Was The 80′s the Death of the American Petrol Head? (Part 2)

**The GLHS**

The GLHS was the fastest with 175 horsepower and 175 lb-­ft. This wasn’t a tool for the track, it was a weapon of mass destruction. It had a modified Garrett Turbo I engine, a long runner tuned intake (2 pieces) manifold, and an intercooler. The engine had a compression ratio of 8.5:1, a maximum boost of 12 psi. Because of all this, it could do the 0­60 mph in an incredible 6.70 seconds and the quarter mile in 14.7 seconds at 94 mph. It also pulled.88 g on the skid pad.

Rather than continuing to produce Shelby inspired Dodges, Carroll began to build actual Shelbys at his new facility in Whittier, California. These were cars he purchased from Dodge, modified, and then sold himself through select Dodge dealerships. These vehicles were produced in limited numbers. Each model was a one ­year­ run and all were given a numbered dash plaque.

The suspension was reworked with adjustable low-pressure gas charged Koni front struts and rear shocks. The standard 1­in. front and 5/8­in. rear swaybars were retained, as well as the factory brakes and steering. Shelby Centurion 15×6 in cast aluminum wheels were surrounded by 205/50VR­15 Goodyear Gatorbacks.

With the additional power, it now had a top speed of 130 mph. All of this bundle of brilliance for what cost? At the time, it was only 11 grand. It wasn’t just Shelby tuning Dodges though, as Dodge themselves got into the game with products of their own. Products like the 1984 Dodge Colt Turbo. Sure, it may have been a Mitsubishi, but that didn’t deter this vehicle from being fast. Sure, it only had a 0­60mph in 8.9 Seconds and only 103 horsepower. That wasn’t the point of the Colt. It was a handling machine meant to be more of Lotus Elise, then Chevrolet Camaro.

It was lighter than Alfa Romeo 4C light. It may have had only 103 horsepower, but it only weighed 1,896 pounds (or 860 kg). It also had a top speed of 112 mph. Not much, but like the Miata… It doesn’t need to be.

“Now, in this corner, we have the Dodge Omni GLH Packing 110 horsepower (82 kw).

In the other corner we have… Where did they go? Were they scared off?

Apparently so… ”

The Omni GLH was a great hot hatch. It was fast, fun, light, nimble, cheap and frivolous. This is a classic. It’s not as much of a classic as the GNX; yet still a classic in its own right.

This car is a fast little bugger stock, it’s a jammy bugger when you modify it. This is also a very light car, weighing in at less than 2,400 pounds. While we don’t see many of these, they still prove that Dodge can make a proper small car… A proper hot hatch, but the GLH wasn’t the only “GLH” in the series.

You then had the GLH­T. It was basically a GLH with a turbocharged engine. Though it was much more powerful, power was now raised to 146 horsepower (108 kw) and 170 lb-­ft. Making it one of the faster cars in the trio, this car went from 0-60mph in 8.1 seconds and a quarter mile in 16.2 seconds at 85.5. It could reach a top speed of 119.

The GLH turbo was upgraded to equal length half shafts. Even though it was just (pretty much) an engine upgrade, that didn’t take away from anything. It was still an amazing hot hatch.

Then we have the car that nobody remembers. The Dodge Shadow ES, while the ’87 looks better than the ‘ 89, they are good cars either way. These are very fun cars to drive too. Like many of the cars on this list, the Shadow was (and still is) a very light car. Weighing in at 2,535 pounds (or 1150 kg) it had 146 horsepower and 170 lb­-ft.
This car was less powerful than some of the cars on this list, and a bit heavier. But this wasn’t a Shelby tuned Shadow. So it wasn’t going to be as racing focused, despite that they were still very good fun to drive.

This is the canvas Shelby used to craft the CSX from his very hands. And it’s a good little packet from the factory. He essentially turned the Shadow into an Evo except without the AWD. Much like almost all of the cars on this list, it is turbocharged. It uses the same engine in the following cars:


Dodge Shelby Charger

Shelby CSX

Shelby Lancer

Dodge Daytona

That’s a lot of cars to have the same engine. But once 1989 came around, the power was increased to 150 horsepower and 180 lb­ft. While it wasn’t as good looking as the previous year, he did a little surprise with the refreshed model.

That’s right! We got a convertible. In 1991, Dodge introduced the convertible Shadow. It was a pretty good convertible at that! You could get an ES trim level, meaning you could get a convertible with 150 horsepower and 180 lb­ft. Since it was light, it was pretty quick.

But wait, there is more!!!

Could it be? Yes, Another sedan! The Dodge Spirit R/T with 224 horsepower and 218 lb­-ft. This was the Charger Hellcat of its time. Because it has the most power of all the vehicles on this list, it has the highest top speed. It has a top speed of 141 mph. That’s 190 E territory. It could do the quarter mile in 14.5 seconds, at 97 mph. This was tubular in its day. (Yes I had to look that up). Its heads were also designed by Lotus. At the time, it was the fastest four door sedan in America. It was also fuel efficient, reaching 26 mpg on the highway.

It was very, very cheap. Making it one of the fastest cars you could get for less than 20 grand. As great as this was, it’s not as memorable as the other cars on this list. (Aside from the Shadow and Colt)… Though, they are still fairly popular within a certain group of people. **Cough**

TurboDodge guys **Cough**

The Dodge Daytona is one of the coolest vehicles on this list. It produced 146 horsepower (109 kw) and 170 lb­-ft. It is a bit heavier than some of the other vehicles on this list. It weighs 2,701 pounds (or 1225 kg). It handled so well, it beat the Porsche 924.

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