Double Trouble: 2-for-1 Geo Metro Convertibles

The latest installment of Car and Driver‘s highly entertaining periodic series “Battle of the Beaters” chronicles the editors’ adventures with four Geo Metro hatchbacks, each purchased for between $1,000 and $1,250 and all from the same seller. The thrashing that these little runabouts endured—ultimately leading to each car’s demise—is a testament to just how tough these three-cylinder econoboxes can be, and how much fun you can have in a slow, clapped-out car. If you’ve got some similar hijinks you’ve been wanting to try out, grab a friend, because have I got a bargain for you: two Geo Metro convertibles, a 1990 and a ’92, for $1,500. Yes, that’s just $750 apiece, and they’re convertibles! Find them here on craigslist in Bloomington, Illinois, and thanks to Pat L. for the find.

Unlike the somewhat mossy C/D Metros, these two have been garage kept, although that hasn’t entirely saved them from deterioration. The ad makes no distinction between the two cars when listing their flaws, but this picture suggests that the ’92—identifiable by its deeper chin spoiler and, at the rear, its one-piece taillights—is the one that “needs rocker, floor work, convertible top and A/C charged.” Why it has a Jeep badge on the front fender, I don’t know, but that makes it seem like it’s just begging for an off-road adventure.

That means that the ’90, which is also distinguished by an interesting tape stripe package, is the one that needs some work on its brake lines but “has a nice convertible top.” Both cars have CD players, and both are automatics. The lone automatic entry in Car and Driver‘s Metro melee was the definitive loser, but if it makes you feel any better, it lost due to general neglect and a mysterious mechanical failure, not due to the power-sapping transmission slowing it down. Still, with only 55 horsepower on tap, the automatics probably aren’t doing these cars any favors.

I’m not quite sure I follow the seller’s logic when they claim, “you can fix up one and sell the other to make your money back!” Besides, why would you want to separate these peas in a pod? Call a friend—or three, each car seats two!—brainstorm your absolute most terrible ideas, pool your pennies, and wreak some fun-in-the-sun havoc. What trouble could you get into with these two Metro convertibles?

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    Buy 1200 lottery tickets as these pos special cars are reserved for recycling centers

    3
  2. AF

    Yippie!!

    1
  3. Michael

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. :-)

    1
  4. Pete

    My very first new car was a first year available, blue 1985 Chevy Sprint 2 door hatch. I bought it in Fresno CA for $4995. The Fresno Chevy dealer was pimping them for $3995. I had to have AC, so that’s where the extra grand came in. It didn’t even have a radio. I got 48 mpg with that thing all day long (5-speed.) I thought it was one of the most fun little cars I have every owned. I even won a first place SCCA trophy at NAS Lemoore CA for entries of “Under 2-litre, Novice Class” Beating a hopped up 66 mini-cooper (and 6 others) in the process. These were fun little cars! Cool find.

    12
    • Miguel Member

      When I worked at the Chevy dealer in 1987 I noticed the Sprint was not an underpowered car, like the Chevette and actually fun to drive.

      When the turbo version came out, that was even better, if you could hang on to that steering wheel tightly.

      3
      • CanuckCarGuy

        When I was in the military, two of my buddies owned turbo Sprints; they were great little cars, cheaper than a Civic Si but every bit as fun to drive.

        3
  5. Tom Nemec Member

    DARN !! Disappointed !!! I thought it said 2 for 1 G T O Convertibles not G E O !

    You can’t even combine them and get 8 cylinders !!!

    2
  6. wd62vette

    There is a large following for these 3 cly cars. Recently there has been two Geo Metro meets this year, one in Ohio and the other in Minnesota. The real problem with these cars could be the front A frames rot out around the frame, can be fixed but not really worth it. Never buy a Geo Metro without looking at the A frame and front frame horns. The automatic is not favorable over the 5 speed. Thanks for posting these cars as I like these cars alot.

    7
    • Michael L Gregory

      I recently returned from the Minnesota Meet. It was my third visit and it’s always great to be with people who love these durable cars. My ’93 vert will cruise at 75 mph and still get over 40 mpg with the top down. You are right about the frame horns. I’ve had my car for 17 years and wouldn’t give it up for anything.

  7. CanuckCarGuy

    The lyrics from ‘Brand New Key’ just came to mind…”I’ve got a brand new pair of rollerskates…”

    2
  8. dgrass

    Seems reasonable for a convertible that can give you 60+ mpg with some slight modification. Hard tops can go 100+….

    • 68custom

      Not with the automatic. These are fun durable cars but a five speed is mandatory! 62 vette is right abut the rust issue.

      1
  9. Howard A

    The farm in Wisconsin I lived on, the guy had 3 of these. Say what you will, 2 of them had over 200K, and the “good one” he used, was getting close to that, none had ever been worked on. In all 3 cases, the rear suspension was rusted, making them undriveable. Mileage claims always vary, I think 60 mpg is a bit of a stretch, but 40, no problem. I had to prove to a friend, it actually was a 3 cylinder, it had some power, you really couldn’t tell.

    2
  10. Kenneth Carney

    My old stompin’ grounds! Nice to see there are a few more great finds there.
    When I was a kid growing up there, it
    seemed that some older person you
    knew had a vintage car stashed away
    in a garage somewhere. Shoot, I even
    bought a few of them in the late ’60’s/
    early ’70’s to fix up and resell to other
    kids my age who were just getting their
    driver’s licenses. A friend of Dad’s bought
    a really nice ’41 Olds sedan after they chased a robbery suspect down a dead
    end street there. After they put the guy
    into their patrol car, they noticed the olds
    parked in a garage not far from where
    they caught the robber. After their shift
    ended, the friend went back and bought
    the car from the older lady that lived there. After getting everything sorted, he
    brought it by the house to show it to us.
    It was in near perfect condition with only
    the cloth interior being discolored a bit.
    It ran and drove great–so much so that
    he used it as his daily driver for awhile.
    Not long after that, I bought a ’57 Pontiac
    Star Chief 4-door HT from an older gentleman I knew. He bought it new as a
    gift to his wife. After she passed away, he put it in storage and never drove it again. He told me when I bought it that
    he just couldn’t bear having it around
    anymore. Like the Olds I mentioned
    earlier, this car was spotless inside and out. To my surprise, it had a 347 V-8
    with a triple carb setup that was factory
    issued! It was backed by a 4-speed Hydramatic transmission and a limited
    slip rearend. When I bought it, there was
    less than 20K miles showing from new.
    In fact, most of the older stuff I comment
    on was stashed all over town! All you had
    to do was look for it. Makes me wonder
    if my old ’52 Chevy is still on the road or
    has it been stashed away too.

    2
  11. Ben T. Spanner

    I vacationed in Southwest Florida before I moved here, and rented a Metro Convertible. It was fine for driving around the costal area. I fit and I’m 6’2″ wthe a long spine. My wife owned a retail store with limited parking, and considered a Geo Metro 5 speed. She got a 1993 Capri instead.
    BDisclaimer; 2 of her favorite cars were a Fiat 850, and a Honda Z600.

  12. Maestro1

    Sure. Somebody buy these and have some fun.

    1
  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    That was a great C & D article, very entertaining.
    A friend of mine moved from NH to SC last year, and it was funny to read that the cars were bought off of Craigslist in the town that he moved to.

  14. Hollywood Collier

    Remember the quote from P.T. Barnum?? LoL

  15. Hollywood Collier

    Hey 62vette, that car of yours is my Moms favorite color. That’s what I love about the car hobby. I may like a Gremlin and the next guy may like a BMW…..but they are both cars and they both make us happy ……so I say Great!!!

  16. Neil

    I’m still driving a ’90 xfi that I bought for $500 seven years ago. About 18 months ago I put in a rebuilt trans, new clutch and new axles. This thing will not die. I used it to deliver pizza for a couple years and broke 40mpg the entire time.

  17. BuickGuy Member

    Cool find

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