If you find a vehicle that works well, why not double-up?
The first-generation Geo/Chevy Tracker was introduced in 1989 in the USA and marketed by GM as the Geo Tracker. Suzuki (the builder) also sold its version, the Sidekick, alongside its smaller sibling Suzuki Samurai. Late in the first generation’s run (1998) the Geo name was merged back into Chevrolet, and in 1999 the second-generation Tracker was introduced, again (still?) as a Chevrolet.
The second generation continued into 2005 in North America, and for most of their run both the first- and second-generation were produced at the CAMI joint-venture plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada although most of the first two years of production were imported from Japan. Both generations were marketed both inside and outside of North America under a confusing array of brands and model names: Suzuki Sidekick (US), Chevy Tracker (US), Geo Tracker (US), GMC Tracker (Canada), Asüna/Pontiac Sunrunner (Canada), the list goes on. Frankly it’s a bit overwhelming and hard to keep straight; and that’s just the North American ones, there are more for other markets!
This nice first-generation example looks to be fully outfitted for summer 4×4 fun with a removable hardtop. According to the CA smog-check database, this is a 1991, from near the beginning of the production run.
It even has a winch!
I don’t know why more Vans and SUVs don’t have their spare tire on the back – seems like it would make more room back there for the kiddies and the groceries.
A sensible option in my mind. I think the fear that someone will steal your tire is way overblown. These are swing-out tailgates if I understand it, so it’s not like they are in the way. But they are inconvenient when loading curbside, and they can be heavy when not on a completely flat surface. On a vehicle as small as the first-generation I would think the extra interior space is worth the trouble.
These are nice little SUVs, very practical in the city, though I would assume the extra 4×4 utility doesn’t get used much. A lot of them were used as tow-behinds for the RV crowd as well, easy enough to flat tow it if you put the transfer case in neutral. The first one worked well enough for this owner that he got him or herself another one.
Though the second one is definitely an upgrade – not only does it have an extra set of doors – it has an automatic!
And a rather fetching nose, in a utilitarian kind of way, I think. This one’s a 2002, near the middle of the run for the second-generation in North America.
All in all, I think these are pretty well taken care of. The owner must be a Mello-Yellow fellow. Or maybe he or she just has a two-track mind.
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