Project Car Hell, Cheap Turbo Edition: 924 or Omni GLH?

Illustration for article titled Project Car Hell, Cheap Turbo Edition: 924 or Omni GLH?

In many ways, the 80s were the heyday of turbocharging. Sure, present-day force-fed engines make way more power, run cleaner, and suffer from less turbo lag than their 80s counterparts, but there's something so right about an 80s machine covered with TURBO emblems. So put on your Members Only jackets and/or leg warmers, tune in some Reagan campaign ads, and crack open your wallet just wide enough to pay the toll into HELL!


Back in 1980, you could peel off $16,770 in cocaine-saturated bills and buy yourself a naturally-aspirated Porsche 924... or you could move a bit more product and get yourself the 924 Turbo for $20,875, thus getting 143 horsepower instead of just 110. Now, that would come to about 56 grand nowadays, so you gotta figure this here 1980 924 Turbo is a steal at just 300 bucks. Of course, you'll need to crank up the boost a few notches... but all the boost-enhancing gear might need to wait until you sort out whatever made the engine smoke when it last ran. Four years ago. And, as the seller puts it, "intieror needs help," so you'll maybe want to invest in a few interior components. Hey, I hear Porsche stuff is reasonably priced, so that's no sweat! Then, of course, you're likely to encounter some electrical problems here and there, but how hard could that be? $300 Porsche, baby!

Since we're already in Albany, let's crack open the William Kennedy books and take a look at this 1986 or 1987 Dodge Omni GLH. The seller doesn't know the year, but he or she sure knows how much he or she wants for it: 400 bucks. Now, Carroll Shelby said GLH stands for "Goes Like Hell," and that's just what you'll do with this car. Well, once you get it running, that is. The seller doesn't try to sweet-talk you with unnecessary description. No title, no keys. But this car came with 146 factory horses under the hood, and it's no sweat doubling that figure. You like torque-steering all over the road in a cloud of glorious tire smoke? This is your car! Parts shouldn't be too hard to find, but you'll likely need a helluva lot of them.

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GLH no question about it, the sickest FWD hoonage available from the awesomest decade ever.

Not exactly hellish to restore, parts are everywhere, clubs are numerous, and fordward motion performance sells 500hp pump gass race-reacy turboIV motors for like 4 grand.

So restoring one won't make you go bald, but who the hell wants a 924. Unless project car hell is supposed to involve a frightening restoration experience that leads to a questionable car. You might be called a douchebag in both the GLH and the Porsche, but at least you wouldn't be a poseur in the GLH, and it's probably waaaaaaay faster in a straight line and on a track.

Bottom line: Lee Iacocca > Ferdinand Porsche

There, I said it.