A talented Ohio man may have created the coolest Geo Tracker of all time. Under the hood of this 1996 Geo Tracker resides a 323-horsepower V6 borrowed from a Chevrolet Camaro and it’s up for grabs on Cars & Bids.
The Geo Tracker is a diminutive SUV from back when General Motors partnered up with Suzuki to produce captive imports for the North American market. These adorable sport utes were admired in their time, but nowadays they can be found beaten down for dirt cheap on the used marketplace. This 1996 Geo Tracker on Cars & Bids is not only impressively clean, but it has almost irresponsible power by way of an engine swap.
The Geo Tracker and its Suzuki Sidekick sibling are sort of forgotten today. Other regular cars from this era are sought after and even sell for ridiculous prices. Meanwhile, the Tracker remains relatively cheap. That’s a shame, because these are more capable off-road than you’d think. Moreover, who doesn’t love an open air experience on a summer drive?
A stock Tracker isn’t a bad vehicle by itself. You get a charming exterior with dimensions not too far off from a kei car. We’re talking about an 86.6-inch wheelbase and a total length just a smidge over 11 feet.
Inside, you get an upright seating position in a surprisingly roomy cabin. Throw some meaty tires on it and you basically have a very discount side-by-side.
I’d say if the Tracker is lacking anything, it’s a little bit of extra power.
That’s where this Tracker comes in. Gone is the original 272,000-mile 1.6-liter G16 four that made only 97 HP and in its place? A 30,000-mile GM 3.6-liter LFX V6 from a 2015 Chevy Camaro.
That engine may have been unimpressive in the 3,700-pound Camaro, but it should really wake up this 2,500-pound Tracker. It’s almost a corruptible amount of power for something this small, this light and without anything in the way of modern safety features. I love it.
This isn’t some one-off project by someone inexperienced, either. The seller says that they’ve built a number of Trackers over the years, with their first being one with a 306 cubic-inch Ford small block. That engine was so large that they had to cut the firewall back just to fit it.
Thankfully, this one didn’t require the builder to go that far and the quality of their work shows. You may remember that I said that the original engine had 272,000 miles on it. The body does, too, but it’s been repainted in Porsche Guards Red. A set of 17-inch Dodge Ram wheels finish off the looks.
The seller says that the V6's diagnostic system is intact and should it break, anyone could fix this car by plugging in a scanner into the OBD-II port. They’re also providing repair manuals for both the Tracker and the Camaro as well as documentation for the build.
Of course, there are just a few downsides with this build. The Tracker is devoid of air-conditioning because the builder couldn’t fit the parts into the tight engine bay. It also doesn’t have backseats and all of that fun power is routed through a 6L50E six-speed automatic.
Still, I’d totally drive this thing with the top down, grinning from ear to ear. This absolutely epic 1996 Geo Tracker has about 22 hours left to go on Cars & Bids with bidding up to $9,000. Someone buy this thing and rip a huge smoky burnout.