Gas Prices Drive Demand For Retro Eco-Cars

 - May 21, 2008
References: cnn & blog.wired
While all the giant automotive manufacturers are feverishly developing fancy new eco-friendly, green and hybrid cars, another trend is quietly brewing: used econoboxes from the '80s and '90s! That's right!

Remember the Geo Metro, Ford Festiva, Toyota Tercel or, my personal favourite, the Honda CRX? I owned a 1989 CRX Si for over ten years, nd I miss it every day. It was so fun to drive and extremely gas efficient. I sold it in 2001, with 294,000 kms to a young guy who named her 'Katie'...after Katie Holmes, he told me.

In this month's issue of Wired, Matt Power notes, “hybrids get great gas mileage but it takes 113 million BTUs of energy to make a Toyota Prius. Because there are about 113,000 BTUs of energy in a gallon of gasoline, the Prius has consumed the equivalent of 1,000 gallons of gasoline before it reaches the showroom. Think of it as a carbon debtâ€"one you won't pay off until the Prius has turned over 46,000 miles or so.”

USA Today says “fuel-misers from the early 1990s are selling like crazy and prices have gone up 30 percent in the past few months. A rust-bucket Geo Metro with 175,000 on the odometer recently sold for three grand on eBay.” CNN is reporting the details of another Metro sale to Marci Solomon, who has a 100 mile commute to and from work each day. “The 1996 2-door 3-cylinder Metro Solomon now owns opened on eBay May 7 with a bid of $200. A week later, Solomon won the car auction with a bid of $7,300. In 1995, a new Metro hatchback sold for about $9,000, according to Auto Mall USA.”

So, while fabulous new developments are being made with ethanol, micro-sizing and various fuel cells, there's something to be said about reducing your carbon footprint by saving the past.