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Little Psycho: Testing Out A 470-Horsepower Dodge Omni GLH

Little Psycho: Testing Out A 470-Horsepower Dodge Omni GLH

It is supremely strange to think that Carroll Shelby, the man who gave the world hot Mustangs, wicked AC Cobras, and the car that kicked Ferrari in the guts, the GT40, pretty much saw the front-wheel-drive fad coming a mile away, and that he went at it head-on using a Dodge Omni. In 1984, The Omni GLH (Goes Like Hell) was sicc’d onto an unsuspecting public, and in short order Camaro and Mustang owners of the day suddenly found their asses getting kicked by a Volkswagen Rabbit look-alike that had a nasty case of torque-steer under boost and a very evil personality. It did not suffer fools, but handled properly, this little L-body was a beast and a half…one part light weight, one part boosted four-banger with a torque spread actually worth mentioning. The unassuming, economical front-driver suddenly had a very dark side.

The car that David Patterson, aka ThatDudeInBlue, is driving is as far removed from stock as you can get. 470 horsepower? That’s Challenger SRT392 levels of oomph, out of a maybe 2,300 pound four-door with unequal half-shafts. It was going to be a handful under the best of circumstances, outright deadly in most circumstances. This is the kind of car that you only whack the throttle on in either “In case of emergency, break glass” moments or on an airport runway, with the car sitting perfectly on the centerline. A healthy Shelby Charger of the era is a workout. This little red menace is the equivalent of hitting yourself with an EpiPen while balancing a dipstick on battery terminals while a police K9 is closing in with jaws wide open. You had better know what you’re doing or things will hurt in three, two…

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5 thoughts on “Little Psycho: Testing Out A 470-Horsepower Dodge Omni GLH

  1. Gary

    Lovely little beast! For some odd reason, I like that the outside of the car is just this side of being a total beater. Normally I don’t care for cars that aren’t clean and well finished, but somehow, this things rattle can looking finish works for it.

  2. Raymond

    I got to drive the famous Omni from Hell AKA the one lap of America Mopar Action GLH, it was WAY ahead of it’s time back then.

  3. Cliff Morgan

    I remember these cars when they first came out. I think they were French, body was known as a Simca. Liked the outside but inside was blah. Don Garlits had a Dodge version of this car w/ a supercharger.

  4. 69rrboy

    A friend of mine had a GLHS Omni back then that had maybe 225HP instead of the factory 185. It had staggering amounts of torque steer to the point where my shoulders hurt for a week after I drove it.

    It didn’t matter what gear or what speed you were going. As soon as you hit the gas it would try to rip the wheel out of your hands and change lanes as often as you changed gears. Unbelievable nasty little box!

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