Rolling Weenie: Six-Wheeled 1991 Geo Metro Stretch

The pictures speak volume here, but we do like a couple quotes from the ad:

“Custom fabricated by a Boeing airplane manufacturer ”

“With 6 wheels and three cylinders it’s not the fastest car in the world. Steep grades you have to drop into third at around 40-50mph”

“Leaks oil typical for a 91′” Continue reading Rolling Weenie: Six-Wheeled 1991 Geo Metro Stretch

Is The Price Ever Right for a Mitsubishi Mirage?

We say yes, if it’s a Mirage Turbo from almost thirty years ago (hey, look, a dedicated site!). With this new one, however, we’re not so sure. That being said, we at Oddimotive are drawn to this product’s unique position as a true sub-subcompact – essentially the most basic thing one can buy.

The car in question was a prize on, you guessed it, The Price Is Right! The seller apparently has no desire for a new car (at least one with a CVT) and is selling it with a little bit of TV hype. Still, the price isn’t crazy vs. MSRP, though we wonder about transaction price.

Continue reading Is The Price Ever Right for a Mitsubishi Mirage?

Get to Know this Homemade Geo Metro Pickup

That’s right, folks, 1997 represented the end of a glorious run for GM’s often-confused, import-based Geo brand.  Does that make this a collectible?  Probably not – especially considering the continuation of the Metro as a Chevrolet product for several more years.  Today’s feature, however, isn’t really about brand heritage, it’s about yet another tiny hatch (AKA shitbox) turned into a pickup. If you think a Subaru Baja is just too practical, this might be the vehicle for you.

First – yes, this makes three Suzukis in a row.  Why not?

Small, FWD hatchbacks seem to make good pickups, or at least they tempt people into making them.  We’ll venture to say that this one is pretty well done and the only issue we see is the lack of a folding tailgate.  Given the diminutive size of the “bed” and the nature of the vehicle, however, we don’t imagine it holds the type of cargo that can’t be lifted over the sides.

Think past the custom work and this is a three cylinder, manual Metro with 118K miles, which means it’s barely broken in.  The seller has provided good pics and info, including some “in progress” pics from the build.  We respect that.

Click for Craigslist ad
Redlands, CA, USA
$3,200

From a distance, the profile is vaguely similar to the Metro convertible.

Here, things look a little different.  Though we partially lament the lack of opening gate, the rear panels are pretty well done.

Chrome exhaust tip is a nice touch, but may over promise.

Here’s a look inside the bed.  You could probably get a few bags of fertilizer (or “bags of sand”) in there.  A beer keg might even fit.

Hopefully, the taillight lenses can be removed from the outside, as they’re not reachable from the inside at this point.

Pep Boys seat covers usually mean shredded seats, but the rest of the interior looks pretty good.WeatherTech (or imitation?) mats fit with the pseudo-rugged image.

In case you were wondering, the spare is behind the front seat.  The builder even finished the panel with carpet, which is better than what most do.

This little beast actually came with a tach!

Here’s the three cylinder in all its glory.

And…here’s one of the in-progress pics.

Ad text:

One of a kind, 1997 Geo Metro customized into a truck. Bedliner, custom back glass, two tone paint, chrome wheels, 80% tire life, low miles, new spark plugs, starts & runs great, 40 MPG, awesome gas mileage. Current registration, ready to drive. 

Tron/Transformers Chevrolet Spark (?)

We’re oddly drawn to the Chevy Spark, though we often wish the Sonic’s turbo I4 would end up in it in order to make a really goofy little pocket rocket.  Why is this here?  Well, it’s because the photo below grabbed our attention.  The seller seems to have applied what he or she calls “Tron like reflective pin stripping” and “spike lug nuts.”  We also spotted the almost-obligatory-among-Chevy-fans-who-like-to-accessorize Transformers badge!  The result is, well, odd.

There’s not too much we can add except that the seller also put on a loud exhaust and a Rockford Fosgate subwoofer to help drown out the drone.  So, if you need a commuter, this could be perfectly okay, except you won’t be able to shift it yourself AND the price isn’t cheap.  Maybe the seller will become more realistic over time?

Click for Craigslist ad
Fullerton, CA,USA
$12,000

This has a certain “WTF” factor.

Fear not!  The sides were treated to the same.

And, yes, the rear.  Apparently, this was taken immediately after the process was complete.  We hope the decals have stayed put (or do we?).

Spike lugs, baby!

Interior appears stock.  Again, it’s too bad about that automatic.

This little, LG-built  head unit is oddly appealing, although CarPlay and Android Auto make it essentially obsolete.

We’ve always like this strange, little gauge pod, though we’d rather see the tach on the left.  Maybe the MT cars do that?

Here’s the mighty 1.2L I4, which puts out 84 HP.  This would be a lot of fun with the 1.4T.  That being said, the K&N decal is worth 5HP in this application.

By day, this is a plain Spark.

At text:

I got laid off and haven’t been able to find work so I need to sell before it gets repoed. Buy ought right or take over payments ($245/month for me). This is my baby. Super clean inside and out. All the options. Automatic cvt transmission. Tron like reflective pin stripping. Spike lug nuts. Upgraded and larger speakers, 7″ touch screen mylink head unit has usb, six, and Bluetooth inputs powered rockfordfostgate sub in the trunk with a power cap so no draw on the battery. Performance exhaust (I still have stock system if you want to put it back on, but the loud exhaust makes it super fun to drive). K And N air filter. Heated leatherette seats, power windows locks and mirrors, tinted windows, cruise control, onStar, keyless remote entry, dual air horns, custom Spark LTZ badgeing. Extra bright head lights and foglights. Super bright led reverse lights. Turn signal in the side mirrors. Just tons of goodies. Drives and handles like a dream tons of fun to zoom around in. Great commuter I’ve been getting 33 mpg city zooming around if you drive like a normal person it’s closer to 36 city. Park anywhere. super roomy inside. Still under warranty .. less than 14,500 miles ..

Recent Oddimobile Sightings – January 10, 2016

What with holidays and CES, Oddimotive (almost a one-man show) has been slow.  Fear not, however, as we’re back on a schedule!  Also, slow on posts doesn’t mean slow on sightings…


Let’s get started…

Let’s start with a lovely, almost Grabber Blue Festiva spotted at Malibu Creek State Park.  Surely this fits right in driving around Malibu and Calabassas.  What on earth does this tow?!?

Later the same day, this lovely quad-exhaust-and-rimzzzzz-equipped Camry was spotted near Oddimotive HQ in Lake Forest, CA.  Maybe the car is parked here because its owner handicapped it with crap modifications.

A few days later, this Buick Reatta Coupe was spotted at the Irvine, CA train station.  We later saw it drive away under its own power, but didn’t get to question the driver.

Though the automotive exhibits at CES were in the North Hall, this Citroen Van was part of the Pico Brew display at Tech West.  Leave it to the only beer company present to have arguably the best Oddimobile at CES.

Finally, while the vehicles involved aren’t all that odd, the sight of a Chevy Suburban on a flatbed in the MGM Grand passenger drop off area was entertaining.

Sibling to Previous Orphaned Hot Hatch Post: i-Mark Turbo Sedan

We recently featured a rare Isuzu I-Mark hatchback, complete with turbocharged four cylinder engine and Lotus-tuned suspension. If you liked the idea, but wanted four doors, today’s feature is all you.

This car gives you i-Mark RS Turbo performance in a small sedan package.  Versus the hatchback, that’s less practical for lovers of cargo space, but better for folks with child seats.  The rear seats even fold down, which is pretty cool for an 80s car.

The BIN price seems modest enough at $3,500 for low miles, great condition and seemingly few needs.  If the reserve is lower, someone might even get more of a steal!  Pending in-person inspection, we’re extremely bullish and recommend a strong buy on this one.  If only we had more space at Oddimotive HQ…

Click for eBay ad
Woodhaven, NY, USA
$900 with ZERO bids, $3,500 BIN price, reserve not met and 5 days to go

This styling has held up well – it’s a good thing Isuzu asked for Italian design help back in the day.

Turbo decal on glass is a perfect touch for this 80s beast.  Body kit is fairly subtle and the alloys look nice in this application.

Front end is mildly aggressive, but could pass for a sleeper in today’s market.

How about some badges?  Four, yes, four badges adorn the rear of this car.  From left to right: 1.5T, i-Mark, Handling by Lotus and LS.

Here’s a closeup of that beloved Lotus badge.

Interior is pretty sporty for a car with humble roots.  Note the seat cloth pattern, classic accordion shifter boot and even the graphic equalizer!  The steering wheel looks pretty good for thumb hanging, as well.

The headliner may need a bit of attention, and it looks like this is a pop-up-only sunroof.  That’s good for your head room – we’re not sure about Max Headroom.

This trunk should hold your cooler full of Boone’s Farm and even features fold-down seats to allow rear-seat passengers to access alcohol on the move!

Engine is there – not too clean and not too dirty.

We couldn’t not include this image.  Don’t you really want to buy this now, hoping for an encounter with a chick wearing camo, baby blue and a trucker hat?

Ad text:

“here is a super rare car 1989 I-mark turbo 1.5litre eng 5speed excellent shape in/out Lotus suspension only 68k runs strong a POCKET ROCKET on 4 wheels”

HERE IS A SUPER RARE CAR A 1989 ISUZU I-MARK TURBO WITH A 1.5LITRE ENGINE AND A 5SPEED TRANSMISSION AND ONLY 68K.THE PAINT IS IN GOOD SHAPE SOME SCRATCHES A DENT OR TWO AND MINOR SURFACE RUST(SEE PICS) INSIDE REAR DOOR DRIVERS SIDE.THE DARK GRAY SEATS WITH A RED PATTERNED CENTERS ARE IN GOOD SHAPE NO RIPS/TARES.DASH IS GOOD NO DAMAGE,HEADLINER IS THE SAME,DOOR PANELS ARE GOOD TOO,RUGS ARE IN FAIR SHAPE.THE 1.5LITRE ENGINE IS STRONG AND THE 5SPEED TRANS SHIFTS WELL AND ONLY TRAVELING 68K.THIS CAR IS FAST AS HELL.HAS THE LOTUS SUSPENION(COULD USE FRONT STRUTS).IT HAS POWER STEERING,POWER BRAKES,POWER MIRRORS,AC,TILT(RARE),REAR DEFOGGER,DELAY WIPERS,FACTORY STEREO W/EQUALIZER,FACTORY FOG LIGHTS,ALLOYS,TURBO,SUNROOF(MANUAL)SPOILER PACKAGE,GAUGE PACKAGE,LOTUS SUSPENION.HAS HAD A RECENT TUNEUP.VALVE COVER GASKET,O2 SENSOR,WIPER TRANSMISSION.THIS CAR HAS A CLEAN NY TITLE IN HAND OPEN TO OFFERS AT 718 xxxxxxx OR TEXT TO THAT NUMBER OR EMAIL OFFER.THERE IS NO WARRANTY ON THIS I-MARK IN ANYWAY SHAPE OR FORM.AND I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO END AUCTION AT ANYTIME WITH NO NOTICES GIVEN FOR IT IS FOR SALE LOCALLY.THER WILL BE A SMALL NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT REQUIRED……THIS IS A POCKET ROCKET ON WHEELS DECENT IN/OUT AND RARE…POSSIBLY  QUALIFIES FOR CLASSIC INSURANCE CHECK YOUR WITH YOUR INSURANCE CARRIER.THXS FOR LOOKING ONLY 68K ORIGINAL….. 

Orphaned Brand Hot Hatch

The Volkswagen GTI started the hot hatch craze in the early 80s, and just about every OEM (except Ford in the US market?) played the game at some point.  Maybe Ford is making up for that today with its ST and RS products.  Anywho, Isuzu was a hot hatch player back in the day (you know, when they actually made cars) and this I-Mark RS was among the rarest and most interesting of the breed.  After all, who doesn’t want a turbo and Lotus-tuned suspension in their hot hatch?

Sure, 110 horsepower might not sound like much, but it’s damn fun in a car that weighs a bit over 2,000 pounds.  Add in cool touches like the Lotus-tuned suspension and Recaro seats to hold you in place and you have a winning formula.  Sure, the 1989 version had higher peak horsepower (125), but this 1988 version puts out almost 20 more lb-ft of torque at lower RPM.  That likely equates to more fun as a daily driver.  The looks are pretty subtle for the era, but the car does have the obligatory monochrome parts and aero bits; so,if you buy this, you won’t blend in with all the base I-Marks no one sees on the road today.

Honestly, when did you last see any Isuzu car product (not SUV) on the road?

The seller claims this example has about 95K original miles, has cold AC and pulls hard when on boost.  Further, he or she is quite responsive to eBay questions, which is generally a good sign.  If you need cheap, economical transportation for a lot less than any new car and want it to be unique, this could be the car for you.  Perhaps some stealth upgrades could get even more power and torque out of this little 1.5-liter SOHC four (only the 1989 had the DOHC 1.6L).

Click for eBay ad
Temecula, CA, USA
$4,450 with 14 bids and 2 days to go

What’s not to love here?  Monochrome front end and period alloys on what would otherwise be a shitbox.  That’s heaven to us.  The good news is Isuzu’s design was a good starting point.

Rear wing and rear valence are just right for this little pocket rocket – all in body color, of course.  Window sticker with engine spec appears to be stock, as we’ve seen it on others.

Yep, there’s that famous badge!  Surely it’s worth four horsepower, like a Stillen decal on a Nissan.

Interior looks great too our eyes – simple and functional, but not outwardly cheap.  The wheel is sufficiently sporty and the accordion shifter is expected for the period.

Of course, the seats jump out as something special.  The Recaro name is good to see, but the bolsters appear to be great.  The netting-filled head restraints are classics.

The wheels is even leather-wrapped and the car features a full set of gauges, unlike some hot hatches.  Perhaps all these details led to a high price and that’s why so few of these were sold…

Here’s the tiny ‘n mighty 1.5L, turbocharged, inline four.  This appears to be bone stock, which is surely rare today.  It’s clean enough for proud hood-popping at Cars and Coffee, too.

Ad text:

1988 Isuzu RS Turbo with handling by Lotus. YES, very rare car. Do your homework.

5 speed, Turbo, factory Recaro seats. Low mile car kept inside in a collection. Very clean.

Back in the 80’s there was a competition to see who had the best “hot hatch.” To compete with the VW GTI Isuzu took their small i Mark and built a very special car.  This included a turbo engine with a 5 speed, full instrumentation with a turbo boost gauge, leather wrapped steering wheel, special larger wheels and tires, factory Recaro seats like the GTI, monochrome paint with spoilers and side skirts, and the real topping was they had Lotus engineer the suspension install, and badge the side. I have never seen another. They are out there, but rather rare. And rare is one as clean and low miles as this one. Drives good and pulls strong when up on boost. Sets you back into those custom Recaros. This car has the coldest air conditioning I have ever felt in any car. I always have a crowd looking at it in the parking lot, as they wonder what it is.

Car is titled, registered and passes smog here in Southern California. Can store it here while you find a shipper. Sold as-is please. No complaints or regrets. Ensure this is the one you want.

Reader Sighting: 1.5 Festivas!

Reader Steve N. sent us this sighting.  No further explanation was available, but what else do you really need to know?

It seems the owner made a mini-truck out of the Festiva and then missed the cargo space?  Regardless, we love it!

Festivas make great autocross cars, but it’s not clear that this trailer can even haul an extra set of wheels.  Also, we wonder how this handles with weight removed from the rear…

Paint job worth more than car? 1985 Chevy Sprint

Sadly, this is not the cool little Sprint Turbo – this is a plain-Jane Suzuki Switft wrapped in Chevy badges.  What’s interesting about it is that is has a rather non-shitbox paint job.  Okay, it’s not amazing, but it calls attention to itself, which is something base model Sprints don’t usually do.

Would you drive this strange little beauty?  The seller provides precious little information, but does specify that it has a clutch pedal.  That’s something…

Click for Craigslist ad
Apple Valley, CA
$900

Ad text:

Need Cash and no need for it.
Tags are Sept 2014
Pink slip in hand. Stick shift.

Because the Reliant Robin was So Good…

…it was replaced by the remarkably similar Reliant Rialto!  Today’s feature is the Rialto Saloon (sedan), as opposed to the Estate (wagon) version.

The seller claims to have found this in his barn and driven it weekly for some amount of time.  That being said, it’s been sitting for five years or so. $200 might be about right for this!

Frighteningly, the seller claims to have driven this in the mountains at 60 to 70mph.  Anyone who’s seen the Robin on Top Gear knows how dangerous this this just might be, at least if you rig the car with the wrong wheel sizes, like Top Gear did.

Click for eBay ad
Trinidad, CO, USA (no, there is no Tobago, CO)
$206 with six bids and 4.5 days to go

Is towing with this a good idea?  In truth, it might add stability…

Here’s that classic Reliant styling.  Note the more modern front on the Rialto vs. the Robin.

No, this isn’t a base Rialto.  This is a Rialto E GLS!

Yes, there is a small trunk!

Brown stripe adds street cred and any American driver gets bonus points for left-hand manual shifting.

The interior is perfectly functional.  This GLS model has upgraded seat cloth for a luxury experience.

Here’s the 850cc four-cylinder engine, crammed into the skinny nose behind the front wheel.

The hand-etched VIN plate is rather quaint!

Ad text:

“Because this is a more than 30 year old car, it would be reasonable to expect normal wear and tear. It has never been restored, and has numerous scratches, and there is wear and tear in the interior as well. I believe the entire drivetrain to be factory installed so….. although it is a good running car you as buyer should be prepared to “roll up your sleeves” from time to time. I’m not offering any kind of warranty, so have this in mind before bidding.”

Fresh barn find 1984 3 wheeled microcar.
Ok  full disclosure I found it in my barn. I  have had it sitting for five or so years.
I am having money trouble’s, and need to sell a few of my cars.

I have listed this car twice already, but I am having issues compling with ebay’s vin policy. I included a picture of the vin, and the actual vin number is SCD160234EG045677. 

Reliants are English cars, right hand drive, so it takes a little getting used to.
This is a good running project car “great father son project” I used to drive the little car 180 miles every weekend to my girlfriends house “60 to 70 miles per hour” with virtually no problems’ and that’s thru the mountains! That being said, realistically this is a 30 year old car, you shouldn’t expect it to drive like a new vehicle.
No cruise control
No air bags
No air conditioning
No anti lock brakes
Heater does not work
Radio may not work
In the last year I replaced the radiator.
in the last year I replaced the tires
in the last month I replaced the battery 
The car comes with the “yellow top” high torque motor which was only for 2 years, and more rare. That said you won’t likely see another Rialto as long as you own it!!! It’s a big at car shows as well as cruise nights, imagine a cool collector car that you can actually use! Space in the back for your friends or just hauling stuff, the back seat folds down for really long stuff. I took this to the Microcar show, and it was one of the few that can cruise highway speeds.
Don’t buy this car if you don’t to be noticed, you won’t be happy, because people are always slowing down to take pictures of it, or asking me about it! 
No, the trailer isn’t included.
The car was registered as a car with Vermont plates when I bought it, I have it titled in Colorado as a motorcycle. I did it this way because it was cheaper to register and insure, but you should be able to change it back if you wish.