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Instagram: @that_red_omni This is Project Hellion. A mini Dodge Demon with half the cylinders but packing the same punch. America's original hot hatch, the grandfather of the SRT4, and a special concoction from Carroll Shelby himself. This car has come a long way in the 10 years I've owned it since I was 17. Its a real Omni GLH, the acronym for which stands for "Goes Like Hell", a nickname bestowed upon the humble Omni by none other than Shelby himself. In the beginning... I had a N/A 1979 Dodge Omni as my first car, and I loved it to death.. but wanted more power to race my friends in their Camaro IROCs and Mustang GTs in high school. The lowly 79 horsepower that engine put down was nowhere close to being competitive, so I thought to throw a turbo on it somehow, and began my research on how to get it done. Shortly after beginning my research, I discovered that Dodge made a factory turbo Omni in 1985 and 1986 making 146hp at 7psi. I had to find one. I needed to have one. A few weeks scouring Craigslist, and the Omni you see above popped up in Killeen, TX for only $800. I convinced my dad that I wanted it to work on as a father/son project, and off we went with a Uhaul trailer to pick it up. We worked on it and fixed it up, him walking me through my first engine swap, replacing the worn out T1 engine with a healthy T2 engine from a 1988 Dodge Daytona Shelby Z, which made 175hp and came factory with forged internals. Years went by and I just kept throwing money at it. Eventually, it went to FWD Performance in Houston, TX for machine work and upgrades my father and I couldn't do in the garage. The result was a stout 320whp from the single cam 8 valve engine. ..but I wanted more. I set out to find a bigger turbo, bigger intake, better exhaust, better everything to reach my goal of 500hp to the ground without nitrous. So far, Ive amassed the parts, fabricated exhaust and mounts, did my research, and took a road far less traveled than what others might take.. and I'm still not done. When I return home from deployment, it'll be down to wiring and firing, then a hefty tune on E85. Stay tuned. I could've had a Mustang, I couldve had a Camaro.. but honestly, what's more impressive..? A 500hp V8 Muscle car, or a 500hp Econobox that your grandmother used to go to church on Sundays with.
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