I bought the car from the back lot at a shady used car dealer, it had been repoed from a drug dealer. I was told by the dealer that it probably needed a timing belt. I rebuilt the engine (rings, rod and main bearings, all gaskets, honed cylinders and replaced all six valves), replaced the water pump, alternator, clutch, pressure plate and t/o bearing.
Compression before: (1) 60 psi, (2) 30 psi, (3) 2 psi.
Compression after: (1) 190 psi, (2) 190 psi, (3) 180 psi.
After all the work, I should have a very reliable little gas mizer.
Keeping in mind what it is (an under powered, comfort unconscious, CHEAP, un-cool little excuse for a car) let me brag about its good qualities!
Fun to drive! (like a go cart with a five speed transmission).
Great on gas! Depending on the weight of your foot. 36 ~ 42 mpg in hilly country.
Easy to work on. (buy a book and a cheap set of tools, you can screw it up just as good as your local mechanic, but you won't have to pay the bill to him or wonder if the work was actually done or if used parts were substituted for new ones!).
Comfort? I've rode in worse!
Performance!? Again, consider it's a three cylinder and only one liter, tuned right, it's a screamer!
Finally, I laugh at other cars passing me on the highway, for with what they are wasting in trying to uphold their image with Hummers and other GAS Guzzlers, I'm able to save my precious pennies for things other than keeping the oil companies in business.