1989 was a heady year. It was a year of decadence. A year of change. And most importantly: a year for sexy. Just look at the #1 chart toppers for that year…
1. Look Away, Chicago
2. My Prerogative, Bobby Brown
3. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison
4. Straight Up, Paula Abdul
5. Miss You Much, Janet Jackson
6. Cold Hearted, Paula Abdul
7. Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
8. Girl You Know It’s True, Milli Vanilli
9. Baby, I Love Your Way / Freebird, Will To Power
10. Giving You the Best That I Got, Anita Baker
That is one seriously sexy hit list! Everything on it is “fly” like the Fly Girls from In Living Color.
On top of that we had artists like Prince, Madonna, Erasure. Rap was getting all smooth and sexy with LL Cool J and the movies like Lethal Weapon 2 were practically dripping with it.
No Sexy Left for Cars?
It seems like most of the sexy was sucked up by the time it got to cars.
Just take a look at a few of the best selling cars in 1989…
Practical sure. Economical? You bet. Sexy? Uhm….No.
What got me thinking on this was when I was polishing the front logo on my blue 1989 Geo 0Metro hatchback last weekend. From out of nowhere comes this candy apple red 1964 Ford Mustang rolling by looking all sexy…
I thought to myself, “Why do classic cars from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s have so much sex appeal while boxy 80’s cars looked like they were designed by my high school chess team?”
You might say, “Yeah well…what about those fuel efficient classics? I’m sure they weren’t so sexy!”
Listen Friend: with a 4 banger under the hood the Ford Mustang was the fuel efficient car of 1964!
Some smart-assed young co-worker of mine tried to tell me it was due to the Japanese influence on American society which favored economy over flash. I just rolled my eyes when I heard that.
I lived was 1989. I saw all the sexy being passed around. We just ran out of sexy, plain and simple.
PS – I used the word “sexy” 12 times in a 400 word article. It’s damned near impossible to use it more. Believe me, I tried for about 2 hours.
My Geo Metro is clean – no doubt.
But once in a while I get to wondering: what would it be like to own a normal shiny new vehicle? My Metro is getting up in miles (just over 218,000 currently) and the clutch is going to need to be replaced soon, so I went online to Kelly Blue Book to do some serious research into the matter. Their handy-dandy value calculator only went back as far as 1992, but let’s roll with it…here’s what it came back with:
$305.00 for a trade-in average? Doh!!!
That didn’t seem like a lot to me. Frankly, I had people walk up and offer me over $1500 on at least two occasions, so I was a little depressed with the results.
But I pressed on anyway – for shits and giggles – and tried to find place that would buy it outright. The closest place that would consider taking my car for other than scrap was like 60 minutes away. So I did the math: What would I actually make on trading my car in? Well for starters the gas to get there wouldn’t be much since this is, after all, a 45 MPG car. So let’s just say it’s $8.00:
- $8.00 – Gas
Then there’s my time. I’m a freelance programmer, and if I’m getting steady work I’m making around $50.00 per hour on the low-side. So let’s figure 2 hours to make the trip there and back, and another hour to seal the deal for 3 Hours total. That’s $150:
- $150.00 – Time (3 Hours @ $50.00)
- $8.00 – Gas
$158.00 total to sell my car. Minus that off of the trade-in value and we’re talking about $147.00! That’s bullshit man!
So I guess I’ll be keeping my super-clean, blue 1989 2-Door Hatchback Geo Metro a little longer. I really don’t know if I’ll ever sell it to be honest, but it’s fun to fantasize sometimes.
Just poking around the web I found this cool article from the Wall Street Journal about THIS:
Some of you may say, “This man has too much time on his hands.”, others might say, “Why didn’t he pick a better looking car to mod?”, or “Why the color yellow?”
To them I say two things:
- What’s wrong with the color yellow and…
Now I like my cars clean and stock and nothing is stock in this car aside from the dash and the body, but damn – do it look mean!
Congrats Mr. Pfeffer and his late friend Bobby Kruse on this sweet Metro mod…
In the United States a single engine was available from 1989 through 1994: a 1.0 L I3 engine. Rated at only 55 hp (41 kW), the small Suzuki-designed engine was the most fuel efficient production engine used in a GM car to date, boasting well over 45 mpg (5.3 L/100 km) in models with manual transmissions. A detuned 49 hp unit was used in the ultra-fuel-efficient XFi model, which delivered as much as 58 miles per gallon. As the 3-cylinder engines aged however, they began to become less stable and subject to vibration as well as minor deficiencies in the fuel injection system that led to decreased fuel economy.
A flaw exists in Metro 3-cylinder engines equipped with an EGR valve – if the valve fails or the EGR passages become blocked, the center combustion chamber can get too hot, and over time, lose compression due to exhaust valve failure.
Customers who were surveyed stated that they wanted more power from their Metro as well as good fuel economy. In 1995, with the new Metro came a new engine: the 1.3 L I4. The new engine still had only a modest 70 hp (52 kW), but provided the extra power Metro owners wanted. That power came at the cost of some fuel efficiency, dropping the highway mileage down to around 35 mpg (6.8 L/100 km). The engine however, was not new. It was the same engine that had been in use in the Suzuki Swift (except for the GT models) for years. LSi models produced from 1995 on had the 4-cylinder engine, but the 3-cylinder was still the base power plant in the car, becoming an option for non-LSi models in 1997.
Canadian Metros had the 1.3 L engine available as an option beginning in 1993 in the 3-door GSi model, and as standard equipment in the sedan (exclusive to the Canadian market at the time: as noted in the previous paragraph, American market Metros were not available in a sedan bodystyle until 1995).
Here’s some history on the 1989GeoMetro. I copied a lot of it from Wikipedia, but I tried to improve it somewhat since Wikipedia was missing some details like how they left out a bunch of information on the HatchBack coupe, which is the car I own.
I tried to e-mail Wikipedia so they could update it, but I’m not sure that they will take my advice. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it! Alan
The Geo Metro can be defined as a manufacturing and marketing variation of the Suzuki Cultus that was available in North America from the year 1989 until the year 2001. It was essentially a joint effort of Suzuki and General Motors (popularly known as GM). In the United States of America, the Geo nameplate was carried by the Metro from the year 1989 to the year 1997. The Metro similarly carried a Chevrolet nameplate from the year 1998 to the year 2001.
It evolved over a period of thirteen years with the Cultus and its siblings. This was characterized by 3 generations and 4 body styles i.e. 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback and 2-door convertible. The above were ultimately replaced in the line of General Motors by a family of vehicles that were based on Daewoo Kalos.
Geo Metro facts
It is important to note that all the Metros were manufactured by CAMI Automotive Inc., this is with an exception of the convertible. The manufacturing process took place in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. It is equally important to note the fact that the Convertible was built in Japan by Suzuki.
The beginning of Geo Metro production
The Geo Metro can be described as a small economy car that was designed and manufactured on the basis of the Suzuki Swift or Cultus. It was basically produced from the year 1989 through to the year 2001. The very first generation was in 3-door and 5-door hatchback models. In addition, there was a four-door notchback sedan model which was sold in Canada.
The middle of Geo Metro production
In the year 1990, there was availability of a convertible but unfortunately it was phased out right after the year 1993. This was followed by the coming in of Metros that happened in 3 trim levels i.e. XFi, LSI or Base. The engine of XFi had less power in comparison to the engine of the Base and the engine of the LSi. The XFi was also able to achieve an incredible gas mileage of 53 MPG in the city and a startling 58 MPG on the highway. Each and every Metro at that point in time had 3 cylinder engines with either a 3-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission.
The only first-generation of the metro to have an airbag was the convertible. In the year 1995, the Metro underwent redesigning to give it an appearance that is more modern. The redesign also incorporated 70 horsepower (an equivalence of 71 PS or 52kW), a 4-cylinder engine, anti-lock brakes that were optional and standard dual airbags. The 5-door hatchback was replaced by a 4-door sedan. In the year 1995, the XFi never returned. The Base model and the LSi model were the only ones offered. The 3-cylinder engine was retained in the Base hatchback.
The end of Geo Metro production
In the year 1998, there was final revamping of the Metro that had been rebranded as Chevrolet. They performed minor re-styling, enhanced its headlamps and even boosted 4 cylinder engine to produce 79 horsepower (an equivalence of 80PS OR 59kW). The 2000 model was the final production of the 3-cylinder engine and the Metro hatchback. All the 2001 models were 4-door sedans that were exclusively sold to fleets.
The Metro line-up
The Metro line-up comprised of the following:
- The Metro Hatchback Coupe that was produced from the year 1989 through to the year 2001.
- The Metro Hatchback Sedan that was produced from the year 1989 to the year 1994.
- The Metro Convertible that was produced from the year 1991 through to 1993.
- The Metro Sedan that was produced from the year 1995 through to the year 2001.
Metro trim levels
3 varying trim levels were available during the manufacture of Metros. The bumper is undoubtedly the simplest way of identifying a specific Metro trim level. Bumpers on the XFi model were colored entirely black on both the upper and lower portions. Bumpers on the Base model had an upper portion that was body colored and a lower portion that was colored black. However, the LSi model bumpers were all body colored on both the upper and lower sections.
The Metro XFi was produced between the year 1989 and the year 1994, the Metro Base Level was produced between the year 1989 and the year 2000 and the Metro LSi that was produced from the year 1989 through to 1993, it was similarly produced between the year 1995 and the year 2001.
Each and every Geo Metro was designed with three-cylinder, 1liter engine. The Metro XFi model was primarily designed for optimum fuel efficiency. It had different computer, lighter curb weight, different transmission and camshaft compared to both the Base model and LSi model. However, its convenience and comfort options were less appealing in comparison to the other two models. It achieved 53 MPG in city and 58 MPG on highway. It was rated as the most fuel efficient car in the whole of America throughout its production period. It was discontinued after the 1994 model year caused slow sales.
This model was considered more upscale in comparison to the XFi model. It has options that lacked in the Metro XFi such as automatic transmission and A/C. Its standard features included a passenger side mirror and body side molding that were also present in the XFi model. It had an extra 6 horsepower than the Metro XFi, it was rated a 55 horsepower car. This was possible with computer programming for both economy and power and because the lift camshaft that was a bit higher.