The Geo Metro, a Suzuki Cultus imported by GM, arrived after the Chevrolet Sprint version of the Cultus but before GM axed the Geo logo and started selling Chevy Metros, which sold in respectable numbers during its 1989-1997 run.
There was a ragtop version of the City, which allowed thin-walleted motorists to enjoy open-air driving without having to take a Sawzall to a 20-year-old Corolla, and I’ve found mostly of the remaining ones in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard.
The Geo City is the only vehicle to do well within the 24 Hours of LeMons with radical tiny-car/crazy-engine powertrain trades, and so far 3 of them have taken overall wins at Lemon races. From top to bottom in the photo above: the Geo Metro Gnome, with Ford CBR1000 motorcycle power, the actual Knoxvegas Lowballers’ Ford Contour SVT-drivetrain-swapped Metro, and the LemonAid Racing BMW M50-swapped Metro, each of which now has rear-wheel-drive and 172, 221, and 231 horsepower, respectively. Part of the reason behind the Metro’s popularity among these fabricating fiends is it’s dirt-cheapness and easy availability.
The LSi had been the top trim degree in 1992, and also the convertible was the most expensive of all Metros that 12 months. Sticker was $9,999 (although I’m pretty sure few actually paid that much, given economic problems in the early 1990s), that was a bit more than the $6,445 Subaru Justy but additionally way sportier.
This one outlived its welcome in a San francisco bay area parking lot. If the proprietor left a note asking the tow-truck driver to not take the car, I didn’t find it.
By 1992, U.S.-market vehicles had to have either a maddening automatic seat-belt system (possibly the only mandated safety feature more annoying than the 1974-model-year starter-interlock seat belts) or perhaps a driver’s side airbag. The actual Metro LSi got the actual airbag.
When Rock Auto charges $210.79 for their least expensive replacement convertible top for this car, you’re looking at a pretty significant percentage of the car’s total value when the old top goes bad.
Three mighty cylinders, 55 screaming hp. A few years later, a four-cylinder engine became an option for power-crazed, high-roller Metro purchasers.
Not much to go wrong here.
One of many “you don’t need to stop at the gas station” ads made by GM for various cars through the years.
Harlan Ellison thinks it’s reasonable!
[Images: ? 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]
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