Junkyard Find: 1990 Geo Storm GSi

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The Storm was the Geo-ized American-market version of the 1990-1993 Isuzu Gemini Coupe, and the GSi version was cheaper and more powerful than most of its sport-compact competition of the era. Most of them seemed to come in bright yellow paint, and most of them were crushed before they hit their tenth birthday. Still, some of them survived as long as any Civic Si or Sentra SE-R.

Here’s one that I found in a Denver-area self-service yard last year.

Well over 200,000 miles on the clock, which is exceptional for an early-1990s Isuzu product.

This one still had its original owner’s manual, complete with dealership cards indicating an original sale in Colorado Springs.

The sporty plastic body moldings so popular at the time tended to trap dirt, salt, and moisture against the car’s metal, with results like this.

The GSi version of the Storm came with a very respectable 130 horsepower under the hood, while the ordinary Storm had a mere 95 horses. This car has the DOHC GSi engine, though it lacks the GSi badging. In fact, all the exterior badging has been removed.

In the past, we have seen this ’90 Storm GSi, this ’91 Storm GSi, plus this dealer-promo model GSi (in yellow, of course).

In Japan, the Gemini Coupe got this slippy-slidey ad featuring the Peter Gunn theme song.

In Canada, this car was known as the Asüna Sunfire, for reasons we’re pretty sure didn’t even make sense at the time.

Naturally, the Isuzu-badged version got the Joe Isuzu treatment.

[Images: © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]

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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  • Wscott97 Wscott97 on Jun 22, 2016

    I really wanted a Yellow Geo Storm for my first car. But the car was discontinued by the time I got my licence. My parents didn't want to buy a car that wasn't made anymore so they got me a 1993 Geo Prizm LSI instead. Not that I didn't like the Prizm, and it was a really nice car; but I would have loved the Storm instead. I wish there were more sportier fun cars today like that had in the 90's

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Jul 20, 2016

    I was a lot boy at a small rural Chevy store in the early 90s while in HS. The Storm GSI, with its low profile tires/kinda cool alloys , and low curb weight was the best car-lot speed handling vehicle on the lot. We had only a few Vettes at a time , and the IROCs were just too big to zip around the lot. Top selling colors were yellow and oh so 90s teal green.

  • Lou_BC "respondents between 18 and 80 years old" Basically anyone deemed an adult who might be allowed to drive.
  • Lou_BC They will do fine if they come up with some cool sedans ;)
  • Mister They've got their work cut out for them. I live in a large metropolitan city of 1.2+ million people, the is a single Mitsubishi dealer. It's really more like a used-car dealer that sells Mitsubishi on the side. With the remarkably cheesy name of "Johnny Legends".
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh WHAT !?
  • Jeff Matt--I think this is a good move for Mitsubishi to expand their presence with satellite dealers. I had a 85 MItsubishi Mighty Max and my sister had a 83 MItsubishi Starion. MItsubishi needs to add a compact pickup to compete with the Maverick and the Santa Cruz but offer it for less. A smaller more affordable truck will sell. I believe MItsubishi should still offer an inexpensive subcompact like the Mirage it will sell in a slowing car market with high msrps. Yes I know the Mirage is probably going to be canceled but I believe in these times it is a mistake and they should reconsider cancelling the Mirage. Toyota is having problems selling the new redesigned Tacomas and Tundras with the turbo 4s and 6s. Most Tacomas have MSRPs of well over 40k. There is room for MItsubishi to grow their market share with more affordable vehicles. I am not saying Mitsubishi is going to overtake Toyota, Honda, or Nissan but they should take advantage of the more affordable market segment that these companies for the most part have abandoned. MItsubishi doesn't have to be the biggest just increase sales and become more profitable.