Chapter 1: The GEO.
We’ve had our taste of Lemons racing, and it tastes good. Racing with The Squirting Coronas is a blast (as all things with lemons are) and we learned a ton about what makes a great team, and how to have fun. The Mercedes we drive is great, really great…too great for our own good! Working on it is simple. Bolts come off with ease. Everything is German engineered to make sense. Mike the Mercedes mechanic knows everything about these cars and how to fix it in short order. A few of us decided we need something a little crazier…more work. More bloody knuckles. More heart ache…
So, we set out to build something crazy… How crazy? Class-X crazy. We’ve got a lot of inspiration from teams like the MetroGnome, MetSHO, Eyesore, and last but certainly not least, Speedycop and the Gang. We want something epic… something truly worthy of competing with these legends of lemons, and by golly, we are going to try.
My personal favorite ‘lemon’ is a Geo Metro. They are small, lightweight, and humble. But mostly, I love the looks people give when you say you have a Geo Metro race car. I began pitching the idea of building a ‘crazy Geo’ to a few friends and acquaintances… you know, typical dinner conversation. Most of them questioned my sanity, but just as it so happens I knew a guy who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who is a ‘Metro Aficionado’ if such a thing exists. In a matter of days Robert , the aficionado, and I were face to face looking at his Metro collection. He told me about his love affair with Metros. He was a self-proclaimed hyper-miler who had spent years building and maintaining his ‘fleet’ of 3-cylinder runabouts. After a brief schooling on the history of the Metro brand and it being passed around like a kid in foster care I began to fully understand why these little cars have so much personality. I told him our plans for one lucky Metro and immediately through the lenses of his square framed glasses his eyes lit up and a big smile cross his face. We knew we had found someone friendly to our cause. At that instant he proclaimed… “I have just the one for you!” We traveled to the back of the lot, where our beauty awaited. A 1991 Geo Metro 5 Door (Wagon). She was sitting in the dirt; her body was the most wonderful shade of sunbaked blue I had ever seen. Her copper colored decay glistened in the morning sunlight. It was this moment I understood the phrase ‘love at first site’. She was the one. Most of the engine was gone, most of the useable interior was also gone. Not much was left of the sad old girl except for one thing… potential. Robert had been keeping the rusty ol’ gal as a parts car but her days were numbered. She was marked to go to the scrapper. I made the hasty decision that I couldn’t let that happen and agreed to take her home to the family. We started to discuss price but he was more excited to talk about what all was about to happen to the car and how excited he was to see it completed. We settled on the fair scrap metal price of $100 and I was on my way with a new car and a new friend. We have our race car.
The Donor (and Ikea!)