The Geo Metro is Back, Baby!

Like an old pair of jeans that got back in style, when gas prices are stratospheric, so are "classics" like the Honda Civics and Geo Metros of the 80's and 90's.

Ken Bensinger of The Los Angeles Times has a neat article on the next "it" cars, those old tiny sedans you couldn't wait to get rid of for SUVs when gas was $1.25!

Another favorite among hypermilers is the Geo Metro, a bare-bones car sold by GM in the late '80s and early '90s that came in an extremely efficient XFi version. That car, powered by a tiny, 1-liter, three-cylinder engine, had no air conditioner and came in one pony short of 50 horsepower. But it was rated at 55 mpg, it's a snap to work on and parts are readily available.

This spring, Stephen Mills, a mechanic in Midland, N.C., spotted a surge in demand and began buying up Geo Metros to restore and sell on EBay.

His first restoration, a 1993 model with low mileage, sold in June for $8,075, an amazing price considering the car sold for little more than $6,000 when new. Since then, he's sold one for $7,200 and another for $6,500 and has eight more Metros he's sprucing up for sale.

"I started to think these would go out of sight once the price of gas went up," says Mills, whose first customer was an attorney tired of pumping gas into a 16-mpg Honda Pilot.

According to Experian Automotive, 11,318 XFi models were registered in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year, a high number for a car that's been out of production for nearly 15 years.


(Photo: Lori Shepler/LA Times)

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I have a 1990 Firefly 4door hatch. My best mpg to date is 62 with ac on, accomplished by pumping the tires to 50psi and playing with the o2 sensor. I go to the crushers and pull sensors, saving the skinny ones with really white deposits on the tips. Not very scientific, I know but it seems to work.
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I have a 1991 Geo metro that has been abused for the last 83,000 miles of 183,000 so far,I have only replaced normal parts so far with the exception of the alternator last month.My fault I kept driving it for a few years knowing the battery was weak.I have headers,cam,advanced cam sprocket,MSD coil,Pulstar plugs,underdrive pulleys,milled cylinder head,stainless exhaust valves,and mild porting,my son,my friends and I can not kill this car.I wish that Eldebrock would make a dual cam 12 valve cylinder head for this engine so it will modernise a rugged efficient more thing,the last time I loaned my car out it came back with a hard to downshift tranny now,I guess it is synchro time soon :)
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I'm really eating my words now for making fun of my friend's vomit-rust colored Geo.

He calmly says he's got plenty of gas to make the hour trip to San Diego from our house when the needle is just above E; Meanwhile my 06 sentra has a dodgy sensor and only tells me when I'm running out when I'm on my last 12 miles or so.
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When I purchased my 93 Honda civic in 96 I was wavering between it and a new Metro because the Metro got 50 miles to the gallon. I'm not sure why I was concerned with gas prices back then, but decided to go with the Civic. The mpg was less but I'm still driving it after 12 years. I have a tape deck that will only accept my iPod connector and no power steering. I'm still getting 35-40 mpg.
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