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Friday, April 10, 2015

Rare Shelby GLHS is the Greatest Thing from the ’80s


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.


The 1980s are known for many things – bad hair, questionable music, and regrettable style – but you wouldn’t say any of those have faired well since. To my knowledge, Zubaz pants are no longer the rage and all Walkman cassette players now live in shoe boxes, dirty closets, and forgotten drawers. I digress. 
In the automotive world however, there are a few ’80s cars that have stood the test of time – the great Ferrari Testarossa, the Fox body Mustang, and of course the remarkably swift 1986 Shelby Omni GLHS. Coming across a supremely original GLHS is a rarity… and then some. Consider this one, which is up for sale on eBay, to be quite the unicorn.


Most compact economy cars in the ’80s were small and not very powerful. The Dodge Omni GLH (née ‘Goes Like Hell’) was an exception. With Carroll Shelby’s help, the Omni evolved from forgettable hatch into 2.2-liter turbocharged GLH monster, spewing 146 horsepower and putting many muscle cars to shame.
Production ended in 1986, but not before a halo version emerged.
Chrysler gave Carroll Shelby 500 all-black GLH Turbo models to play with, to which he added Koni suspension, Centurion wheels, as well as a new turbocharger, intercooler, intake manifold, and a number of other engine mods. The result was the punchy Shelby GLHS: 175 horsepower, 175 lb-ft of torque, and as the name suggests, it indeed went like hell.


Zero to 60 mph took 6.5 seconds, the quarter mile disappeared in 14.8 ticks of the clock, and Shelby claimed it would sail all the way up to 130 mph. Not bad for a little ’80s hatchback. It was so fast in fact that an extra third needed to be added to the speedometer. Attempt to hit 135 mph and you’ll be reading zero, seriously.

According to the listing, this 1986 Shelby GLHS is number 250 of that original 500 car run, and with under 23,000 miles on the clock, it might be one of the best. The seller (second owner since ’88) includes a substantial amount of service records, documentation, and notably the original invoice. This GLHS retailed for $11,620 brand new in ’86… we reckon it’ll sell for a good deal more than that in 2015.