Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

The Geo Metro Was A BEAST! At least from this perspective…

Officially-speaking, my 1989 Geo Metro has just over 55 feisty horses kicking under the hood. For people that don’t get the concept of horsepower, that seems like a fairly weak car. I however, beg to differ. Allow me to explain using the scientific method which is to use fact, figures, testing and results to validate my hypothesis. At the end of this article you will be utterly convinced that the 55 HP is more than adequate in pushing around my Geo’s light frame.

What is Horsepower Anyway?

In order to adequately explain “Horsepower” I need to whisk you back to Scotland in the 18th Century.  Envision an Scottish-born engineer named James Watt working on his newly acquired steam engine.  He was going to use it for all sorts of cool stuff around his neck-of-the-woods, but he needed a way to describe the force it produced without using “Newton-Meter Per Second”  A term which made him sound a total nerd to all his Scottish friends.

So, since everyone and their mother owned a horse in those days the term “Horsepower” seemed to make sense to him.  It also made sense to the folks he was selling his contraption too and he became totally successful!

There you go, Bing-bang-boom –  the term Horsepower was born.  Any questions?

BTW: for those nerdy types – 1 Horse Power = 745.7 N.m / S

1 HP = TONS of Power

In order to adequately explain my second point, I again will whisk you away to Scotland.  This time during the age of William Wallace!  Well, more like the movie Braveheart.  Remember that scene where’s a like 4  horses pulling on old Mel Gibson’s appendages?  Yeah, so just one of those horses was enough to pull old William’s arms and legs out of his socket! Just ONE!

According to some history books that I sort of remember reading in High School, there were these guys whose sole-purpose was designing weird contraptions to kill people.  Think of the Iron Maiden and the like.  Anyway, they’d figured that they could design a pulley-system attached to a horse or mule whereby, when attached to an unsuspecting felon, could rip their arm right out of the socket.

Now think about 55 Horse pulling on his arm.  Crazy right?!  I know.  Now stop thinking about it – it’s far too gruesome.

Conclusion

So there you have it.  55 Horsepower is a lot of force.  Is it the most force EVER on a car.  Sadly no.  However it’s enough to rip plenty of arm out of sockets.

1989 was a Sexy Year. Not so much for cars apparently

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.

The Fly Girls

The Fly Girls

On top of that we had artists like Prince, Madonna, ErasureRap 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…

1989 Escort, Accord and Taurus

1989 Escort, Accord and Taurus

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…

1964 Ford Mustand Convertible

1964 Ford Mustand Convertible – 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 Depressing Kelly Blue Book Value

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:

Depressing Kelly Blue Book Value for my Geo Metro

The depressing Kelly Blue Book Value for my Geo Metro

$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.