Junkyard Find: 1990 Geo Metro LSi Convertible

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

GM and Ford sold quite a few of their badge-engineered micro-import gas-sippers (the Kia Pride aka Ford Festiva/Aspire and Suzuki Cultus aka Chevy Sprint/Geo Metro) in the 1980s and 1990s, and that means that I see a lot of these cars in the junkyard these days. It takes a special Metro to warrant inclusion here— so far we’ve seen this ’90 Metro El Camino, this ’92 LSi convertible, this electric-powered ’95 Metro, and this ’91 Suzuki Swift so far, plus this bonus Honda CBR1000-powered LeMons race-winning Metro— and I think a happy yellow LSi convertible is more interesting than your ordinary Geozuki.

The demographic group in California (where I photographed this car) most likely to drive a 24-year-old Geo also happens to overlap with groups most likely to buy Deadline fashions. Here in Colorado, you’d be more likely to see Grenade Gloves stickers on such a car.

This style of automotive tape graphics peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s, though Chrysler kept going with them well into the late 1990s.

You’ll find one in every car, kid. You’ll see.

We’ve all seen the US-market Metro ads by now, so let’s go to the car’s homeland. Can any of you Japanese speakers tell us what’s happening here?

Such a happy little car!

There was a Cultus Esteem.

In Canada, it was the Pontiac Firefly.

In Australia, it was the Holden Barina.

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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  • Hifi Hifi on Nov 12, 2014

    A roommate had four door Metro in college. Carrying four full sized guys, the driving stability on the road was downright dangerous. It was clearly a disposable car.

    • JustPassinThru JustPassinThru on Nov 12, 2014

      Three big men and overnight bags...will put one on the bump stops. It is not a carpool vehicle. It's cheap, personal transportation; and it shines in city use. Freeways can be acceptable, depending on local speeds and nature of traffic. I accepted it for what it was...I had a better car, also thirstier, for when I needed it. Saved the miles on the good car; and the $1000 West Coast Geo (I lived in New York State; rust-free was a real novelty) paid for itself in short order.

  • 1st_one 1st_one on Dec 09, 2014

    My college car was a 93 2 door GEO Metro 5 speed with no radio. I use to drive it from Chicago to St. Louis every other weekend after putting only 5 dollars in the tank. It was actually kind of speedy on the highway until an truck needed to pass me but none the less, it was actually a decent car for a rather broke student back in 2002. Any who, I ended up killing the radiator during a hot Missouri summer and the car never recovered.

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.