91 Chevy Sprint Convertible

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This is my toy. It is a 91 Chevy Sprint Convertible (called a Geo Metro in the US that year). In March 98, I bought this car in pretty rough shape. The list of fixes to the engine and body are very long. The engine required a rebuild as an exhaust valve had burned out. The car had only 113K kilometers on it.

The finish on the body and hubcaps is Dupont Yellow with Chanpagne Pearl and several coats of clearcoat. Wilson Refinishing in Port Perry, Ontario did the body work. To finish off the exterior new Pirelli P200 Aquachrono tires and a new top were added.

I have always loved this car since it appeared and was disappointed when it was discontinued in 1993. Few of them were made. While the car is basically a Suzuki, it was made in the GM plant in Ontario, Canada. I also own a 92 Geo Metro 4 door which was bought new for my wife. 246K kilometers later, it still runs like a champ requiring only 4.6 L/100 kilometers.

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The limited production of convertibles caused some restoration problems. The first was replacing the top. The one that came with the car was missing the rear molded window. An original GM top was only $275 Cdn so one was ordered. The first top that came was almost 2 inches too small. After discussions with a GM representative, a new top was sent. He commented that due to the very limited number of cars made, no additional tops had been made and the replacement top sent was probably 6 or more years old. While installing the second top was very tedious, it fit like a champ. Fortunately none of the top mechanism was damaged as a new top including hardware is over $6,000 Cdn.

The interior was in pretty good shape except for the light and wiper switches. The mechanic that did the previous work, glued the tops back on when the came off and glued one of the switches into place. This took lots of work to undo. The most recent work was to recover the visors. The original ones are a wire frame with a styrofoam interior and a vinyl exterior. Over the course of the 7 years, the styrofoam had disintegrated. I cut the covers off and used black vinyl with a new synthetic batten interior. Many of the vinyl pieces on the car were badly worn so I have been resewing and replacing them.

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Since these pictures were taken I have added a hood bra. As I live on a farm and commute long distance, the front of my cars take a real beating. Actually the cover looks quite nice and doesn’t destroy the appearance of the car. Mud flaps were added to protect the paint due to the dirt roads I drive daily.

I would sure love to hear from other fans of the Chevy Sprint (Geo Metro) Convertible.

(Originally written on April 23, 1998)

15 Comments

  1. Mark Cunningham April 1, 2007

    Hello Rich
    We bought our Sprint Converible new in 1991. The car is still very reliable, but requires a bit of a refit. Over the years we have replaced the engine, had the rag top rear window restitched,and other smaller items repaired, or replaced, ie hub caps, etc. The time has come to shine the old penny up so to speak.
    I was wondering if you could recommend any sites or companies that may carry various body parts, the car doors are starting to rust at the bottom, inside portion, and the plastic bumpers have absorbed a full life of honest wear and tear.
    Karen and I live on Vancouver Is and enjoy the economy that the car offers.
    There is not much on the road these days that offer as much as this little car. Many people have inquired about purchasing the vehicle, but my wife in adament that we not sell her.
    Your vehicle looks well looked after.
    Thankyou
    Mark Cunningham

  2. Rich Helms April 1, 2007

    Mark
    I am impressed that you kept your sprint on the road for 16 years. I gave mine away several years ago to my daughter’s then boyfriend. That was my first convertible.

    Have you tried GM? I think it will be a challenge to find aftermarket panels or skins. I know when I did mine GM was the only place to get a new top other than having one made. The sprint convertible didn’t sell well so there do not have a large following.

    A good body man could cut out the problem door areas and braze in new metal. I had to have that done on mine.

    In Aug 1991 I took a new 91 sprint convertible out for a test drive. My wife took out the 4 door. We decided to get her the 4 door and I would get the convertible next year. Then I found out 91 was the last year for the car. When I bought mine a few years later it was in bad shape. The engine had to be rebuilt and there were many other problems. I had a blast with the car and it started me on a roll of convertibles.

    FYI Vancouver Island is the highest concentration of smart cars in Canada for the same reason you love your sprint – economy. My current car is a smart cabrio.

  3. NJoy October 23, 2010

    We recently bought a 1991 Chevy Sprint convertible. It needs a new top and we are wondering why the Geo Metro convertible doesn’t fit (is that the one that was 2″ too small?). Also, we found a manual online that says its for the 1991 Pontiac Firefly/1991 Chevy Sprint (doesn’t say anything about convertible). Unlikely those were made in Canada but we thought it would be handy anyway.

    Any comments appreciated.

  4. Rich Helms October 23, 2010

    The one that was too small was just old stock. They pulled another from inventory and it worked fine.

    The convertible was not very popular so it is not surprising the manual doesn’t cover it.

  5. NJoy October 23, 2010

    Thanks for your reply, Rich. Do you happen to know if the 1991 Chevy Sprint (5 speed manual) can be towed “four down” by an rv? Most of the long list of cars that are basically the same can be (automatics need an LP-2, whatever that is) but everyone says “look in your manual” and I don’t have one.

  6. Rich Helms October 23, 2010

    Don’t know about 4 down towing. I have the official manual but got rid of it years ago when I sold the car. Sorry

  7. NJoy October 24, 2010

    Okay. For some reason, I had the impression that you still had your car, Rich.

  8. Rich Helms October 24, 2010

    Sorry, that was written in 1998. I just posted it to my blog in 2007. I gave that car away in about 2005.

  9. Dave October 20, 2011

    I have a 91 Sprint Convertible (red) .Top is new and body is great inside and out.
    It has been stored for 9/10 years so would need some restoration but it was stored carefully and was running well at that time.

    Would be interested in selling!

    • Herschel Weeks July 8, 2012

      Do you still have your Geo for sale?

  10. Rob Smetana July 22, 2012

    I have a 1992 Chevy Metro LSI convertible, bought it new and it only has 113000 kms on it. I bought it new 20 yrs ago and it is stored every winter and only use it for July and August. The best little car you can ask for plan on keeping it for another 20 yrs.

    • RichHelms July 30, 2012

      I loved my sprint. It was a hoot to drive. The car was so simple I actually replaced the alternator on the side of the road when it died.

  11. Rus September 26, 2012

    I have been reading all these storys, I guess I am fortunate my Metro has 274,000 on it I am the second owner and mine has a good roof. no rust (at all) and I know it has not been restored as I do restorations
    I just went thru air ..the readouts were good..It passes.
    has 5 speed over drive and great steering.I live in Mission B.C.

    RUS 604 319 4554 or email for pic
    colortraktools@gmail.ca

  12. Rus September 26, 2012

    1991 convertible. If someone lives close and may be interested call or wright as I has many other cars and don’t really need this..I just like it.. 3500.00 or trade jet ski…0r 58 to 64 Chevy or Pontic need frame and engine ,,body not important or try ruswallden@hotmail.com

    604 319 4554

  13. Barry Beardsley November 6, 2018

    Have had a lot of hot autos over the years but nothing has reached people like my little baby blue 91 sprint rag top. Ya its a woosie little car but the attention it draws just blows you away. More people just walk over and talk to ya about it than anything i have ever driven. They are definitely a Whoot to drive in the hot humid summer days and evenings. Yes stored all winter.

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