar, Award of Merit from the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, and features on a cable TV show and in magazines. At the end of the day, it is still a Dodge Omni which we think might limit the final bids. But we’ll keep our eye on the results and if anything especially newsworthy happens in Kissimmee, we’ll let ya know.