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Classic YouTube: Selling Mopar’s Pocket Rocket With The Help Of Junior – The 1984 Dodge Omni GLH

Classic YouTube: Selling Mopar’s Pocket Rocket With The Help Of Junior – The 1984 Dodge Omni GLH

“Dodge Omni has always been a good old buddy…a nice little guy.” Yeah, sure, believe what you will. Dodge’s Omni had a few things going for it…small, front-wheel-drive, and it actually sold when Chrysler was sinking like the Titanic. That “nice” part might have been stretching the truth, though. It was basic car material: cheap to make, easy to run, lightweight and fuel efficient…just the thing for a country that was recovering from two oil embargoes and a low economy. But by 1984, a funny thing was happening: Chrysler had recovered and had even figured out how to make a car haul ass through the magic of two points of interest: a chicken farmer from Texas who didn’t have such a hot relationship with Ford anymore and the turbocharger. Together, they turned the Omni from a cracker box into a cracker box that could haul some genuine ass. “Goes Like Hell” wasn’t a joke…in the initial form, the engine was naturally aspirated and cranked out 110 horsepower, but with turbocharging, the horsepower jumped up first to 146, then 175 in the ballistic GLHS form. But the basic concept behind the car was well-explained in this 1984 ad spot: a tweak here, a tune there, some black paint, and you ended up with an Omni that was more than “a nice little guy”. This was the automotive equivalent of the evil little Calvin sticker, prepared to piss all over everybody’s parade with a smile.

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8 thoughts on “Classic YouTube: Selling Mopar’s Pocket Rocket With The Help Of Junior – The 1984 Dodge Omni GLH

  1. Don

    Bought a new GLH Turbo in 1985. Was my daily for over 10 years. Fast (for the time) fun and cheap to operate. Wish I could find a really nice one today.

  2. john

    My GLH seemed to have more than the 110 advertised hp. under the chrome valve cover. Chrysler had the habit of “gaslighting ” hp in their cars. Lots of fun to drive. 🙂

  3. Gary

    I’ll never forget the Car & Driver review of the Buick Grand National Turbo, where the writters are falling all over themselves about how badass a car it was, then one of the wroters wrote, “Who cares that there’s a GLH right along side your front fender”!
    The GLH did almost everything the Buick did, for less. Appearence? That’s subject to taste, I’d take the GLH every trip of the train.
    I know the herd mentality of the GM fans would scoff, but then, who cares? They buy GM products!

  4. Cliff Morgan

    That kid in the commercial would be around 50 by now. Wonder if he ever owned a GLH? The body was based on a French Simca, if I remember right, but that engine was kinda like the grandfather of engines today, turbo 4 cyl.

    1. Benoit Pigeon

      Simca, yes at first, then Talbot when Peugeot took over the brand. But the car was really a Chrysler Europe car.
      Simca was started by Fiat for the french market (Simca 5 – Fiat Topolino are one well know body style in drag racing and rodding for being near identical).
      Simca then became partially owned by the french branch of Ford.
      Eventually, Simca ended with Chrysler Europe before being sold to Peugeot PSA who renamed the brand Talbot before dropping the name and production years later. So despite being known as french, Simca was only french for a short time before it was decapitated by Peugeot.
      Despite not being an original french brand, Simca kept building french Ford flatheads after Ford sold everything to Chrysler.
      Simca is historically a big mess, but it left behind unique v8 engines that have been used on many hot rods since.


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