By on June 26, 2013

04 - 1992 Geo Metro LSi Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAs a former Metro owner— about ten years ago, I found a low-mile ’96 Metro with four-cylinder and automatic for a scrap-value price and couldn’t say no to the deal— I’ve always sort of liked Suzuki’s little no-lux gas miserwagen. It takes a special Metro for me to include it in this series, however; we’ve seen this ’90 Metro El Camino, this electric-powered ’95 Metro, and this ’91 Suzuki Swift so far, plus this bonus Honda CBR1000-powered LeMons race-winning Metro, and now I’ve found one of the very rare Metro convertibles at a California self-service wrecking yard.
02 - 1992 Geo Metro LSi Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe early 1990s was a good period for cars, mostly; carburetors were finally gone forever, horsepower ratings were really starting to climb, the Japanese carmakers still hadn’t slid into their current take-no-chances boring design philosophy, and you could get cheap convertibles.
09 - 1992 Geo Metro LSi Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinA three-cylinder, 1.0 liter engine coupled to an automatic transmission made for leisurely acceleration. Actually, it made for dangerously slow acceleration.
06 - 1992 Geo Metro LSi Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBut so what? It was a convertible for dirt cheap!


You got what you paid for with the Metro, which is more than you could say for a lot of its contemporaries.

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40 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1992 Geo Metro LSi Convertible...”


  • avatar
    thornmark

    That spoiler is a spoiler, making it a genuine klown kar.

    Too bad – it will never engender the chic cachet of the Nash Metropolitan.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    45,000 Miles ? .

    Poor little thing looks like it was beaten to death .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      The problem of a five-digit odometer. Just ran across a fair condition ’89 Camaro with t-tops, 305/automatic, for $1600. Turns out the mileage was 190,000 although it was limited to showing 90,000.

      I’m guessing that Metro was 145,000. The three-door I had in ’94 was well built enough that it wouldn’t fall apart that badly at 45,000 – and my girlfriend (who actually drove it) was a real uncaring beast around a car.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Two days ago, what do I see on the road – a perfect condition, bright red Metro convertible. At the time I thought, “Hey, I forgot they made those.”

    I think an old lady was driving it.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I once read a review of this car that noted it had the body rigidity of a flip-flop.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      I think that same review said it had a max carrying capacity of 500 pounds and remarked that a linebacker driving around (or at least trying to) with his buddy would have been interesting.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        C&D did an article in ’09 in response to so many readers claiming that in their day, hyper-milers such as the Metro (at that point a Chevy as the Geo brand had folded like a lawn chair) existed and should again. Some of the better quotes:

        “The green upshift light serves as the Metro’s eco mode. If you desire a hybrid-like auto-stop feature, merely twist the ignition key counterclockwise—works every time.”

        “There’s no key fob to open the doors remotely, but the key is attached to a metal strip featuring a stunning likeness of Jeff Gordon.”

        “The steering courteously features four to six inches of on-center slop so your arms never get tired.”

        “We know folks who own vacuum sweepers more powerful than this eco-wheezer. Big deal. A Smart Fortwo Passion—weighing 25 fewer pounds than the Metro—managed observed economy of 32 mpg. The Metro nailed 42 mpg, equaling the Prius’s best efforts. Metro sexual, baby.”

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I doubt Car and Driver even wanted the Metro to win the fuel economy contest. It made their advertisers’ best efforts look pretty silly in the process, no matter the editor’s jibes.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            True, but one will notice that they gave props to the Metro for its 42 mpg, really the only reason to own one.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I just saw an example of this yesterday on the road in excellent condition. I assumed it was a storm at first and as I got behind it I saw “LSI Metro” and thought WTF.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    As a huge Metro fanatic, builder of mid-engine Metro, and seller of parts to Metro vert fanatics to offset Lemons budget, I would do this car a great disservice if I didn’t write a gem for this thing.

    Hmmm, this is going to take some time…

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      Geo drove a Geo.

      Geōrgios took the stop sign under advisement as he had many times in his native land. He let out a sort of “GOOOO!” sound as he recognized the mid-intersection conflict between himself and an Oldsmobile Intrigue. Geo steered to the right and slammed the brake pedal. The comical little machine leaned, and lifted it’s hind leg as if to take a piss. Geo’s Miami Vice sunglasses flew off his face at the moment of impact. The specs bounced over the hood of the Olds as David and Goliath fought door to door to occupy the same space. The large unbelted man was tossed about in the tiny cabin like a rag doll. He fumbled with the wheel, and his foot slid as he attempted to brace himself. It came off the brake pedal and punched the gas pedal. The wounded droptop ricocheted off the Olds and sped away uncontrolled, miraculously into the entrance of a Taco Bell before all 49 horses were reined in. Some teens choked on their Doritos Locos tacos from within the T-Bell, and laughed at the sight.

      “You dumb a55hole!”, said the furious Intrigue operator. The man marched into the parking lot screaming “You didn’t even look…”. The Metro gained three inches of ride height as all 250lbs of Hellenic muscle lurched out of the battered clown ride, as if straight out of a movie cliche. Geōrgios glanced at the man, lifting his eyebrow, and that was all the incentive needed to calm the situation. Traffic on the busy street slowly crunched indicator plastics and sunglasses under tires in the background. Geo admired his handywork, holding his hands up in a look-at-this posture. “Aaaah.”

      “What’s your name?”, asked the responding officer, after discovering the Greek man had no paperwork to speak of. “Geo”, he replied with a thick accent. “No. What is your name?” After some time, the confusion was over, to everyone’s amusement. The officer sat for a decade in the strobing cruiser. He briefly looked up from his laptop, and squinted at the Metro, as if questioning it’s existence.

      Geōrgios admired the little sportster a final time, before experiencing an American classic: A caged Crown Victoria from the back seat. He loved the Metro’s smooth lines, speed, and efficiency. Gas was nearly free in this country, and he could cruise for days in style. He admired the tribal stickers he so lovingly applied to it, carefully selected from one of the finest speed shops in the land, Autozone.

      The KLM 747 engines roared. The plane surged forward, and capped off an extended expired visa stay by one Geōrgios Demopoulos. Ahead was an economic wasteland, uncertainty. Behind him lay one of the finest cars in the world, left to it’s own devices.

      Geo relaxed in his seat. He thought of his time in California, riding with the top down.
      “Life is like a cucumber…”

  • avatar
    red60r

    White ones look like the TastyFreez sign fell off — the rear deck lid is crying out for a cold box underneath.

  • avatar
    scrubnick

    Obviously you didn’t look under the hood. LSi’s are 4-cylinders.

  • avatar
    Featherston

    I can’t tell if it’s tongue in cheek in this situation, but could we put a moratorium on the disingenuous “dangerously slow” comments? I have zero problem with someone’s desire to own or drive a fast car, but to call anything this side of, say, a Citroën 2CV “dangerously slow” is preposterous. Jay Leno commuted in a Model T for a period of time, for God’s sake. And yes, I live in a big city with heavy traffic and high highway speeds.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Yup. My old Metro was “slow” by modern or car-guy standards.

      And so’s my 300D.

      Neither of them are particularly dangerous because of it – you just have to not pretend they’re 6 second to 60 cars.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      When I drove a near-10-second 0-60 car, I was usually still the fastest thing away from stop lights, and by far my biggest impediment to merging was having someone slower in front of me. Otherwise, hitting 60-75 wasn’t a problem before merging, not that I’d consider merging at 50 the end of the world if you do it carefully; that’s what most people do in their 270 hp Camrys and 7 second minivans, anyway. Even a girlfriend’s 300k+ mile diesel Jetta with a nominal 52 hp didn’t qualify in my book as “dangerously slow” (although it certainly was “slow”) and actually cruised nicely at 75.

      People grossly inflate the power/acceleration needed in order to drive around “safely” on public roads. Being able to put yourself into whatever stupid situation you feel like and then having the power to get back out again, and the ability to double any speed limit, aren’t what I consider to be the minimum requirement for safety.

      • 0 avatar
        Japanese Buick

        My sister in law bought one of these new. She lived in southwestern Virginia, in the mountains just off I-81. Her on ramp to the interstate was a steep uphill to a short merge lane.

        In that case I think the “dangerously slow” description is apt. Otherwise, I agree with you.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      My 1987 Nova with its well worn vacuum line strangled 1.6 four-pot shook like a near-death soldier at 70 but it would still do it…

      However, if there was a crosswind, THAT was dangerous. 70 mph in a brickish small car, the wind could actually move the car…

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      @Featherston, I don’t believe it was tongue in cheek. Having driven the very similar 3 door, 3 spd auto, 3 cyl model years ago, I can honestly attest that this car was terrifying in its slowness. Merging into uber-busy D.C. traffic was beyond dangerous, it was suicidal. Mash the accelerator to the floor, the second gear would engage accompanied by LOTS of thrashing noises driven by spurring the three live hamsters spinning the cage in the ‘engine’ and twenty seconds later, you achieved highway speed. Abolutely, positively frightening.

      I too love the slow if its done well. My ’88 VW Scirocco GT with the weezy 1.8L carb four would run a face-melting 12 second 0-60 mark, yet I loved her because it was so low and wide and truly funky that it was so much fun to keep it on full boil and drive like I stole it. The Metro was not fun, it was the actual equivalent of the SNL Adobe.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Looked at this when it was new. Self employed and newly so. Couldn’t get the credit. Getting turned down for a metro should set some sort of record for low.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    This post reminds me of a long unfinished project of mine, to pen an S.I.A. style comparo with a Geo Metro convertible and a Nash Metropolitan rag top. Titled, natch, “A tale of two Metros.”
    Better find another Geo fast before they are all crushed.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    Ha! A Metro convertible! I always use this car as an example when I am trying to tell people that a rare car does not always equal a collectible, appreciating car.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      The only thing I remember about this cars was they gave them away daily on “The Price Is Right” back in the 90s. I was in college, thus watching the TPIR was kind of a given.

      I had an ’85 Civic Hatch with 90 HP back then, which I assume was only a tick quicker then a Geo LSi. However my Civic could out handle anything short of a Lotus, or at least it felt that way.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Honestly this is the first Geo Metro Convertible that I’ve seen that wasn’t Windex World Blue. And the first I’ve ever seen since new that the owner had not utilized gaffer/duct tape to seal the craptacular plastic rear window which would crack after two years from sun damage.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    A few weeks ago I stopped for lunch in a small town in eastern Quebec – Montmagny, I believe it was. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw two of these in mint condition pull into the restaurant parking lot. So I guess someone is actually collecting and preserving these things, though it’s hard to understand why.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Back when these were new I had the fortune to rent one, a hatchback in Florida of all places. I did not expect much from it but actually found it to be semi-enjoyable. The acceleration was adequate with the auto trans, I sure the stick is far more fun and it handled well due to the independent rear suspension something that penalty boxes like this usually do not have. Most econo cars of the era have the less superior torsion beam. Overall I can see why they are cult classics.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I’m assuming you got the much improved four cylinder version, not the three banger this pig had.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        No, it was the three banger. This was back in 92 when I made a trip to Florida to visit an ailing grandparent and need a cheap rental. Being a car geek I popped the hood just to check out the oddity of a three-banger. It was not a bad ride and accelerated decently even with the AC on but that was on the relativity flat highways and byways of Miami.

  • avatar
    jjf

    I remember seeing one of these in 1991 being driven by a hot blond 18 year old girl, who had obviously gotten it as a graduation present. My Taiwanese friend pointed it out to me and said, “that is so American.”

    I’ve always remembered that, and associated this car with overindulged young chicks.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      Times have changed. Now they drive BMW 1 or 3 series convertibles.

      Btw the 18 yo chick I knew who owned one was a brunette who worked her ass off to buy the car.

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    One of my twisted dreams was to buy one and swap in a suzuki swift powertrain, lower it, then sit back and collect all the panties.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    “A three-cylinder, 1.0 liter engine coupled to an automatic transmission made for leisurely acceleration. Actually, it made for dangerously slow acceleration.”

    Wait til you experience the joy of going-nowhere-fast when the owner punched that A/C button on the dash.

  • avatar
    RHD

    I bought a ’90 Metro convertible last year, a 5-speed with the 1.0 liter engine. The prices of Metros go way up when gasoline spikes, and plummet when fuel prices go back down. Still, it was a great buy for $700. It’s not as fun as my Miata, or as exotic as the right-hand-drive Z, or as quiet as the Accord… but it’s loads of fun to drive and accelerates just fine. Parts are cheap and it’s very easy to work on. Getting almost a hundred miles out of two gallons of gas is part of the fun.
    And, seriously, if anyone doesn’t like my car for whatever reason, that’s their problem. Should people conform their choices in life to what might please some random stranger? Hell, no!


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