PCH, Affordable Shelby Edition: 1986 GLHS or 1989 CSX-VNT?S

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! The last time we slammed the rusty doors of the Hell Garage, the Million Euro Gardner-Serpollet beat the double-homicide Stanley Steamer by a significant- yet not overwhelming 57:43 ratio. Today we've got the life sentence answer for those who want to drive some lunatic Carroll Shelby creation, yet don't have a six-figure budget: Shelby Mopars!


What would you say about a funky-handling 80s front-wheel-drive coupe that used an early variable-nozzle turbocharger to get top speeds well over 150MPH and burn holes in all the pistons? With Iacocca-class build quality and- it should go without saying here- a K-car-based chassis? Designed by Caroll Shelby? You figure you're going to have to get up off of at least five figures to get a car like that, but no- for only $6,500 you could buy this 1989 Shelby CXS-VNT (go here if the ad disappears). The CSX-VNT was dangerously fast, and it wasn't quite as prone to blowing up as earlier blown K-cars. And since it shares so many components with the extremely junkyard-friendly Dodge Shadow, you won't to make more than 50 a couple of trips to replace enough parts to get this thing running. There are "head gasket issues" (which is Car Sellerspeak for "something serious involving smoke and/or unpleasant hammering noises and/or broken valves flying out of the tailpipe"), but you'll prevail!

The CSX-VNT is pretty crazy, all right, but do you want to be stuck driving a car so incredibly 80s-looking? The Shelby body kit adds to the overall Iran-Contra feel- and even if you wear a Members Only jacket as an ironic statement- you'll be seen as a freakish 80s-nostalgia geek. But you're cheap and you want a really fast car straight from Carroll Shelby? Look no further, because we've got this 1986 Shelby GLHS (go here if the ad disappears) for not much more than half the price of the CSX-VNT. Yes, it's a rattly-ass 80s hatchback, based on a Simca design in France, powered by a turbocharged 175-horse engine, with a name that stands for "Goes Like Hell Some More!" That's right, the Dodge Omni GLHS, which might have been the best performance bang-for-buck of the 80s. We don't know much about this particular deal, since all the seller sees fit to share with us is the somewhat uninformative "The previous owner built a forged engine for it.. also put 3 inch exhaust on her," but sometimes you just need to trust people. And hey, it's in Texas!

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