Junkyard Find: 1989 Geo Spectrum

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The Mitsubishi Sigma I found a couple weeks ago was one rare Junkyard Find, having been sold in the United States for just two model years. Today, though, we’ve got something even more obscure: an Isuzu Gemini badged with both Chevrolet and Geo emblems, available for just one year.

The General never seemed quite sure what to do with the Geo brand; the Chevrolet-ized Isuzu Gemini aka I-Mark was available for a few years, but then became a Geo in 1989.

But wait! What’s that Chevy bowtie doing on the grille? I’m sure it all made sense after a 21-hour marketing meeting in an airless Motor City conference room.

These things were reasonably competent commuters, but didn’t exactly fly off the showroom floors.


It’s too bad Geo didn’t use this Japanese-market Gemini ad to sell the Spectrum.





Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • RHD RHD on Sep 04, 2013

    Up Shift. Once the RPMs hit about 2000, if the vacuum was low enough, the light would come on to tell you to upshift for maximum fuel economy.

  • Cary5170 Cary5170 on Jan 08, 2014

    Hi Murilee Martin! I think this is my car!! I bought one, just like this one, back in 1989 and owned it for about 7 years! Even the dent on the front bumper looks vaguely familiar. Do you have access to the VIN? I would really love to know if this car has any ties to AZ.

  • Dave Has to be Indy 500. Many more leaders and front passes than NASCAR, and Monaco is unwatchable with the inability to pass on that circuit.
  • Jeff How did the discussion get from an article about a 56 billion dollar pay package for Elon Musk to a proposal to charge a per mile tax on EVs in California or paying increase registration on vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenue? I thought such a discussion would better fit Matt's Gas Wars series.
  • Master Baiter Both people who bought ID.4s will be interested in this post.
  • Urlik Not a single memorable thing happened in the big three races this weekend IMHO.
  • Ajla If Goodyear makes rain tires that allow NASCAR to race in damp conditions at longer ovals (other that at Daytona and Talladega) then I promise to purchase at least four new sets of Goodyear tires in my remaining life.
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