If the Toyota MR2 wasn’t big enough for you, the Pontiac Fiero too crude, and the VW Scirocco all too common, you just had to look at Chrysler’s Omni series for inspiration. Specifically, Carroll Shelby was doing his bit to make some of the most utilitarian, uninteresting products into rockets that evoked what he did to the Sunbeam Alpine and AC Ace. Mostly, this involved turbos and performance suspension, and a great example of that era is this 1985 Shelby Charger Turbo for sale with bidding at $2175, reserve not met, and just under 2 days left to go in Crestline, OH.
The styling, the add-ons, the phone dial wheels, the blacked out trim – for anyone who grew up in the 1980s, this basically exemplifies what was on the road back then. Unlike many 1980s cars, this one actually has the go to back up the looks, with 175hp and 175 lb.-ft. of torque from its Omni GLHS-sourced drivetrain. This particular car looks to be in remarkable original condition, with 74,000 miles since new.
The interior truly underscores the low miles – even on a well-cared-for example, you’d expect more wear than this on what were rather cheap materials. This is probably about as close as you can get to looking at a brochure – hopefully reality is as good as these pictures. It looks like the dash is crack-free, and the owner seems to even have taken the time to dust.
The only place where the car seems to show its age is under the hood, where you can see a little corrosion on the valve cover and some grease on the surrounding bits. But do you want to stare at the engine, or feel the gut-punch from the turbo kicking in at 2400rpm, and struggle to hang on to the wheel? Just think, this car has more power than a Ford Mustang, Saab turbo, BMW 325e, or Cosworth Mercedes of the same period.
This shot only continues the impression this car makes. Yes, Omnis and their siblings were much maligned when new – would you try out this turbo beast, or are you too scared of it blowing up on you?