Ned Flanders drove a Metro, and when implored by his wife Maude to go faster so as to escape a clingy Homer Simpson, he screamed I can’t, it’s a Gee-ohhh! Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe custom pickup may be similarly lethargic and Geo-riffic, but will you find its price to be completely cartoonish?
You know the old movie meme where there’s this mousey girl who, underneath the unflattering glasses, unkempt hair, and Kmart Dowager’s-Choice fashions, is really a hot and saucy minx- you know the fugly duckling story? Well 66% of you thought yesterday’s 1988 Camry All-Trac, while possessing duck-like weather-capabilities also came with a swan-esque price. And that was all despite its salvage title, which is irreversibly ugly.
If we’re doing one of these things is not like the other this week, then yesterday's somnambulantly stock Camry sedan would stick out like a sore thumb amidst all the custom pickups, of which today’s 1996 Geo Metro is the latest.
The Metros, as well as their Suzuki Swift cousins, and Chevy Sprint predecessors, are like the Cicadas. Instead however of emerging once every 17 years for a mad round of creepy bug sex and death, they seemingly arrive in droves in the nation’s classifieds whenever gas prices rapidly climb by more than 20%.
That’s owed to the fact that the Geo Metro’s reputation for frugality rivals that of Scrooge McDuck. And when gas prices ebb, so do the Geo ads, although there are outliers. Our candidate today is just such a car - and it doesn’t get much more outlier-ier than a custom Metro Ute.
Claimed to be the winner of three - count ‘em, three - car shows, this painfully twee little utility looks like something Oompa Loompas use to cart bratty children to their doom at the Wonka factory. Actually, the conversion appears so professionally done that the car looks freakishly like a three-quarter scale version of Chevy’s Brazilian Montana Ute.
According to the ad, the car’s exterior sports a fresh coat of arrest-me red, and the pictures show a set of wheels resplendent in Pep Boys bling. Speaking of pictures, this is about the smallest car you could possibly find outside of aMonopoly board, and yet the seller couldn't even manage to get the entire thing in a single shot.
On the inside, there’s custom upholstery and no need to apologize to riders about the lack of rear seat legroom. The customization in there seems to be limited to a stylized Z on each door panel, and the work of someone pining for the eventual creation of Pinterest.
Mechanically this ‘96 Metro is stock, and that means the 67-bhp Suzuki G13BA four cylinder and 5-speed stick driving the front wheels. That combo is not going to engender much excitement unless hybrid-like fuel economy gets your party started. These things can easily break 40-mpg owing to their tiny dancer of an engine and sub-ton weight.
Unless the conversion to pickup was undertaken with former nuclear power plant shielding and Brando-brand Bondo, this trucklet should be similarly light and efficient.
The question of course is whether or not its price is equally demonstrative of frugality. The seller is asking $6,900 for this custom little truck, and you need to now vote on whether you think that’s a fair shake. What do you say, does that price suit this Ute? Or, is that too much to ask for so small a truck?
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