PCH, Subcompact Turbo Hoonage Edition: Mazda GTX or Turbo Geo Metro?

Not very surprisingly, the '63 Jaguar XK-E emerged victorious from Dead Man's Curve in yesterday's Jan & Dean-themed Choose Your Eternity poll. If it hadn't been for the unifying theme, I'd never have set a Chevy up against a car whose soul is possessed by the Prince of Darkness. But no matter- today we're going to look at a pair of cars that present somewhat more of dilemma. One is a hacked-up Japanese factory hot rod, while the other is an even more hacked-up Japanese unhot rod.


It's hard to get excited over the Mazda 323, even when it's in the form of a forgotten Mercury. But there's one very important exception to the 323=snoresville equation: the GTX! You want all-wheel-drive turbocharged hoonage without all the careful engineering of your Evos and your WRXs? Just a cheap tin can spraying gravel and chunks of burning rubber in all directions? Have you got twenty Benjamins handy? If you answered "Yes" to all three questions, take a look at this '88 GTX (go here if the ad disappears). This is clearly a seller who's ready to deal- why, it says "Price Lowered" right in the headline! The seller has "Invested too much, sold as is!" in his or her own words, and now it's your chance to cash in. Take a look at the long list of costly- and perhaps even correctly installed- aftermarket goodies: Reich ECU, thudding Migraine-o-Matic speakers, big intercooler, and- perhaps best of all- a fuel cell taking up the entire cargo area. You can count on one thing with this car, and that's that the gas pedal has only known two positions during the car's entire life: "Off" and "Full." We'd probably get all the trim off a grandma-issue 323 and make this thing into a truly soporific sleeper, but you could also go the full nutso-rally route. There's sure to be a plethora of fun surprises in store, either way!

The GTX would be lots of fun, and it belongs on any short list of Jalopnik-approved Hoonmobiles, fer sher. But true hoonage requires a car that's just plain wrong, a car that hurts one's brain to even contemplate. This turbocharged Geo Metro is such a car (go here if the ad disappears). The seller doesn't seem to think it's important to state the year of the car (the photos seem to indicate an early-90s car), nor the number of cylinders (sure looks like the 3-banger). But that stuff doesn't matter- what matters is that it has "a wrx turbo setup,custom transmission,roll cage,lots of custom work." Hmmm... a WRX turbo setup? That sounds, like, not-so-appropriate for a 1.0-liter Suzuki three-cylinder engine... and just what is meant by a "custom" transmission, anyway? Ah, the mysteries you'll be unraveling! The word "GEO" Rustoleumed across the intercooler is a nice touch, as is the casts-doubt-upon-paperwork statement "selling for a friend that will be here in a month or two." Just imagine what this thing would be like to drive if you could actually get it registered and working properly; Super Sleeper Potential!

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