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Autotrader Find: One-Owner 1996 Geo Prizm With 77,000 Miles

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2017

If you're interested in buying what must be the most perfect Geo in the world, here it is: it's a 1996 Geo Prizm LSi, offered for sale by Randy Wise Chevrolet in Flint, Michigan. More importantly, it's a 1-owner car with just 77,000 original miles.

Yes, that's right: here's a well-preserved Geo Prizm. This is, of course, a big shock, since Geo was famous (or infamous) for manufacturing cheap commuter cars -- the sort of thing nobody would ever save. And yet this one was saved, brilliantly so, to the point where it's almost a perfect time capsule with only a few dents and scrapes on the outside after 21 years of driving.

And so, you might ask, what does a perfect 1996 Geo Prizm sell for? Just $2,900. A bargain price for a historical specimen.

And a historical specimen indeed it is, because the Geo Prizm was quite an unusual car. Sold from the late 1980s through 2002, the Prizm was a rebadged Toyota Corolla. And I don't mean General Motors decided to create a vehicle to rival the Corolla -- I mean they literally made the Corolla, then slapped a Geo badge on it. Beginning in 1998, with the dissolving of the Geo brand, it became the Chevrolet Prizm, but the idea was still the same: a Toyota Corolla, but … from General Motors. And it was called a Geo.

The whole thing was odd, and -- as I discovered recently -- Geo Prizms are kind of a deal now, selling for less than comparable Toyota Corolla models even though they're basically the same. This one's especially a deal, as it's basically just a Toyota Corolla that's traveled 77,000 miles, meaning it has oodles of life left in it. The only problem, as I see it, is location: This Prizm spent its whole life in Michigan, where the owner was probably proud to purchase a General Motors vehicle, rather than an "import" from Toyota, so it could be rusty. If not, though, it's a window into another era.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Autotrader Find: One-Owner 1996 Geo Prizm With 77,000 Miles - Autotrader