Here's how the Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon helped save ChryslerNov 22, 2021
In 1978 Chrysler introduced its first front-wheel drive, the Americans made some compacts, the Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon, to compete with cars like the Chevette Corolla, Civic Pinto, and Golf, which lasted 12 years and spawned coupe and pickup models. two-door and performance models endorsed by carol shelby the
helpedsecure the price loans were needed to avoid sinking this is the story of the
horizonthis is my old car and you dozens of thousands of happy omni buyers have made our little car a start many requests have come in from viewers for the omni and horizon or up omni as they are sometimes called a big thanks again to the many ideas and suggestions for future episodes keep sending them and they will keep me busy for many more months to come Come on the omni and horizon can trace their roots back to u A model made by the French automaker Simca, although Simka was previously affiliated with Fiat Chrysler, it took a majority stake in Sim. coe in 1963 took over the design and production of the simca 1100 in 1975 looking to replace the aging 1100
chryslereurope reverse engineered several volkswagen rabbit to help develop what would eventually become the american omni and horizon
dodgevolkswagen rabbit no it's not it's an omni i know it sounds like a gti french car maker psa who owns the peugeot and citroen brands and also owned former british car maker talbot acquired
chryslereurope in 1978 and began selling the car as the Skyline but at various times under the Simca Talbot or Chrysler brand names although the European Skyline was meant to be a world car looking very similar to the Omni and Skyline we saw later in America.
Cars evolved differently after the PSA takeover, much like how the Ford Escort was also intended to be a world car. the resulting l-body platform. it differed from the European version to meet American requirements and preferences. The European version did not last as long as it did in America. With the simca talbot horizon only lasting until 1987, three years less than the american omni and horizon prior to the introduction of the omni horizon chrysler's only subcompact offering the cult dodge and
plymouthit wasn't even its own car how did it expressed dodge cult? A lot in such a small car rather than being an import from Chrysler subsidiary Mitsubishi, but like the cult, little was done to differentiate the Dodge and Plymouth models aside from different grilles, taillights and badging, though a few Years later, Dodge would offer a special trim level.
Couldn't get on the Plymouth anymore later due to being front wheel drive, the Omni and the Skyline really only had two direct and major competitors in 1978 that were also front wheel drive, the Honda Civic and of course the better Volkswagen Rabbit. Known as the gulf outside of the US as it greatly influenced the design of the omni and skyline. Other subcompacts on sale at the time, such as the Chevy Chevette, Ford Pinto, and Toyota Corolla were rear-wheel drive, although the Toyota would later switch to front-wheel drive. The Chevette and Pinto never changed their powertrains throughout their careers, although the Pinto's replacement The Escort was front wheel drive Front wheel drive cars were still the exception rather than the rule in the late '70s and as a result some media outlets tended to criticize them for having poorer handling than rear wheel drive cars. made against a suzuki samurai which ultimately drove suzuki out of the us market sales of the chrysler model were clearly not affected by the negative press reverse engineering the rabbit volkswagen resulted in a body design that resembled the rabbit and initially they even used a design volkswagen 4 cylinder engine although some parts of the engine were built by chrysler they only made 75 horsepower but they were e better than nothing since at that time chrysler had no other choice whether to have an omni or a horizon 5 hatchback Doors between 1978 and 1980 only had a base or custom trim level to choose from, but that didn't hurt sales with a combined total between Dodge and Plymouth of over 180,000 sold the first year and a total of 542,000 sold.
During the first three years just over three hundred thousand of those sales about fifty-six percent went to Plymouth and In most of the smaller years going forward, the Plymouth had higher sales, this was an anomaly in the Chrysler world, as Dodge models generally sold better when they had twin models across both makes in 1979. , the omni and the skyline became the best selling chrysler model line. Impressive sales figures played an important role in Chrysler securing government funding to keep the company afloat, although many may think that the Aries and Reliant K cars saved Chrysler, they didn't debut until 1981.
Instead, their existence was due to the 1.5 billion dollars in government loans earned thanks to the omni and horizon these loans were used to develop the kcar and later the famous chrysler minivans in 1981 the same 84 horsepower four cylinder found in the new cars chrysler k was available on the omni and skyline as an option and in 1983 joe of appu built a 62 horsepower four cylinder and replaced the volkswagen engine also in 1981 the base model was renamed the miser to compete against the chevette scooter and the new-for-that-year Ford Escort an upgrade from a four-speed manual to a five-speed became available this year, but regrettably. mently the cool wood-fiber panel option was discontinued that year and also replaced with a European sedan trim that darkened the chrome but the L-body platform was not only used for the four-door models in 1979, the platform The L-body was expanded to include a two-door coupe model known as the Omni-024 for Dodge and the Horizon TC3 for Plymouth, unlike the Chevette and Escort which had the same general look between the two- and four-door models.
The two door omni looked like a completely different car than the four door with no shared body panels they definitely look sportier and t
herefore faster looking than the four door but initially they shared the same 70 horsepower volkswagen engine strength than the four-door; however for 1981 you could get the legendary charger nameplate as a trim level on your o24 which has the k car's 2.2 liter 4 cylinder, that's correct the same charger name that was once on cars with a 7-liter hemi v8 was now in a 4-cylinder car that only had a quarter of the horsepower, t
herewas even a trim level named after alejandro de tomaso, most famous for the mid-engined sports car Pantera in 1983 the o24 and tc3 names for the two-door models were phased out the o24 dropped the charger trim and instead all models were called the dodge charger and the tc3 became the plymouth touring car in 1982 the l platform -body was used as the starting point for one of ch rysler's most unusual offerings the dodge rampage this road wannabe extended the o24 and dc3 wheelbase by eight inches maintained Having the same design from the windshield forward but swapping out the rear seats and hatchback for a pickup with a payload capacity of 1145 pounds it was only slightly less capable than the car it was intended to compete with the Chevy on the road in £1250 starting in 1983 there was also a rebadged dodge rampage for plymouth on offer called the scamp but with only about 3500 sold it only lasted for that model year so if you have a rascal you have a rare car although not sure That makes it more valuable.
The Rampage fared better with over 37,000 units sold over three years, but not enough to sustain it past 1984. 1984 was a big year for the Dodge Omni with new trim levels changing its potential market audience, the miser model was dropped and although a se or sport edition model was available this year the trim level most remember is a dodg e omni glh dodge omni glh no more mr nice guy what was originally going to be called coyote we go with the name coyote because he eats rabbits instead he got the name glh and even though dodge didn't spell it in their advertising everyone knew what it stood for glh goes like hell the legendary carol shelby came up with a name and her company updated the old k 4-cylinder car from 84 to 110 horsepower This engine debuted in 1983 as an update to the older 024 two-door and TC3 models badged as the Dodge Shelby Charger and Plymouth Turismo Duster in 198 5 and 86 Carol Shelby offered an upgrade from the Omni GLH to a 2.2-liter turbo making 146 horsepower called the GLHT.
The ground effects were also revised to make it look a bit more sinister, the same was also offered on the two door shelby charger model, there were even some initial plans to market a plymouth version of the touring car with the turbo and revive the name of barracuda although it never came to be but 1986 was the bi The biggest year for Omni fans thanks to the addition of the glhs model that represented Hit Like Hell. A few more Shelby cars bought the final 500 copies of the 1986 glht all painted black and upgraded the turbo to 175 horsepower as well as retuned intake and exhaust.
Collectors added stiffer springs and larger tires on Shelby designed wheels, although sold at select Dodge dealers, marketed as a Shelby model, not a Dodge, the glhs was actually quicker over the quarter mile That the 1986 Camaros and Firebirds with the 305-cubic-inch V8 engines and the 1986 Ford Mustang with the 302-cubic-inch V8, while later Mustangs and Corvettes could match or beat the GLHS, was an astonishing achievement for a turbo four. cylinders in 1987 carroll shelby also bought the last 1000 models of the dodge shelby charger and upgraded them to have the same engines and upgrades as the omni glhs so these cars were sold as shelby charger glhs also without the dodge name but 1987 It would also be the last year that the Charger and Turismo models were replaced by two-door versions of the Dodge Shadow and Plymouth Sundance.
Originally Chrysler had planned for the Shadow and the four-door Sundance replaced the Omni Horizon, but the latter's sails were strong enough to continue through 1990. In 1987, Chrysler introduced the America trim level to become its new low-priced model that
helpedincrease sales to its highest level of more than 237,000; however, sales fell below 100,000 in 1989, the first time this had happened since 1982, and 1990 sales were well below 40,000. There was no official replacement for the Omni Horizon, as its original replacements planned. The Shadow and Sundance had already been on the market for three years. The Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon were probably the first new cars for many. back in the '70s and '80s and unless you were lucky enough to own one of Carol Shelby's special models, you knew you weren't going to get anywhere fast, but getting one of these cars meant you helped keep it afloat. to chrysler for many years thanks for watching if you liked this episode please hit the like button and subscribe to my channel if you ever owned a car from the 80s to mid 2000s that you rarely see today and would like to see it featured on a future episode leave a reply in the comments or email me at the address shown here see you next time
If you have any copyright issue, please Contact