By on June 14, 2013

14 - 1990 Geo Metro Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt takes a really special Geo Metro to achieve Junkyard Find status; the last one that managed the feat was this bright green electric-powered ’95, which turned out to be a Ree-V conversion made in Colorado during the EV optimism of the late 2000s. During a trip to my old San Francisco Bay stomping grounds a few weeks ago, I spotted today’s Junkyard Find parked just a few yards away from this will-make-you-haz-a-sad 1960 Nash Metropolitan.
07 - 1990 Geo Metro Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese conversions (if based on a GM car, the correct term is “El-Caminoization”; Fords are “Rancheroized” and Chryslers get “Rampagized”) usually result when a hooptie car owner who owns a Sawzall but no cash really wants a pickup truck, right now. This one looks like it was built pretty well, by the standards of the genre.
12 - 1990 Geo Metro Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNo big-block Suzuki four-banger here; this is the genuine 50-plus-MPG three-cylinder engine.
06 - 1990 Geo Metro Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinCargo capacity is quite small, which is a good thing considering the front-drivedness and tiny size of this machine.
04 - 1990 Geo Metro Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Metro wasn’t quite as miserably slow as you’d expect, but that’s more due to low expectations than actual performance.
09 - 1990 Geo Metro Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Apple sticker is a weird touch; the kind of person who would build such a hacked-up piece of backyard engineering most likely doesn’t feel comfortable with the don’t-resist-the-Cupertino-way philosophy behind Apple products. I’d guess that the builder of this car runs non-Cupertino/non-Redmond operating systems on surplus hardware. Of course, it’s possible that the builder sold his or her Metroamino to someone who bought it for a single Burning Man trip and then scrapped it.
02 - 1990 Geo Metro Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhat’s next, a Geo Stormamino? A Cateramino? Achievamino?

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22 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1990 Geo Metro-amino Pickup...”

  • avatar

    How about a Mazda MX-3-chero? You wouldn’t even have to break out the sawzall – the shape of the hatch makes for a nice flying buttress. Just frame in the cab wall and there you go.

  • avatar

    Having grown up in the 1950’s & 1960’s this sort of thing used to be very common indeed .

    Most were any old Sedan , occasionally some bright spark lopped 3/4 the roof off an American Station Wagon for serious hauling .

    Here in California , the CHP went simply bonkers and ticketed them off the road for non Commercial Vehicle registration . (out of class IIRC)

    One such ’62 Chrysler wagon in Temple City in 1973 comes to mind as does the boob in Highland Park who , in 1984 chanced across a *PRISTINE* 1955 (choke) Chevrolet 150 Sedan , removed the trunk lid and carefully sawed the cove down wards , folded it over the rear bumper and used it for his gardening business ~ I will admit , he took great pains to not beat it up however it was a terrible waste .

    I don’t suppose anyone here knows what a ” Coupe Express ” kit is ? .


    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Worst I’ve seen was a nimrod from my neighborhood who, in the late 1970s’ grabbed a somewhat beat up but still restorable Cadillac Coupe de Ville that he’d owned for a number of years, and did that. I was livid when I saw it.

      At about the same time, someone in another neighborhood also “pickup-ized” a 1965 Buick Electra four-door.

  • avatar

    I like the black go-fast stripe included in the remodel. The stripe plus the removal of weight for the missing roof prob means this car could do 0-60 in 30 sec instead of 45?

    With the removal of half the roof, and the structure members that WERE up there, this thing must have felt like a wet noodle with any kind of weight in the back… a chihuahua.

  • avatar

    This “car” offends my senses in many different ways.

  • avatar

    “I need to move this washing machine, and I need to move it today! Where’s my Sawzall?”

  • avatar

    (Pic of this car in it’s prime)

    Javier was an entrepreneur.

    Javier sauntered through the Bay area streets in his Sport Metromino R. He was on his way to his next job site. His Honda-powered Karcher Shark pressure washer jostled around in the “bed”. It was a recent purchase. He was starting a new career in the pressure washing business. He was his own boss, and he was going to make it big. The $600 wally world washer, and $1500 Geo pickup purchased from his wacky cousin were solid investments in capital. If only his fellow newly-minted high school grads could see him now. They were probably still slaving away behind a desk at some sucker job, or didn’t have one at all.

    Another fabulous day by the bay. The sound of his angry G10 reverberated through the residential canyons as the twin tailpipes were brought to bear. Another thumbs up and a “Sweet wing!” complement from a passerby. Just a typical commute in the little car. Javier worked his iPhone. “Siri: Where is a vinyl sign store?” After re-posing the question a few times, Siri had some results for him to check out later. He smirked smugly, and was pleased with his personal assistant.

    He knocked on the door, and his clients, Dan and Thad came out to greet him. They were unusually gracious and pleased to see him. Then again, he worked through Craigslist, he encountered all sorts. The two men giggled and clapped at the sight of his little cruck as he unloaded the equipment. They wanted the siding washed on the side of the house only. The strange thing was, it wasn’t dirty. He began to wash anyway, working his way toward the backyard and trees. Dan and Thad appeared behind the wet sliding glass door. They were watching him work, but seemed more interested in something toward the rear of the house, as if expecting something to happen. As Javier washed the soffit at the back, it became apparent he had a huge problem. Hundreds, no, thousands of africanized honeybee bastards streamed from a crack in the soffit. He tried in vain to wash-kill them as they began their blitz attack. He went to shut off the washer, but discovered the vibrating engine coated in a confused swarm of lethality. He abandoned his equipment and led a hasty retreat.

    Javier took a lunch break. Several hours later, the little Honda engine, it’s fuel expended, stalled out and the swarm began to dissipate. Dan and Thad played dumb. Javier said he was done here, and suggested an exterminator. He quickly gathered his washer while enjoying a few stings. “This is f—–g GAY!”, he exclaimed. His clients were not amused. They threw him a twenty for his trouble and told him to “Please leave.” It was a rough day for the Javier Cleaning Corporation.

    The back of the lightly-weighted Mettruck bounced away from the scene. It was about to get worse for poor Javier. He coasted rather quickly down a steep hill. “Siri: Find me a….” He stopped talking to his secretary in order to concentrate on some heavy braking. As soon as the brakes were fully applied, it was obvious something was very wrong with the little Geo. The heavily rusted achilles heel of all Metros, the lower control arm mount, gave out.
    “POP! Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang SCRRRREEEEEE!”
    As the control arm tore loose, the CV joint ripped apart, spewing grease as the misfit axle beat the hell out of nearby components. The steering wheel flew out of Javier’s unencumbered hand, and the economy pod veered wildly to the right, smashing into a parked Subaru.

    “Siri:Call triple A”

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Awesome. And triple points for finding the pic of the car in its previous condition. Amazing.

    • 0 avatar

      Poor Javier, maybe if he opted for a cheapie prepaid phone he could have put those cell phone bills toward a wagon.

    • 0 avatar

      I have found that I look forward to your little vignettes. Your detached style needs either a dose of Joseph Conrad or possibly Vonnegut. I cannot remember ever thinking of those two in reference to anyone’s writing, so it’s either an underhanded compliment or an acid flashback. I’ll have to see after my afternoon lithium. Regardless, thanks for the entertainment.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    Speaking of interesting conversions, back in the early ’60’s an individual who lived across the street from one of my relatives owned a 1958 Chevrolet four door sedan and he decided to perform some impromtu surgery and convert it into a pickup of sorts. He cut off the body behind the front doors, installed sheet metal over the open area and installed wood planking over the frame to create a flat bed truck. I don’t know what became of it; I should have taken a photograph of it. It certainly was an unusual looking vehicle, though.

  • avatar

    This is actually a great idea. It’s a small market but any handy man, gardener or homeowner that doesn’t want the cost of owning a big truck would love to own. I would picture dozens of these in the Home Depot or Ikea parking lots being filled with items that people don’t want to mess up their interiors.

    GM, if you don’t bring back the El Camino, consider the Metro Pup.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      Tiny pickup trucks were popular in the UK for a while in the 90s, and several Japanese manufacturers sold them. No need to get out the Sawzall.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh, it already exists, Chevrolet just refuses to sell it in the States. In Mexico, it’s sold as the Chevy Tornado. In South Africa, it’s simply the Chevrolet Utility. In Brazil, it’s the Chevrolet Montana.

      Google any one of those. Then email Chevrolet and tell them to sell it in the US.

    • 0 avatar

      Transit Connect.

  • avatar

    The vacuum routing diagrams of the 80’s and 90’s cars crack me up. New cars run very little vacuum tubing these days due to electronically controlled emissions gear.

  • avatar

    “don’t resist the Cupertino way”. Spoken like a true son of the Bay area – transplant version. Your dryness of wit, nurtured by Alameda, is intact.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen a Chevy Astromino.

    Not as polished as this Geo Metro, but a lot more cargo capacity. An Astro cargo van turned into a pickup would probably be sorta like a S-10…

  • avatar
    Andy D

    My brother bought a new 86 Metro 3 banger. He put over 200k miles on it. It was a fun little car.

  • avatar

    Hey Murilee, try and find a Geo Spectrum!

    Can’t recall the last time I’ve seen one of those…

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