Shelby GLHS

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'86 Shelby GLHS (Orange Julep '09).jpg
ManufacturerChrysler Corporation
AssemblyBelvidere, Illinois
Body and chassis
ClassHot Hatch
Body style3-door hatchback (1987)
5-door hatchback (1986)
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
RelatedDodge Charger
Dodge Omni
Plymouth Horizon
Plymouth Turismo
Engine2.2 L Turbo I I4
Transmission5-speed A525 manual

The Shelby GLHS was a limited production sport compact automobile from the mid-1980s. The main differentiator of these cars from their regular Dodge versions was their use of what would become the intercooled Turbo II engine as well as Shelby Centurian wheels and Koni Adjustable shocks/struts, and changes to the alignment.


The '1986 Shelby GLH-S' was a modified Dodge Omni GLH, with changes made at the Shelby factory. They were retitled as Shelby Automobiles cars sold at select Dodge dealerships. GLH stood for "Goes Like Hell" and GLHS stood for Goes Like Hell S'more. Just 500 were made.

Dash plaques used a 3-digit serial numbering system (as only 500 were made).

The Turbo I engine was modified with pre-production pieces from what would become the Turbo II inline-four engine. These changes included an intercooler, plus other changes to produce 175 hp (130 kW) and a flat 175 ft·lbf (237 N·m) torque curve. Not included were any of the durability changes to the short block (forged crank, full floating pin, stouter connecting rods, etc.) of the 1987 Chrysler Turbo II engine. Luckily, the Shelby engines have proved to be reliable even without the durability enhancements of the production Turbo II. Performance was impressive, with just 6.5 s needed for 0–60 mph (97 km/h) and 14.8 s for the quarter mile (402 m) run. Top speed was 135  mph (217 km/h).

Shelby Automobiles received the first T-2 induction pieces (prior to Dodge/Chrysler), and installed them on the 500 GLH cars that shipped to the Whittier factory. Engine mods. included: New T-2 fuel rail, T-2 injectors, wiring harness, larger throttle body, bigger turbo, tuned intake & exhaust manifolds, intercooler/rad. & fan assemblies, induction hoses, T-2 airbox, GLHS specific logic module, CS-Shelby-CS windshield decal, & tape graphics pkg. There was a Dodge emblem left on in production. A black/yellow overlay sticker was placed at the bottom of the speedometer to read to 135 mph . A Momo leather-wrapped shifter knob, Izumi leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shift pattern sticker were also installed. A Use Mobil 1 As Recommended in Shelby GLHS Owner's Manual plaque was affixed to the front of the standard production valve cover.

The primary differences between the Shelby engine and the Chrysler Turbo II engine are the torque: Shelby's unique engine computer shaved the torque to save the stock Omni transaxle, Chrysler Turbo II engines had 200 lb⋅ft (270 N⋅m) of torque; the trimetal bearings, forged crank and extra oil passages weren't present; and the wiring harness is a conglomeration of original Turbo I, with splicings for the heated oxygen sensor.

All-in-all this was a very formidable car, especially on short tracks. In SCCA Solo competition, it was never allowed a place in the stock categories because it failed to meet the required 1000 unit a year production quota. It also was significantly faster In the quarter mile than the Chevrolet Camaro with the 305 V8, Pontiac's Firebird/Trans Am with the 305 V8 and pre-1987 302 V8 Mustangs, and equal or slightly faster than the 1987–1993 V8 Ford Mustangs and Corvettes.


1987 Shelby GLHS

The 1987 Charger GLHS was based on the 1987 Shelby Charger. Shelby Automobiles purchased the last 1000 of these & they were shipped to the Whittier factory for modification. Shelby modified the Charger using the same pieces as the 1986 GLHS with some changes. These included a non EGR turbo, Shelby valve cover, wider Shelby windshield decal (no CS logos), different & more extensive tape graphics package, no reference to Dodge on the outer body, black/white speedo overlay, a 4-digit serial numbering system on the dash plaque, wider Mobil 1 plaque installed on the radiator support, & Centurian II wheels.


The 1987 Charger GLHS uses 1986 electronics & fault codes.

The dash plaque on 1987 GLHS Chargers read "Shelby Automobiles Inc", "Carroll Shelby" autograph and "Charger GLH-S ####".

Some early (low s/n) Charger GLHS's came with a shortened 1986 GLHS windshield decal (CS logos removed).

All 1986 & 1987 GLHS's were first run using conventional oil for engine break-in, then filled with Mobil 1 oil. All transaxles came filled with 5-30W engine oil.

All GLHSs came from Dodge in single stage black (no clearcoat).

The Turbocharged 2.2-liter engine of a 1987 GLHS

There is at least one odd ball that was painted above the Shelby Factory strobe stripe by a dealership because the car wouldn't sell making it a "Dealer option" much like the Yenko cars of the 60's and 70's. It's almost hard to believe 'Dealer options' on those cars have added more than 10X the value over the factory production cars. The dealer had red paint added over the black. Because of their close proximity to the Whittier Shelby plant, Anaheim Dodge had at least six 87 GLHS's on the lot at one time. They sold slowly and in October 1988 they tried this repaint idea to move their very last unit. This vehicle is owned by the California Shelby Dodge Club president. All had the same options which included a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, air conditioning, sunroof, non-armrest center console and KONI struts/shocks on all four corners. There was also an allowance made for the 85 mph (140 km/h) speedometer in the form of a sticker which extended the range of the speedometer to an indicated 125 mph (200 km/h). By the time the speedometer had wrapped fully around to the "5 mph" mark, the car would have been going at 135  mph (217 km/h). There was also a new version of the Shelby "Centurion" wheel that looked very similar to the Centurion wheels on the 1986 Omni GLHS, but had the "blades" turning in the opposite direction. These are commonly known as Centurion II wheels.


One of the most popular performance upgrades for both of these vehicles is the MOPAR Performance Stage II Computer (Logic Module). This increased the boost to 14.7 psi under wide-open throttle, and output was raised to a claimed 205 hp and 246 lb⋅ft (334 N⋅m) of torque. Another popular mod was the "super 60 kit", which was named so because at full output the fuel pump as part of this kit could pump 60 gallons per hour. It included a computer, fuel pump, injectors, turbocharger and camshaft. The fuel injectors were highly sought after by not only GLH/S and later on SRT4 owners, but for Corvette, Camaro and Mustang owners because they were far better than anything that was offered on the market and were a direct fit.

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