PCH, 80s Acronymic Forced Inductors Edition: Dodge Omni GLHS or Mazda 323 GTX?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! Like chlamydia and financial crises, turbocharging was hot in the 80s…

…and that means plenty of lightweight, crazy-handling turbocharged vehicles of that era can be had for a few tattered bills and some pocket lint these days. Yes, back when turbos made lots of noise and it was considered perfectly normal for turbo lag to make the car accelerate like a garbage truck dragging an overturned double-wide… right up until the moment at which the turbo built up pressure and the car leaped like a bobcat stung in the ass by an Asian giant hornet… straight into the nearest tree or parked car. Uncivilized turbocharged subcompacts, for total hoons serious drivers! And, since we had a near-even split between the two Detroit heroes in the Get Rich In The Limo Business Edition PCH, we're going to give third-tier PCH contender Japan a shot at wresting the rusty, oil-leaking Project Car Hell trophy away from the Americans today.

Carroll Shelby's Dodge Omni GLHS was one of the all-time bang-for-buck car deals of the 1980s, and you still see the Goes Like Hell Some-More machines knocking off crazy times at racetracks around the country. Since that Texan's sacred name goes on the car, you've got to figure on spending Barrett-Jackson-grade bucks on one, right? Actually, no- we've found this 1987 Dodge Omni GLHS (go here if the ad disappears), and the seller is asking just $1,500 for it! The description states "It is not running, but was running a few months ago," which may be Craigslist-ese for "It was running right up until the moment when a huge explosion tore the cylinder head completely off the engine"… or maybe it just needs a simple tune-up. The body looks semi-beat but not hopeless, and the word "rust" isn't mentioned at all in the description. How hard could it be?

Texas torque steer is macho and all, but wouldn't you rather have all-wheel-drive and rally history on your side when you take on a hopeless somewhat ambitious 80s Turbo Hell Project? 80s Mazda 323 GTXs have become harder to find than optimistic economists these days, but they're out there if you're willing to discard your sanity take on a challenging project. Say, this 1988 Mazda 323 GTX (go here if the ad disappears), which you can steal for under a grand. The seller says "needs exhaust work and trans work but can be driven," and we figure that means nothing to worry about when you've got an engine full of hard-to-find turbo exhaust parts and an even-harder-to-find early Mazda all-wheel-drive drivetrain setup- no chance in hell most likely it's all easy stuff! There's rust, though its extent is not described in detail, but look on the bright side: the seller will accept trades!


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