A history of Skitimes car (Page 1/72)
skitime FEB 04, 09:34 PM

In August of 2000, I was thinking of getting a sports car again. Since I was able to drive I had always been into fast cars. After looking into getting a Mitsubishi 3000 GT VR4, I decided that I could not afford one. Needless to say, my insurance company was not thrilled about it either.
I had an 87 Fiero GT from 87 to 91 and decided to get one again. The 87 GT I had then was a summer project for me. I am a technology education teacher in a high school. I was looking for a project to spend the summer working on. I found a rebuildable wrecked 1987 GT in mid 1987 and the car only had 2000 miles on it and was still under factory waranty. It was sweet with all options including the rare suede tan leather seats and looked much like this one. I kept the car till 91 when my two daughters were too big to strap in side by side.

In my search to find one again, I looked up information about Fieros on the Internet. I found out by luck the Fiero Dutch Classic show was going to be happening in two days and was only 10 miles from my house. Vonnie and I attended the show just to see them. I saw Jeff Dedays car, which was a mint 88 red GT t-top. It was the first t-top I had ever seen. I didnít know they were even made. Here is a picture of Jeff with his low mileage sweet 88 GT. It had only 6000 miles on it at the time. I knew that was the model of car I wanted. Finding a good red 88 GT T-TOP is not an easy thing to do and it took months of looking.

That day at the show Vonnie also decided she wanted an 88 GT. She found hers first, a sweet 88 GT she bought in September.

After looking at hundreds of Fiero photos I was determined to get a red 88 GT T-Top with the beechwood interior and gold wheels. I found one listed for sale in the Michigan Fiero club website. I emailed the person and they sent several emails some with pictures including this one.

I had a long phone conversation with someone that obviously knew a lot about Fieros. He told me that he was selling it for a woman in town that had the car for a long time. I was told it was in rough condition with only 66,000 miles on it. Well I know this picture does not look too bad but it needed a lot of work. The paint was fair but had been poorly repainted on the nose, left front fender and drivers door. The interior was very dirty and dingy from a heavy smoker. It was so heavily smoked in I had to disassemble the gauges to clean the white numbers because they were brown. The tires needed replaced, and the pin stripe had to go. Rocker panels and quarter windows needed replaced. The T-top weather stripping needed replaced in addition to the driverís door panel and front fender. The car had been driven daily in Indiana year round. I decided to get the car sight unseen for a fair price.
I hopped a Greyhound bus for an all night trip from PA to Indiana. After a grueling 10-hour bus ride, a great guy, Chris Moore, met me at the bus depot in Fort Wayne, Indiana. At this point in my Fiero life I had not shown a car, and was unaware who Chris was. Well you could imagine my reaction when we went inside the garage seen in the above photo. Inside were three, yes three, red 88 GT t-tops. Chris also had his Northstar convertible but he made me promise not to mention it since he wanted to surprise the Fiero world with it that spring. Also he had his other awesome Northstar Fiero as well as his brotherís cool Fiero in the garage. Unfortunately the car I was buying was the worst one in the garage but I was inspired to change that. After taking care of the title, I started driving it home.
After 50 miles I needed to stop for gas and when I drove away I noticed the automatic trans slipped. Later while stopping for a turnpike toll both I noticed it slipped a lot. I stopped and checked the trans fluid and none registered on the dipstick. Yikes! I filled it up and had to stop every 1/2 tank and refill it. Now I was doing this during my Christmas vacation so wouldn't you know it, Great Lakes effect snows started blowing real hard. The Fiero was all over the road and I was only able to follow a tractor-trailer tire tracks because the snow was getting a few inches deep. Well after about 12 hours of driving I got home and the car was totally white from road salt. It had a front manifold leak so I tried to fix it and of course the bolt broke so the second day it was home the engine/trans/cradle were on the floor. I figured it was a perfect time to detail the engine compartment, engine, cradle and suspension. I spent two evenings sitting inside the engine compartment cleaning everything. Vonnie worked hard on detailing the suspension and cradle for me. The leaking automatic transmission leak was also repaired with a new pan gasket.


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Red 88 GT T-Top 3800 Supercharged
White 88 GT Stock
Please give me a rating if you appreciate my contribution.

[This message has been edited by skitime (edited 06-20-2003).]

[This message has been edited by skitime (edited 08-11-2003).]

[This message has been edited by skitime (edited 11-14-2004).]

skitime FEB 04, 09:34 PM
After getting the engine back in I started working on the bad paint. I talked to some body shop guys I decided to do a panels off paint job. I bought a new GT nose and rocker panels and had a puncture on the rear bumper professionally repaired. Here is what it looked like when I drove it to the body shop.

I had a hard decision to make. Do I keep the car stock or do I start modifying it? The decision was made by accident. The body shop had painted the rear bumper all red. They forgot there was black trim. We discussed it and decided to paint all the trim and if I did not like it then he would paint the trim black. I also saw a picture of a cool red GT with a chin spoiler. I loved the look of the spoiler so I got in contact with forum member Lawrence. Here were the pictures I had found while doing a search for Red 88 GT

I learned he made it out of an old GT nose. So I made one too except I added driving light pockets by bonding rear reflector pockets off an old GT rear bumper.


I also had found a set of rare urethane Mecham side scoops. The Mecham racing team was authorized by Pontiac to use the actually Pontiac molds to make these scoops so they fit perfectly and are unbreakable.

[This message has been edited by skitime (edited 02-10-2003).]

skitime FEB 04, 09:35 PM
Here is the car after painting it. I took it to spring Fiero show in Carlisle like this in 2000 and was in the tough custom class. It did not receive any awards but did have a lot of people checking it out.

Later that first summer I had a crazy idea for the trunk. On the bus ride to Indiana to pick up the car, I bought a car magazine that had a picture of a Ferrari Spyder 360. The Spyder had an engine window and vents over the mid engine.

I decided that the Fiero had a cool looking engine too and I should try to show it off. I decided to create an engine-viewing window. Fleabit had a scrap trunklid for me to practice on.

[This message has been edited by skitime (edited 02-05-2003).]

skitime FEB 04, 09:36 PM
While working on this I decided to cut the next recessed area out on the underside to see if that would work for a vent. After going through two sets of grills and a whole lot of work on modifying a set of Fiero grills I got something that satisfied me. This trunk lid was also given to me by Fleabit.

I then returned to my painter to get the new modified trunk lid painted. Here it is with the new trunk lid. I have all the original body parts so I could restore to car back to stock. All the extra original body parts were also painted to match the new paint job. That was a lot of extra expense. I have finally come to the conclusion that I will never do that. So now my family room has nearly an entire set of nicely painted Fiero quarter panels, hood, trunk and front fenders.

After I had gone to a few Fiero shows and showed my car in the custom class I realized that I did not have a chance with my stock wheels in a custom Fiero class. I looked and looked for a set of wheels. I wanted something to give an appearance of being strong. I disliked the appearance of wheels with thin spokes. The car being monochrome really needed something to create some "pizazz" so I decided to go with chrome wheels. I found a set I liked through a shop that sold discontinued and clearance wheels. I think they were a good choice. They are 17" Prime wheels model 705. After I had them on I took it out for the first time to take pictures of my car. At my brothers place I took the now familiar photo of this car. If you compare this photo with the ones prior to the new wheels, I think you will find a dramatic change in the appearance of the car. In other words the wheels can really make the car.

The very next day this was my car.

[This message has been edited by skitime (edited 02-08-2003).]

skitime FEB 04, 09:36 PM
Well next I found that with the t-tops I missed the option of popping open the sunroof. I was wondering what I could do about it when I had another idea: to make a removable rear window. Unfortunately in order to do this I had to remove the new glued in headliner as well as most the interior. Anyway it came out great. One of the few thing that went exactly as planned. (I noticed in this pic I was also working on another mod that did not appear till the next show season.)


This was as far as I got during the first show season with the car.


[This message has been edited by skitime (edited 02-04-2003).]

[This message has been edited by skitime (edited 02-07-2003).]

Tabs31 FEB 04, 10:00 PM
Wow great story so far ski. I can't wait to hear the rest.

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With the accurate understanding of god and his law they went about the work of building a new nation....The Rainbow Children.

GTFiero1 FEB 04, 10:15 PM
 
quote
Originally posted by skitime:

(I noticed in this pic I was also working on another mod that did not appear till the next show season.)

I spy with my little eye a vented fender

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--Adam--
1987 Blue GT 5-speed
IM AOL: GTFiero
Fiero mods almost done...i know that because im running out of possesions to sell for money

fiero go fast FEB 04, 10:17 PM
Well after seeing your workbench I don't feel as bad since mine usually looks about the same way (cluttered). Very very nice, well this gives me hope on my fiero =).

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Red 86 SE 2.8

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FieroFiend FEB 04, 10:22 PM
I had no idea your rear window was removable sweet idea, I would have gone for the whole window though, any reason you didnt or couldnt do this?

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skitime FEB 04, 10:24 PM
 
quote
Originally posted by FieroFiend:

I had no idea your rear window was removable sweet idea, I would have gone for the whole window though, any reason you didnt or couldnt do this?

The whole window will not clear the rounded corners of the rear clip. Also the window does provide some body strength so leaving the smaller pieces glued in give strength to the body.