On Colors

Given that cars last much longer than they did 30 years ago, it’s really no wonder that a vast majority of cars sold today are some variation of beige, silver, gray, black or white.  No one wants to have a garish color polluting their driveway for the next decade when a simple black makes a classy and not too brash statement.

Likewise, no dealer wants to have a handful of unfashionable teal sedans languishing on the lot while the more conservatively-tinted cars move quickly. It’s then no surprise that the manufacturers are constantly tweaking the color selection of various models to meet or anticipate demand year-by-year.

But have you ever wondered why you’ve never seen that bold Dark Blue Metallic on a GSi hatchback? Or why it seems like most every GSi you see is Bright Red?

Continue reading “On Colors”

Period Correct Mix Tapes – 1990 Model

Every once in a while, I plan to delve into a topic not entirely GSi-centric.  There will be a GSi tie-in, but it may be a bit tenuous.  So bear with me as we take a detour…

One of the key considerations for the various fixes and improvements I’ve planned and begun for the GSi has been whether to maintain factory-correct specification, go for a slightly updated “resto-mod” (as much as I hate that term), or go full-bore into a cone-eating weekend autocross warrior.

At this point, that decision is still up in the air, so the early-2000s aftermarket CD player still resides in its seemingly subterranean spot way down low in the center console. With elderly technology comes compromise and opportunity.

Continue reading “Period Correct Mix Tapes – 1990 Model”

Prizm GSi Registry


There weren’t many Prizm GSi built back in the very late 80s and early 90s – and nearly 30 years later, there are precious few remaining.  Viewed by most as a disposable economy car, the GSi wasn’t generally babied like someone may have coddled a similar model year Corvette or Mustang.  How many actually remain in running condition is up for debate, but what we do have is data on how many were built.

Starting production in 1989, there were 3,565 GSi produced for the 1990 model year. The ’91 model production declined to 2,250 and the final production year saw 1,215 units leave the NUMMI factory.  The breakdown follows:

Overall Production Numbers

  • 1990
    • Notchback – 2,972
    • Hatchback – 593
  • 1991
    • Notchback – 2,013
    • Hatchback – 237
  • 1992
    • Notchback – 1,215
    • Hatchback – 0

Source: General Motors Heritage Center

As typical for automobiles, the first year was the hot seller, followed by a steady decline.  Overall, Prizm sales were strong enough for General Motors to continue with a second- and third-generation model, followed up by two generations of Pontiac Vibe as a successor.  Sadly, the performance GSi version didn’t carry over to the following Prizm generations, though the Vibe did get a GT version with the 180-horsepower 2ZZ-GE Toyota engine starting in 2003.

We hope to compile a decent listing of the remaining GSi – dead or alive.  If you own a GSi, or have seen one for sale online or in person, fill out the form below!  We will register it here for posterity.

VIN Year Body Trans Color Status
1Y1SL5452LZ181455 1990 Notch Auto Med. Gray On the road
1Y1SL7450LZ110864 1990 Hatch White Crushed
1Y1SL6459MZ005820 1991 Hatch Manual Black On the road
1Y1SL5453MZ037866 1991 Notch Red Crushed
1Y1SL5451MZ084295 1991 Notch Red Crushed
1Y1SL5456NZ068580 1992 Notch Auto Red On the road
1Y1SL5451NZ012532 1992 Hatch Blue Crushed
1Y1SL5451NZ012532 1992 Notch Red Crushed

Submit your Prizm GSi here: