You Need This: Very Clean 1986 Shelby GLH-S

Last year RM Sotheby’s sold a 1986 Shelby GLH-S previously owned by the man himself for $27,500. Here’s a really, really clean one offered on eBay for $19,950.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/25/17 12:53 p.m.

And, I admit, that's not a cheap date. Still, the prices these are getting are intriguing.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
8/25/17 12:59 p.m.

I can't quite figure out who the collectors for these are. The one owned by CS makes sense to collect, but the regular ones.......
If you collect Shelby stuff this is about 40 cars down the list. If you collect Dodge stuff, maybe 30 cars down? I can see it being the crown jewel in an 80's crap box collection, but most of those seem to exist in fields at this point.
I love them, they're super cool, I'd love to stumble upon one at a car show, but I can't see wanting to pay actual dollars for one.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
8/25/17 1:00 p.m.

I miss having one. They are just giggle generators.

Also, T-D folks are weird, so it doesn't surprise me that someone who is a fan and has deep pockets would pick one up.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
8/25/17 1:17 p.m.

Jay Leno had this car on his show recently pushing me to eBay and I saw this one. Pricey.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
8/25/17 1:49 p.m.

If that's too much for your budget, there's a '85 GLH Turbo on Atlanta Craigslist for $5000. It's got a bit more wear, and it's a GLH rather than a GLHS, but it's a quarter of the price. It's also been up there for a while. Evidently the seller hasn't figured out who the collectors for these are, either. Apparently he hasn't met spin_out's UPS guy.

There is also somebody selling both a GLHS and a Maserati Biturbo. OK, we've got a Biturbo, a turbo Dodge, and it's in Atlanta... fess up, which of you regulars is trolling us?

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
8/25/17 1:54 p.m.

Weird on those prices. I was guessing the perfect one we were being told about was like $5K.

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
8/25/17 2:49 p.m.

I knew I'd regret selling mine. It would have never been worth much being modded and all, but TONS of fun. Off to ebay and such now....

kazoospec
kazoospec SuperDork
8/25/17 4:02 p.m.

Here's someone who did the "build your own" option. Don't know enough about them to know whether it was done right, but only asking $4K.

Roll your own Shelby

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/25/17 4:23 p.m.
kazoospec wrote: Here's someone who did the "build your own" option. Don't know enough about them to know whether it was done right, but only asking $4K. Roll your own Shelby

Is that one VW powered?

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
8/25/17 4:38 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens:

No, but it appears to leverage preheated air before hearing it up further while compressing it. I'll never understand the lack of heat shields around open air filter elements.

Oh well. It's a great start to a fun project!

nutherjrfan
nutherjrfan Dork
8/25/17 5:06 p.m.

What the hell are Lotus Sunbeams going for? I know not really the same car but.... I preferred the Ti Sunbeam and as such thought the Horizon was always a monstrosity.

CyberEric
CyberEric Reader
8/25/17 5:19 p.m.

I really want to drive one of these! Not for that kind of money though!

There was a CSX for sale around here not too long ago, but for a lot less money.

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
8/25/17 5:20 p.m.
MadScientistMatt wrote: If that's too much for your budget, there's a '85 GLH Turbo on Atlanta Craigslist for $5000. It's got a bit more wear, and it's a GLH rather than a GLHS, but it's a quarter of the price. It's also been up there for a while. Evidently the seller hasn't figured out who the collectors for these are, either. Apparently he hasn't met spin_out's UPS guy. There is also somebody selling both a GLHS and a Maserati Biturbo. OK, we've got a Biturbo, a turbo Dodge, and it's in Atlanta... fess up, which of you regulars is trolling us?

The ATL GLH has had the same ad with the same pictures since 2009. The price has dropped $1k since then.

I looked at the car 8 years ago and literally the exact ad.

Crash Enburn
Crash Enburn New Reader
8/25/17 6:03 p.m.

I had an '81 Omni. I added three letters behind the name, thus making it an Omni DLS.

Drives Like S***

kb58
kb58 Dork
8/25/17 6:05 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: I can't quite figure out who the collectors for these are.

If you knew my buddy who bought one new and stored it away, you'd understand.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
8/25/17 6:17 p.m.
CyberEric wrote: I really want to drive one of these! Not for that kind of money though! There was a CSX for sale around here not too long ago, but for a lot less money.

They're fun, but not mind blowing in stock form. My dad has an 1987 GLHS Charger which is essentially the same thing in a more 'stylish' body. The motors are really just the 2.2 turbo 2 that went in a billion cars after these came out. On period tires they have way more power than tire, torque steer like crazy and are in general the kind of handful that makes FWD cars fun. It's easy these days to go way way beyond that sort of experience from a speed/power standpoint though the sensation of imminent death is harder to replicate in a more modern car.
They're cool. I like them. I used to be a turbo Dodge guy. Maybe I'm just over them?

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
8/25/17 6:23 p.m.
Crash Enburn wrote: I had an '81 Omni. I added three letters behind the name, thus making it an Omni DLS. Drives Like S***

My grandparents had two Omni/Horizon basic models. Both were boring to drive and very unexciting. One had the VW 1.7L and the other had the 2.2L. The 2.2L was slightly better, but only just. Both were automatic, so further castrated due to the 3-speed auto, especially when combined with the useless carbs they had. My older had one powered by the Peugot 1.6L pushrod "engine". It was even more gutless, but he couldn't kill it and believe me, he tried. It was the definition of "slow car fast" but the result was mostly noise and keeping up with traffic. He only bought it because he needed to get around while he rebuilt his GLH-S

The GLH-Turbo and GLH-S were completely different feeling animals. The suspension changes, especially the faster ratio power steering, combined with the wider tires, completely woke the car up. It was so tossable it made mundane drives just more fun. Add in the turbocharged 4-cylinder and 5-speed that always had that wonderful mid-range boost and you had something to not only chase GTi's around with (the NA version, the GLH outperformed the GTi by 10% in all of the measurable tests, the turbo models were even better), but harass Mustang GT's and Camaros.

Byrneon27
Byrneon27 New Reader
8/26/17 7:40 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: I can't quite figure out who the collectors for these are. The one owned by CS makes sense to collect, but the regular ones....... If you collect Shelby stuff this is about 40 cars down the list. If you collect Dodge stuff, maybe 30 cars down? I can see it being the crown jewel in an 80's crap box collection, but most of those seem to exist in fields at this point. I love them, they're super cool, I'd love to stumble upon one at a car show, but I can't see wanting to pay actual dollars for one.

Way high up on the list if you're a Shelby Dodge guy. While not all that impressive these days they have a very "I am what I am" feel it's all just sorta fun. Plus if you're weird like me they're oddly pretty.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
8/26/17 11:49 p.m.

I was never a big fan of the Omnis. They're just south of the line in the sand that defines 'piece of crap' in my mind. Like the door handle/linkage that always feels like its just about to stop working or snap off because it is.

However, i've owned tons and tons of K cars. People may think this odd but they actually feel pretty far in the other direction: massively overbuilt for what was originally a 2400lb car. And that 2400lb thing is important. People think the L-bodies are the way to go because they're lighter, but the light K-cars are VERY light for their size.

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
8/27/17 6:12 a.m.

The beauty of the GLH is the sleeper factor. Lots of people have no idea what they are. That, and the fact that you can shave seconds, yes seconds, of the 1/4 e.t. for really cheap.

ronholm
ronholm Dork
8/27/17 9:23 a.m.

In reply to DrBoost:

Seconds off a 14 second ET.... What else in 1986 was or wasn't running 14's?

The cars are stupid fun... I could see myself paying for a nice one someday... But not 25K+

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
8/27/17 10:30 a.m.
ronholm wrote: In reply to DrBoost: Seconds off a 14 second ET.... What else in 1986 was or wasn't running 14's?

1/4 et, as in quarter mile et...

ronholm
ronholm Dork
8/27/17 10:54 a.m.

In reply to stuart in mn:

Right... That is what I was saying... It will already outrun most of these down the drag strip and most of if not all them on a road course...

1986 Corvette.. 14.7

Ferrari 328 GTS. 14.3

Ferrari 412 15.2

1987 M3 14.5

Ford EXP turbo.. 16.6

Mustang GT. 15.3

Mustang COBRA GT. 14.8

Mustang SVO 15.7

Jag XJS 16.1

Camaro. IROC 5.0 15.9

Camaro Z28 5.7 14.8

And even back in the day they knew enough to get a GLHS in the 12's with minor modification. At the peak of my collection of Turbo Dodge junk around 1999-2000 I had enough junk laying around we could pick up any of the variations and in less than a weekend have it in the 13's still beating up on 95% of "fast" street cars. Stupid cheap fun...

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
8/27/17 12:46 p.m.

Yeah, they are amazing cars. What I was saying is, while mid 14's may not be quick by today's standards to some (it's quick to me though), you can shave about a second off with a few hundred. you can break into the high 13s. Go beyond MOPAR bolt ons and you can have a streetable 12-second 4-cylinder, 4-door Dodge. I loved mine. And that 12-second car is on stock internals.

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