"Where to start with the Fiero? The production car certainly had its issues, but is, admittedly, somewhat endearing. The pace car did set some records as being the shortest and only mid-engine to pace the race. Kudos for that. But the ’84 Indy Fiero feels like a bait and switch when you find out the production car has about 40 less HP and may catch fire in your driveway."
Yeah I bugs me a bit more than it should too. I think the saving grace that obviously this author forgot to mention though (and seemed to rather focus on incorrect HP differences) is the glaring fact that the '84 Fiero beat the new C4 Corvette to the deal. It must have been a real slap in the face for the Chevrolet division to see their newest model flagship sports car beaten by the Pontiac divisions' Fiero "econo-box," and what likely contributed ever more to initial Fiero sales to see a new Pontiac sports coupe pacing the 1984 Indianapolis 500. I think that fact alone really makes it one of the more intriguing vehicles to pace the Indy 500 throughout history.
... and speaking of Corvette, I'm sorry, but this horrid excuse for a pace car get's my vote for one of the worst Indy 500 pace cars made. Now the C5 Corvette is a great all-around car and obviously this car did not need much - if anything - to make it worthy of pacing duty, but I don't know what Chevrolet was thinking when they came up with this purple and yellow paint scheme. It's like looking at a car that paced the Barnum and Bailey Circus rather than a race. I feel even the purple and white on the prior C4 was a better scheme than this car.
"But the ’84 Indy Fiero feels like a bait and switch when you find out the production car has about 40 less HP..."
I can agree with that. The 2000 sold to the public only looked like the Pace Car. The Pace Car was extensively reworked from a production Fiero to make it perform. Besides the SD4 engine it had F-body brakes and host of other changes.
GM definitely cheaped out on the SD4 engine and 16" Centerline wheels for the production model.
Let's not forget John Callies discussion at the 25th and 30th. The SD4 was in development while the '84 was in production. In fact, after blowing up a stock transmission in January of '84 on the IMS during a trial run, it was clear that a new tranny setup was necessary with the added hp. The best Pontiac could have done was offered a detuned version in the '86 model year and frankly that would have been pushing it. That is one of the reasons that you could get the SD4 and parts through the dealership later on.
I do think that the article is ignorant, but I think by now we are used to that.
Great another "They catch fire" person. More Lamborghinis have caught fire than Fieros. More Chevy Cruzes have caught fire than Fieros.
Reminds me of a clip on the local TV news a couple years ago. It must have been a slow news day and they showed a "viewer video" of a Chevy SUV going up in flames at a local gas station. The front of the SUV was a ball of fire but the back wasn't burning, in fact, you could clearly see the spare tire cover proudly proclaiming "BLAZER".. Oddly no one at the news channel mentioned the irony...