If you were to select 10 performance car freaks and ask them to name their top 10 performance car values ever offered for sale in America, most of them would not mention a turbocharged L-body. This saddens and perplexes us, and here's why: these cars sold for under $10,000 new from 1985 to 1987 (the GLHS models were a little more). Stock, the TurboI cars would return a timeslip in the high 15s; the TurboII GLHS cars could hit high 14s. Best of all, performance modifications are rather plentiful, inexpensive, and easy to integrate. It is very common for a minimally modified TurboI L-body to run the quarter mile in the 14s; a determined owner can modify his to run as low as 11 second ETs if desired. All that performance, 20+ miles per gallon of gas, plus room for the wife, kids, and a week's worth of groceries. If that doesn't define a good performance car value, we don't know what does.
Quite frankly, the L-body turbocars are sorta special among us FWD Chrysler fans. They are the lightest Mopars ever offered with turbo power, and all things being equal the lighter your car the faster you go. Plus, they are simple designs--no power windows or door locks, no leather seats or digital gauges--which offer only the basics. And perhaps most importantly of all, a Corvette driver is humiliated to a much larger degree by an Omni than a Daytona. People just don't expect a 4-door econocrate to perform, and everyone else's dropped jaws put smiles on our faces. There's a lot to be said for stealthy performance; we are less likely to get tickets, more able to blend into the crowd when desired, and so on.
We want to focus on the L-body cars for two main reasons: first, this platform was created prior to the infamous K-car platform--this means that our cars will sometimes have special considerations when it comes to making things work (read: when installing parts from K-car vehicles). Second, the diminutive size of the L-bodys also presents some unique challenges when it comes to repair, parts installation, and so on. For example, changing the water pump on a Lancer is significantly easier than on an Omni, even when both cars are equipped with the same engine. Until you've done it both ways, you would not know this. That's why we're here.
Carroll Shelby was a humble chicken farmer raised in Texas. He got involved in automotive racing and was very interested in international events. Ferrari more or less dominated this area, which bothered Carroll; he felt that with a proper automobile (one better than the Corvette) America might stand a chance against the mighty Italians. This desire, coupled with some business savvy and a generous dose of good fate, allowed him to build the Shelby Cobra--a flat out race car meant to stick it to Enzo and his fellow Europeans. With Shelby himself behind the wheel, Cobras did manage to defeat all oncomers and become world champion race cars.
The Cobras had been Ford powered, so some Ford execs (led by Lee Iacocca) talked him into modifying some Mustangs. Thus were born the Shelby Mustangs of the late 60s; they were limited production cars meant more for the track than the street. This business deal caused Carroll and Lee to become good friends.
In the 80s, Iacocca was now chairman of Chrysler. He thought it would be good to develop a performance image for Dodge, so he called his old friend and convinced him to work his magic once again. The products of this latter marriage are collectively known as the Shelby Dodge cars; some were built by Dodge, others by Carroll at his own plant in California. (To learn more about the cars, check the Shelby Dodge historical pages.)
Since we are internet-based, joining the car club is synonymous with joining the mailing list. How do you apply to Team Omni? Simple. Go check out our special web page about the mailing list; it contains all the instructions you'll need.
Not at all! Our desire is to be free information source dedicated to the L-body platform; the web pages and mailing list have been generously donated by founding members of the club so that no costs would occur.
Yes you can. We are now archived on the Escribe web site (since October 11th, 1998). Go there to read past messages which appeared on Team Omni from that date forward.