Quadruple Geo Metro Barn Find?!!

When you think of collector cars, all sorts of iconic names come to mind. Like the 1965-66 Ford Mustang. Or the 1955-57 Chevy Nomad. And this list goes on and on. But the one brand that doesn’t make anyone’s list is the Geo Metro. Yes, the Metro, those super simple econoboxes of the 1990s that got crazy good gas mileage before the advent of the hybrid. The seller has somehow ended up with four copies of the little car, including an XFi which was the stingiest of the bunch on petrol consumption. Located in Pittsville, Maryland, they’re offered as a package deal here on Facebook Marketplace for $2,500. But you can have your choice at $750 each. Thanks for the tip, Dawson Hittle, and for going down the path less traveled!

Imported cars continued to fly out of car dealerships in the 1980s, so GM looked outside its fold for another way to compete. Enter a partnership they forged with Suzuki to produce subcompacts for the U.S. market. Branded as Geo in case there was any consumer backlash, they were originally sourced in Japan but quickly moved to Canada for production at a joint venture plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. The cars were sold at Chevrolet dealerships and eventually, the Geo nameplate was dropped in favor of a Chevy bowtie. The vehicles, including the basic Geo Metro, would be built between 1989-01.

The Metros were inexpensive to build and buy because they were largely no-frills cars. The XFi was the most economical of the lot, coming in at more than 50 mpg. Every time gas prices spike, it seems like a little more interest appears in these cars, which have been largely forgotten in the past two decades. The roots of the Metros go back to the second-generation Japanese-market Suzuki Cultus, and several body styles were available, even a convertible. But the hatchbacks tended to draw the most interest because of their greater functionality.

We’re told these four Metros (model years not currently available) have spent the last 10 years inside a building. They have been brought outdoors to enjoy the sunlight once again. One is an XFi, two have automatic transmissions, and none of them run. The seller’s description suggests they all succumbed to fuel pump problems but can be cranked with some starter fluid in the carburetors. Their condition looks to be fair to good at best and perhaps you could end up with one or two good cars by pirating parts from the others. But unless someone forms a Geo Metro club with exclusive membership, these are likely to remain cheap wheels.

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Comments

  1. The Tower The Tower Member

    What an opportunity to own ALL the Metros!

    Like 7
  2. alphasud Member

    I think Metro owners are very dedicated to the car. I bought one while I was working as a technician in the Denver metro area from a customer who did not want to replace the engine. Fixed the car mechanically replacing any parts that would impact the safety and reliability and sold it on as a beater with a heater. Five years later and over 100k miles on the car they called me on my cell hoping that I would have another Metro to sell them! Not a very safe car to be driving but the appeal of 50-60mpg is strong when you are trying to make ends meet. The one to get is the 2-door hatchback BC that one is the 3-cyl. The 4 doors got a 4 banger and are not as economical.

    Like 11
    • bry593

      I believe these are non-interference motors. Run ’em till the belt breaks. I’ve seen these with well over 300k miles.

      Like 6
  3. CCFisher

    “starter fluid in the carburetors”

    As cheap as these cars were, I had to check to verify, but these used throttle body fuel injection. Only a handful of trucks used carburetors in the early 1990s.

    Like 6
  4. Steve Clinton

    The plus side is you can be the only collector who buys old Geo Metros.
    The minus side is they are Geo Metros.

    Like 7
    • CCFisher

      No matter how big the collection gets, it never increases in vale.

      Like 5
  5. chrlsful

    every time there’s a $ spike the p/u guys go searchin for one of these. I guess the mortgage is so hi there’s no wiggle room in the fuel budget. 1/2 the country (rent AND ownership) is overly cost burdened on housing (more’n one third of income toward the monthly).
    Funny that they still remember these. I like ANY sm vehicle (sm car = sm problems; big car = big problems). 4 WD? sm is good too (live back East where it’s tighter than open space West). Low economy…sm is good, carry parts in ur vehicle? sm is good (an engine or whole rear end in a p/u bed) and so on…
    I’d daily the red or 1 of the blues. Too ol for much body wrk (?arthritis of the hands?) but have plenty room for prts cars. Even likea hatch…

  6. Terrry

    I had a co-worker who referred to Metros as “roller skates with a roof”. The best version of this car would be the Suzuki Swift hatchback which had a snappy 4-banger as opposed to the metro’s three.

    Like 2
    • James

      Came here to mention that. For what they were, they were pretty quick decent handling hot hatches.

  7. Raymond

    They always had a pac man look that really made yellow necessary, I’m sure you could build something with 1, but who aquires 4?…they don’t look any sillier than a smart car or any other of those goofy half cars….

    Like 4
    • DarkWolf

      Bet they were thinking “ Wouldn’t that make a cool Limo!”

  8. Mark

    What do you call 4 Metros sitting in a field?

    “Target practice”

    Like 12
    • Claude

      Field of dreams!!!

      Like 2
  9. Eric B

    “The seller has somehow ended up with four copies of the little car”

    Must’ve lost a bet?

    Like 2
  10. Dave

    Ok let’s talk about something better, the Tercel4WD

    Like 1
    • Jon.in.Chico

      Hey, I sold a lot of those back in ’84-85 … they had a 6-spped with the “granny” … I got in trouble with the Toyota sales manager because back then Toyota cars were on allocation and you got what you sold … selling four in one month cost us a Corolla … don’t know what brought that run on but I still made a good commission on them …

      Like 1
  11. nlpnt

    I owned one, great car to have in your early ’20s since ownership costs were low and it felt fast, you could drive it flat-out all the time and not get into any trouble. This was in the late ’90s when gas was flirting with the $1/gal mark, as cheap as it’s ever been in real terms since (except maybe in the pit of the early-pandemic lockdowns. Maybe.) I could buy a week’s worth of gas and a 20 oz Coke and get change back from $10.

    Like 4
  12. wd62vette

    Barnfinds is awesome. The Barnfinds writers make each car special, no matter what the car is. There are so many people that just don’t see any other car then, the car THEY like or think everyone should like. This why I read barnfinds.

    Like 11
  13. Howard A Member

    My only hope is my old landlord doesn’t see this, or they will be on their way to N. Wis. The farm I rented a room at, the guy had 3 of these, all with over 200K. All were undrivable, but still ran. I have a friend, who swears they never made a 3 cylinder ( except Saab) and imagine his surprise when I popped the hood. These were good cars, and before the last one died,( rear axle broke free) I drove it and didn’t really seem underpowered, and I don’t think he ever put gas in it. A car with limited interest when new, I doubt any takers, but hey, like my old landlord, you never know.
    BTW, the Geo was the butt of all jokes, and even Ned Flanders drove a Geo,,,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m75LTlu_JlU

    Like 2
  14. Lowell Peterson

    So a guy goes into an Auto Parts and says’I’ll take a fan belt for a metro!’
    Sounds like a fair trade to me!

    Like 1
  15. Troy

    $2500 for all 4 $2500 to ship to my house and according to the seller they all have a fuel delivery issues. Fuel pump is $40 – $ 100 bucks on Rock auto and when you get them all sorted and back on the road with new tires and other things they might need they are still $500 dollar cars. Send them to the scrap yard total weight you might get $1500 good luck

    Like 1
  16. Dave Member

    I bought a new Metro in 1990. I was driving pass the Chevy dealership and they were selling them for 5900 with a 1000 rebate. By far one of the best cars I ever bought. I got 250k out of the original engine and I developed low compression on 1 cylinder. I was still getting 40 mpg but wouldn’t pass smog. I bought an used engine that was imported from Japan for $400 and I got 120k out of that engine. When that engine failed I took apart the original engine and the machine shop called and said it didn’t even need to be bored out, I could slap in std rings and bearings. But surprisingly enough it need a new lifter so I called the dealership and was quoted $130 which I assumed was for all 6. No, that was per lifter. On to another car but that being said I wish I kept it. The ultimate commuter.

    Like 1
  17. tom h

    Okay, I am a bit weird, but I had one that I loved. It was flogged daily and though slow it was fun to go through the gears flat-out and still get 40 mpg. Almost no problems beside the paper mache window regulators. There is a difference between a no-frills Cheap junk car and an Inexpensive well made car

    Like 4
  18. Johnny

    RUSS, not only do you come up with one but this time THREE reasons to keep folks away from becoming members of Barn Finds! Good job!

    Like 1
  19. Mark

    These are nothing more than a good start for a junk yard.

  20. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    These are the collectibles of the future. When gasoline gets scarce, everybody will need one of these.

    Also, these cars are proof Americans don’t care that much about fuel economy. These got 50 MPG and people didn’t want them.

  21. Blair Proctor

    My friend’s brother had a Sprint Turbo – he could lay rubber in three gears! I’m not sure how long the car lasted…

  22. Michael L Gregory

    It’s always discouraging to read all the hate when someone posts a story about what some think is an unlovable car. I’ve had my Metro convertible for twenty years and it has been one of those most fun cars to work on and drive I’ve ever owned. There is an “exclusive club” and we get together several times a year to hang out and enjoy these cars. People drive them cross country to attend the events. They are simple and reliable cars. All of these have the 3-cylinder non-interference engine. Those engines are always a hit at car shows because most people have never seen one. I’ve owned a lot of cars in my lifetime and some of them were real duds. Some of those duds cost a lot of money to own and drive. Thanks to the people on this forum who don’t feel the need to trash someone else’s dream. Thanks to the forum for recognizing that every interesting car isn’t going to match everyone’s idea of a classic.

    Like 2

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