This bright blue 1992 Geo Metro Convertible was the headliner of RM Sotheby’s “Handle With Fun” online auction that ended today. The time-limited auction featured a variety of rare and vintage collectibles and memorabilia, including several gumball cross-country racing machines, but this humble subcompact stood out. How could it not? It just seems so wonderfully incongruous with the silver-spoon RM Sotheby’s auction house handling the sale.
The Geo was listed for sale for $3,700 (there was no reserve) before bidding opened. It belonged to a single owner in California—think about that! It’s a 1992 model. After 31 bids, the cute bite-sized convertible moved on to owner number two for only $4,000. The well-preserved topless two-door came with a clean Carfax report, and according to the listing, it had only been driven fewer than 39,500 miles.
For all of its flaws, the Geo is an iconic 1990s cheap car, and the convertible’s quirkiness makes it an ideal contestant at Monterey Car Week’s Concours d’Lemons or your next Radwood car meet. The Geo Metro was essentially a rebadged Suzuki Cultus that General Motors produced from 1989 to 2001. GM introduced the convertible version in 1990, joining a slew of alternative economy cars available with the top-down feature.
This example has a gray-on-gray interior that is very clean and shows minimal wear despite nearly 30 years passing since it left the production line. It comes powered by a 1.0-liter three-cylinder(!) engine rated at 52 horsepower and 58 lb-ft of torque. That might, such as it is, is sent to the front wheels through a three-speed automatic.
Likely the victim of many jokes, the one defending factor the quirky Geo Metro had was excellent fuel economy. Even with the automatic transmission, the little Geo delivered 32 mpg in the city and 38 mpg highway; the manual transmission was even thriftier, improving those EPA figures to 41 mpg city and 46 highway. Fuel efficiency could’ve only been a bonus to hair blowing in the wind while Depeche Mode played on the radio.
As we mentioned already, an entry point to more expensive models from GM and Chevrolet three decades ago such as the Geo Metro convertible is not what you would expect listed by RM Sotheby’s. Ferraris? Classic Porsches? Sure. But it’s nice to see a prestigious auction house roll up its sleeves to have a little fun with an oddball “cheap” car.