Morgan Pritchett
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Forgotten Vehicles of the 80s: The Chevrolet Tracker

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A yellow Chevrolet Tracker ZR2 cruises on a street
Photo: Ildar Sagdejev via CC

As I continue searching for strangely named or oddly designed vehicles from the 80s, I’ve started to expand to variants of more popular models. One such model is the Chevrolet Tracker, which many people may recognize as the Geo Tracker. This vehicle made many appearances in TV shows and movies during the 80s and 90s, but let’s get into the details of the lesser-known Chevy version.


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A brief history

The Tracker was introduced in 1988 as a 1989 model and was a joint venture between Suzuki and General Motors. As such, the model was also produced by GMC (also called the Tracker, because that’s not confusing at all…) and had a similar body and chassis style as the Suzuki Samurai. The Tracker was first categorized as a “mini SUV” but eventually was put into the “light truck” category due to its body-on-frame construction and off-road capabilities. After very few cosmetic changes, U.S. production of the Chevy Tracker ran until 2004, when the Equinox made its debut.

Random facts

  • Alternate names for the Tracker included the Sunrunner and Vitara under other brands.
  • The Tracker was manufactured in Canada, Japan, and Ecuador. Canadian-built models were sent to the U.S. to avoid the Chicken Tax. (Look it up.)
  • The first-generation two-door variant measured just 142.5 inches. For reference, that’s smaller than the Chevy Spark.
  • In Latin America and China, the Tracker nameplate was revived for 2021 and replaced the Trax.
  • A maximum 155 horsepower came from a 2.5-liter engine available on second-generation models.

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As many people cling to the nostalgia from their childhood and adolescence, you probably won’t see many early Trackers for sale. But if you’re really hoping to see one of these classic 80s vehicles, you can catch a bright blue Geo Tracker in the beginning of the 2000 film Bring It On driven by Torrance Shipman’s boyfriend, Aaron.

A bright blue 1991 Geo Tracker Convertible is parked in front of a shop
Torrance’s boyfriend picks her up in a car like this in the cheerleading classic Bring It On (2000)
Photo: order_242 from Chile via CC