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Pontiac Banshee: Killed by the Corvette by Tony Kania
Started on: 11-24-2015 07:38 PM
Replies: 106 (1891 views)
Last post by: solotwo on 12-05-2015 12:11 AM
Tony Kania
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Report this Post11-24-2015 07:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tony KaniaSend a Private Message to Tony KaniaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Interesting repost surely. Curious about the sentence in blue though?

.......................................................................................................

Pontiac Banshee: Killed by the Corvette
boldride.com
November 24, 2015


Before he founded the company that would bear his name and created the car that would become an iconic part of cinema, John DeLorean was a madman in a lab at Pontiac. He was responsible for the Pontiac GTO, and wanted to continue furthering the brand’s performance stature. He had his sights set on an incredible car called the Banshee. Too bad General Motors can be a hot mess at times.

GM has this very backwards, often schizophrenic approach to the the Chevrolet Corvette. No car among any of its brands can have performance greater than that of the vaunted Corvette. It is an approach that has killed many cars through the years. And the Banshee is one of them.

In March of 1964, the Ford Mustang entered the market, and as it became a sales success other automakers scrambled to build a competitor. DeLorean and his team at Pontiac set about creating the XP-883 concept. It was a small two-seater with a long, flowing hood and short rear deck. Among the group of concepts crafted, two drivable prototypes emerged. One had a straight six while the other featured a V8. The six-cylinder model weighed only 2,200 pounds. It sounded like an ideal sports car.

Around the same time, the third-generation Corvette was under development (the Corvette Mako Shark concept came out in 1961), and if DeLorean had his way, the XP-883, which they called Banshee, would have outperformed the Corvette. It would have has just as much power with the V8, but weighed less. This did not sit well with GM brass, which instructed DeLorean to cease all work on the car.

DeLorean was forced to change gears and work on a Pontiac-branded sibling to the Chevrolet Camaro. He was not allowed to change many of the components, mostly just the front and rear fascias. He was allowed to use their own unique suspension design. That car became the Pontiac Firebird, which became an icon all its own.

As for the Banshee? On Sept 10, 1965, GM head of design Bill Mitchell received a memo instructing his team to take the Banshee clays and update them “reflecting a Chevrolet design for the two-passenger version coupe.” The XP-883 could become the third-generation Corvette.

There would be other Banshee concepts through the years, and each featured design elements that would make their way to various Firebirds, Camaros and Trans-Ams. In another case of GM Corvette-paranoia the 1968 Banshee II was later renamed the Fiero. The eventual Pontiac Fiero of the 1980s was originally planned with a V6, which would have given it performance rivaling the contemporary ‘Vette. Instead, the Fiero debuted with a 2.5-liter I4 making a paltry 92 hp. It would eventually get a V6, but the damage had been done to the car’s image.

Like the Fiero, the Banshee is a prime example of General Motors’ inability to let other models thrive and coexist with the Corvette. The fear was that they would cannibalize sales, but who knows what new buyers GM could have attracted with these various offerings through the years.









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Report this Post11-24-2015 07:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Irony

The Corvette people killed the Fiero too.
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Report this Post11-24-2015 07:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BruceClick Here to Email BruceSend a Private Message to BruceEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It looks a lot like the Opel GT of the late 60s.
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David Hambleton
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Report this Post11-24-2015 08:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Thunderstruck GT:

The Corvette people killed the Fiero too.


Despite all the contrary conjecture, declining sales killed the Fiero.
It wasn't 'special' enough to command a high enough market price at the quantities being produced for continued feasibility.
The bean counters pulled the life support plug.
1984: 136,168
1985: 76,371
1986: 83,974
1987: 46,581
1988: 26,402


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Thunderstruck GT
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Report this Post11-24-2015 09:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by David Hambleton:


Despite all the contrary conjecture, declining sales killed the Fiero.
It wasn't 'special' enough to command a high enough market price at the quantities being produced for continued feasibility.
The bean counters pulled the life support plug.
1984: 136,168
1985: 76,371
1986: 83,974
1987: 46,581
1988: 26,402



Here is some food for thought.

The Fiero got the OK the same way the GTO did, by deception. GM was told the Fiero was to be a 4 cylinder "commuter car" to replace the Chevette. Chevette sales were around 250,000 units.

When the V6 came out, like the GTO, by the time the talking heads at GM knew what hit them, sales were good.

When the fastback GT came out it cost roughly $16,000.00 or about half the cost of the Corvette.

Fiero GT sales rivaled that of Corvette because it was a "mid-engine sports car" at a price many could afford. Unlike the Corvette.

Then came the '88 GT with its Lotus suspension and rumor of a V8 in the works for the next gen.

The Corvette people saw what was going on with concern for no one but themselves. There were higher-ups at Bowling Green complaining to GM, telling GM that they had better do something about this because we (the Corvette people) are building an institution here". They saw the Fiero as a threat/competition.

The Fiero was killed off shortly after that. The only GM car ever to have been killed off mid-way through a build year. Even cars that are known to be killed off finish out the build year.

GM's reason.... The Fiero didn't sell 250,000 units per year. Neither does Corvette but they're still going.

John Sawruk (GM Engineer and ran Pontiac Motorsports) was questioned several times regarding all this info. Each time he refused to comment. The last time I remember was at the 1999 POCI convention.


This is the short version but sums things up.

You can take this info however you please. But remember, GM wants you to believe their reason.

[This message has been edited by Thunderstruck GT (edited 11-24-2015).]

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Shho13
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Report this Post11-24-2015 09:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Shho13Click Here to Email Shho13Send a Private Message to Shho13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by David Hambleton:


Despite all the contrary conjecture, declining sales killed the Fiero.
It wasn't 'special' enough to command a high enough market price at the quantities being produced for continued feasibility.
The bean counters pulled the life support plug.
1984: 136,168
1985: 76,371
1986: 83,974
1987: 46,581
1988: 26,402



In comparison to the MR2, total sales were not all low at all! MR2 sales/production in 1988 were only 8144 in the US/Canada... In fact, total Fiero numbers in 1988 was more than any year for the MR2 in the US/Canada... I believe that the "sluggish sales killed the Fiero" was all propaganda. Also to reinforce that statement, according to this website, Corvette was doing no better in the mid to late 80's...

With that in mind,

I wouldn't have expected the market to buy a new fiero with all the problems it had in the past; it looked exactly the same as it always did with little to no changes besides the addition of the Fastback in 86, and with the same "look" people didn't buy it up like they planned due to the bad reputation it had. Normal people don't look at it like we car guys do, to them, It looked the same, so its the same car. I feel if the prototype came out sales would have went right back up to what their unrealistic expectations were for it, especially with the newer, more powerful engine they had planned to use as well.

------------------
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Let's Go Mets!

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[This message has been edited by Shho13 (edited 11-24-2015).]

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hyperv6
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Report this Post11-24-2015 09:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well here is the straight info on what killed the car.

The issue is not just one thing but a chain of events killed the car and the final nail was the Corvette Group.

Note this info came from a insider to the Fiero program as well as John Schinella the head of design on the Fiero.

#1 Pontiac took a large risk at building the car at the Pontiac Mi plant as it was able to build many more cars than the Fiero could sustain long term.

#2 Pontiac had banked on the GM 80 platform to move in and pick up excess production. It was a FWD/AWD coupe based on the Bonneville platform that would take the place of the F body. Note this was the era where GM was looking to make everything V6 and even Ford had plans to make the Mustang FWD and the Probe was originally the new Mustang till Fox body models really took off.

#3 The GM 80 got killed in 1986-87 and this left the Pontiac plant well under capacity and no other model available to fill out capacity there. GM killed the GM 80 when Ford kept the RWD Mustang.

#4 Pontiac over the years made many enemies with the Fiero as they killed it and it kept coming back. There were some pretty sore feelings on this car inside GM. Some people just looking for an excuse to kill it.

#5 Pontiac over sold the car to keep the plant busy the first two years. Lets face it you are only going to sell so many 2 seat cars with small trunks. The sports car segment is limited no matter what the brand.

#6 Pontiac was working to make more power and looking at options at a lighter car. Chevy was watching and not happy.

#7 With the Plant under capacity and Mike Losh in charge at Pontiac with little love for the car a meeting was held to decide the fait of the car. Pontiac was well armed with items to improve the car as the DOHC v6 as well as the Quad 4 were coming with body updates. Corvette people did not like this.

#8 The Corvette at this time was losing some sales and still had to make a business case just as any other car. They could not afford to lose sales to the Fiero or they could be in jeopardy. The Corvette unlike what many believe never gets a free pass. They have to make a business case like any other GM car and it has to be approved. Lost sales could really kill the car. If you do not believe this there was a story recently that the Corvette was ordered kill in 1997 but the man in charge ignored the order and proceeded with improvements only to get the car reinstated. He was passed over for higher positions because he failed to follow orders.

Anyways they went to the meeting and the car was dead when Pontiac walked in. As John Schinella said Chevy sells more cars so they get more say in what happens. Losh was not going to make waives with GM and he is not the one who made the deals with the UAW at the plant to build the car. This lead to bad blood between GM, the UAW and many at Pontiac for years. The 1990 Model was to be shown in the early 90's at the Fiero meet there but GM ordered it not to leave the building. This made Schinella mad and he took his photo slides and showed them at the dinner that night.

#9 The car did live on as the 4th Gen F body needed a new body and styling and Schinella said it was too good to waste and they reused and adapted the styling to the new F body. They even used the dash face for the Camaro as that is why it is so similar.

So to say it was just the Corvette or just Pontiac or just the numbers sold none are correct alone but together they add up the real story. I was told they had expected the car to sell around 30K units a year and the GM 80 would pick up the rest of the production.

The long and short of this GM and Pontiac both made mistakes and Chevy used them to their advantage to kill the car. GM's worst enemy was s their own divisions.

What was ironic is the origin of the transverse mid engine design was originally the GM engineering idea for the V6 Corvette Chevy and the Corvette team rejected in the 70's. It was saved and offered to Hulki when he wanted to lower the cowl and he took what they had and adapted it to what he was wanting to do. GM never throws away many ideas and designs.

Case in point here that this Pontiac inspired the Opel and the Stingray Corvette. It was built before they were ever done and the design they used was later used on a Chevy.

Imagine what GM could have done if they did not work against each other.

The Fiero program was a perfect case study on how GM did not function for decades. This foolishness went back to the 40's.


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hyperv6
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Report this Post11-24-2015 09:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
While you guys that want to argue volume only two 2 seat cars have really lasted. The Corvette and the Miata. The Corvette has a solid core group of buyers like Harley so they tend to remain somewhat stable but at times they volume can drop as low as 12K units. Those times are when they sweat.

The Miata over the life of the car averages around 12K units a year. Mazda limits sales and used special editions each year to keep it fresh. They also sell it globally to help support more volume out side North America. Careful marketing has helped it survive.

Now look at all the others. the RX7 Died, 280 Dead, MR2 Dead twice and about all other lower priced 2 seat models last 5-10 years at best. The more expensive ones last better but sell at a much higher profitable price that help it survive at much lower volumes.

You have to look big picture here. Low priced low volume 2 seat cars are limited on profits and life. They live short cycles and die. If Pontiac had lived the Solstice was nearing the end anyways and we were not going to see a replacement.

At best if the Fiero had lived I would be shocked if it lived another 5 years. Odds are great it would have died 4-5 years and the second gen would have been the last.

FYI John Sawruk and others from Pontiac yet to this day seldom speak out on the Fiero. The bad blood was really that bad and many feared for their jobs if they spoke out. Most remained silent till retired. John Schinella spoke out as he was on his way to retirement and stated they can't do anything to me now at the Fiero dinner. He noted this when he said the photos were not to have left GM when he took them.

Anyways that is the history of he end in a nut shell. Fred could add more details but generally this is what happened. So when you see different points most are accurate but just not the whole story. This was more complex than many know and you have to use all the pieces to make sense of it. This is a big picture issue here and there was blame to pass around on all sides.

Keep in mind the 88 Fiero was really where they wanted to start from. It was the least compromised model but by then it was too late and too many mistakes made to save the car. These mistakes including the recalls and under capacity plants just gave Chevy the reasons to point out the car needed to go.

[This message has been edited by hyperv6 (edited 11-24-2015).]

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85fieroguy
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Report this Post11-25-2015 12:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 85fieroguySend a Private Message to 85fieroguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Best critique I ever read about the Fiero. As companys go, its the management..thats why GM went bust. Competitors take advantage of others mistakes and GM made a lot. But, the previous replys got it right..2 seater sport cars are a nitch market and in this day and age...the market has changed to foreign, bigness. and its a SUV, and I may add..very profitable
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Report this Post11-25-2015 07:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 85fieroguy:

Best critique I ever read about the Fiero. As companys go, its the management..thats why GM went bust. Competitors take advantage of others mistakes and GM made a lot. But, the previous replys got it right..2 seater sport cars are a nitch market and in this day and age...the market has changed to foreign, bigness. and its a SUV, and I may add..very profitable



I have been blessed to know some well placed GM people and grew up with a Great Uncle that was like a grandfather to me that was a Lead Engineer at GM from the 20's to the 60's that taught me much. I see the perspective on the old and new GM very clearly. GM did not fail in the last 10 year or 20 years but around the late 50's the trouble began. They failed to make changes and work as one company. This made change hard to make and many refusing to make it.

If you want a glimps of how things went wrong read John Deloreans book On a Clear Day you can See GM. He later regretted writing it but I am glad he did as it is an accurate account on how GM worked or did not work from the 50's to the 70's.

Also read the book Bob Lutz wrote Car Guys vs Bean Counters. It is about his time at GM and some of the many things he found that were way wrong and how he started the Culture change at GM that is on going today.

The culture inside GM was so damaged it was crazy. Bob only touches on some of it but you get the idea. This is what lead to the ignition issue as well as other self inflicted wounds they have had over the years. The Fiero is a classic case of the damage Culture.

Another book Chevy Racing? covers the 60's when GM blocked racing and how the engineers had to hide their work to help the company while Ford was cleaning up with their racing promotion.
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Report this Post11-25-2015 08:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Thunderstruck GT:


(snip)

Then came the '88 GT with its Lotus suspension.......

(snip)



Please, not this BS again!

[This message has been edited by olejoedad (edited 11-25-2015).]

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Report this Post11-25-2015 08:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for edfieroClick Here to Email edfieroSend a Private Message to edfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
As to the declining sales some factors to remember.
FIRES and High Insurance Cost turned off a lot of buyers.
I remember in 1985 buying my Fiero and finding out the insurance was significantly more on an SE than a base coupe. When they have the same engine, what is the rationale for this?
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Report this Post11-25-2015 08:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:


Please, not this BS again!



Like I said, take it however you like but there is more than 1 person that has/had an inside track to some GM info.

 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:

I have been blessed to know some well placed GM people and grew up with a Great Uncle that was like a grandfather to me that was a Lead Engineer at GM from the 20's to the 60's that taught me much. I see the perspective on the old and new GM very clearly. GM did not fail in the last 10 year or 20 years but around the late 50's the trouble began. They failed to make changes and work as one company. This made change hard to make and many refusing to make it.

If you want a glimps of how things went wrong read John Deloreans book On a Clear Day you can See GM. He later regretted writing it but I am glad he did as it is an accurate account on how GM worked or did not work from the 50's to the 70's.

Also read the book Bob Lutz wrote Car Guys vs Bean Counters. It is about his time at GM and some of the many things he found that were way wrong and how he started the Culture change at GM that is on going today.

The culture inside GM was so damaged it was crazy. Bob only touches on some of it but you get the idea. This is what lead to the ignition issue as well as other self inflicted wounds they have had over the years. The Fiero is a classic case of the damage Culture.

Another book Chevy Racing? covers the 60's when GM blocked racing and how the engineers had to hide their work to help the company while Ford was cleaning up with their racing promotion.


Good post, accurate and sums it up ^ ^ ^

Frankly I couldn't give a damn about GM as a whole, as far as I'm concerned they should have gone under. Pontiac is and always will be the brand.

I saw GM leaving Pontiac by the curbside years in advance. People blame the Government for killing Pontiac when it was GM that wanted Pontiac gone. GM didn't spend a dime on R&D in Pontiac's last 10 years. People are only going to buy the same looking Grand Prix for so many years. Face it, only Volkswagen with its Beetle can build the same car for 60+ years and get away with it.

Yes, GM made a lot of F-ups but none more than killing Pontiac in favor of Buick because Buick sells well in China.

[This message has been edited by Thunderstruck GT (edited 11-25-2015).]

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Report this Post11-25-2015 08:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by edfiero:

As to the declining sales some factors to remember.
FIRES and High Insurance Cost turned off a lot of buyers.
I remember in 1985 buying my Fiero and finding out the insurance was significantly more on an SE than a base coupe. When they have the same engine, what is the rationale for this?


Yes, insurance was high on the Fiero but it was high on all 2 seater cars at the time. Even the Ford EXP (2 door/2 seater Escort) suffered the same rating system at the time.

Back in '87 I talked a buddy of mine into buying a new Fiero GT. He was already to take ownership of a metallic red, 5 speed GT until he went for his insurance. He ended up killing that deal and bought an '87 Formula Firebird with a Tuned Port Injected V8 and 5 speed and the insurance was less money. We still laugh about it til today.
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Report this Post11-25-2015 09:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by David Hambleton:


Despite all the contrary conjecture, declining sales killed the Fiero.
It wasn't 'special' enough to command a high enough market price at the quantities being produced for continued feasibility.
The bean counters pulled the life support plug.
1984: 136,168
1985: 76,371
1986: 83,974
1987: 46,581
1988: 26,402



True to a point, but GM 's steadfast refusal to allow the Fiero to be sold with a more powerful high performance engine contributed to the declining sales. In 1988 the suspension was improved but the engine performance was not. The venerable 2.8L engine remained with actually 5 less HP than when it started. The aluminum 2.9L Turbocharged engine developed by John Cafaro and John Callies was tested and provided performance that the Corvette division could not live with . The Fiero was forced to evolve into a cosmetic sports car that didn't have performance to match. IMO, had a new engine option been offered sales would have held strong.. Even the 3.4L DOHC engine as proposed would have made a difference.

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hyperv6
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Report this Post11-25-2015 10:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just how many 2 seat mid engine cars do you think they would have sold annually? And then how long do you think they would have sold. Even that at the lower end price there is little money made on these models so profits are slim.

The simple fact is many mistakes were made and just adding a larger engine was not going to save the car alone.

The reality is that back then the Fiero was not bad power wise as even the Corvette was struggling power wise. Hell my HHR has more power than anything sold in this era.

One thing many forget is Pontiac was considered for closing down. That is why we got things like a Bonneville based on the old Lemans. The fact is the new TA and Fiero drew a lot of people to the dealers and help sell a ton of Grand Am's. This is what saved Pontiac and put Olds on the bubble first.

The problem today is the market is very competitive and companies can not support properly that many divisions anymore. Development cost are high and even some smaller companies will partner up with larger companies. Even larger ones have limited partnerships. Ford and GM for example are sharing the cost of Transmissions with GM doing the bulk of the work.

GM just could not sustain that many divisions moving forward. Olds, Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer were all poorly managed and that put them at risk. Buick was saved by China and GMC makes a crap load of profit. Volume saved Chevy and Profits saved Cadillac.

Times are different and if GM had let Delorean do as he liked it may have ended up differently but it did not.

The Fiero failed in the big picture and you can argue volume and engines all day but it still comes back to all the points I listed above. This was a prime example of GM culture failure on many levels. Adding a few HP was not going to save the car. If you read up they could have made only 20K cars a year and survived if they had more production at the plant but they didn't.

FYI the 2.8 may have listed 5 HP less but the change was just in the way it was tested. The engine really was the same power each year. GM has done this often. Recently the Camaro jumped from 305 to 310 HP one year and GM said nothing changed it was just the way it was tested. Many times they under rate engines at GM too. Most of their products are 5-10 more than the listed HP.

As for cosmetic sports cars they all were in the 80's. Looking back it is hard to believe we thought we had it good when it was so bad. Today my daily driver is a 300 HP 4 cylinder and the average bade engine has more power than many performance engines of that era.
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Report this Post11-25-2015 10:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Dodge Viper is a 2 seat sports car built since 1992 and only has sold a total of 31,232 units and that includes the race specific cars. Street only and US only would cut that number way down but they are still being built.

Jus' saying
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Report this Post11-25-2015 12:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 85fieroguy:

Best critique I ever read about the Fiero. As companys go, its the management..thats why GM went bust. Competitors take advantage of others mistakes and GM made a lot. But, the previous replys got it right..2 seater sport cars are a nitch market and in this day and age...the market has changed to foreign, bigness. and its a SUV, and I may add..very profitable




You are correct. When I was selling Pontiacs back in the 70's-80's-90's and a little of 2000 era, I noticed Pontiac would come with some great ideas/prototype/show cars, but the jerks at the top would shoot it down. I have heard some poopy stories involving the immature children at chevrolet. After Obama Motors closed down Pontiac a chevy has not been in my garage. BUT that is another story.

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quote
Originally posted by Thunderstruck GT:

Dodge Viper is a 2 seat sports car built since 1992 and only has sold a total of 31,232 units and that includes the race specific cars. Street only and US only would cut that number way down but they are still being built.

Jus' saying


Vipers & Covettes are priced with due consideration for amortizing development & low production costs over anticipated sales volumes. Like all supercars...
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quote
Originally posted by David Hambleton:


Vipers & Covettes are priced with due consideration for amortizing development & low production costs over anticipated sales volumes. Like all supercars...


The point I was making was contrary to the people that claim that 2 seater cars have a short production lifespan due to sales numbers.

Should the Fiero be priced higher? Perhaps. The Ford GT was priced at around $125,000.00 to $150,000.00 when the new gen first came out. The new version is expected to be much higher with 2 less cylinders.

Would a higher price have saved the Fiero? Absolutely not due to the threat the Fiero imposed on the Corvette. Remember, Corvette still isn't mid-engine.

The Fiero was priced so that almost anybody could own a mid-engine sports car be it GT or base model.
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Report this Post11-25-2015 02:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Another article

"...
Meanwhile, over at Pontiac, the division's chief engineer, a brash, iconoclastic executive named John Zachary DeLorean was fuming. Throughout his career, his very life, DeLorean was a man who viewed the world solely through his own prism, had unshakable self-confidence, and in general, refused to take guff from anybody, including the GM hierarchy that could have given him the boot with extreme prejudice on a whim. He'd already moved Pontiac onto a contemporary Wide Track chassis layout, and was fresh off the introduction of his audacious Gran Turismo Omologato high-performance option package for the midsize Tempest. Theoretically, it would seem, DeLorean should have been happy. He was a comer, commanded vast credibility in GM's halls when it came to product design and marketing, and was most obviously destined for continued advancement through GM's ranks, despite his flat refusal to embrace the cronyism-driven old-boy network that summarized the General's me-too culture of clubhouse management. ..

.. the Banshee represented a legitimate effort by one of the most determined leaders in American automotive history to get the car he wanted into production. From an appearance standpoint, it has a traditional Pontiac split grille and bumper assembly, a rear panel and taillamp treatment that's almost identical to the one that graced the second-generation Firebird, and a general body style that looks a lot--a lot--like the Bill Mitchell-designed Mako Shark II that became the blueprint for the 1968 Corvette. DeLorean presented the GM board with attainable cost targets;

the prototype makes extensive use, to the tune of about 80 percent, of existing GM A-body components, most straight from Tempest parts bins

including the Banshee's instruments, window cranks, heater controls and the like, along with standard Tempest brakes and its Salisbury rear axle.
..
The Banshee also made use of a then-untried architecture,

which mated fiberglass body panels to stamped and pressed steel structural pieces.

It was a manufacturing technique that Pontiac would resurrect two decades removed from the Banshee's stillbirth, when it introduced the mid-engine Fiero sports car.
..
"When I talked to him, DeLorean told me that GM flat-out would not let him build the car," Bortz reminisced. "From what I've heard over the years, when he showed it to them, the board probably would have liked to have shown him the door right then, but they didn't, because they knew he would just come up with another project, and it would be a good one. DeLorean didn't cut red tape, he just walked right around it.

The Banshee, the XP-833, was 100 percent a DeLorean project, 100 percent conceived by DeLorean.""

http://www.hemmings.com/mus...1/hmn_feature12.html

I like John Delorean.

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 11-25-2015).]

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Report this Post11-25-2015 02:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:

Another article

"...
Meanwhile, over at Pontiac, the division's chief engineer, a brash, iconoclastic executive named John Zachary DeLorean was fuming. Throughout his career, his very life, DeLorean was a man who viewed the world solely through his own prism, had unshakable self-confidence, and in general, refused to take guff from anybody, including the GM hierarchy that could have given him the boot with extreme prejudice on a whim. He'd already moved Pontiac onto a contemporary Wide Track chassis layout, and was fresh off the introduction of his audacious Gran Turismo Omologato high-performance option package for the midsize Tempest. Theoretically, it would seem, DeLorean should have been happy. He was a comer, commanded vast credibility in GM's halls when it came to product design and marketing, and was most obviously destined for continued advancement through GM's ranks, despite his flat refusal to embrace the cronyism-driven old-boy network that summarized the General's me-too culture of clubhouse management. ..

.. the Banshee represented a legitimate effort by one of the most determined leaders in American automotive history to get the car he wanted into production. From an appearance standpoint, it has a traditional Pontiac split grille and bumper assembly, a rear panel and taillamp treatment that's almost identical to the one that graced the second-generation Firebird, and a general body style that looks a lot--a lot--like the Bill Mitchell-designed Mako Shark II that became the blueprint for the 1968 Corvette. DeLorean presented the GM board with attainable cost targets;

the prototype makes extensive use, to the tune of about 80 percent, of existing GM A-body components, most straight from Tempest parts bins

including the Banshee's instruments, window cranks, heater controls and the like, along with standard Tempest brakes and its Salisbury rear axle.
..
The Banshee also made use of a then-untried architecture,

which mated fiberglass body panels to stamped and pressed steel structural pieces.

It was a manufacturing technique that Pontiac would resurrect two decades removed from the Banshee's stillbirth, when it introduced the mid-engine Fiero sports car.
..
"When I talked to him, DeLorean told me that GM flat-out would not let him build the car," Bortz reminisced. "From what I've heard over the years, when he showed it to them, the board probably would have liked to have shown him the door right then, but they didn't, because they knew he would just come up with another project, and it would be a good one. DeLorean didn't cut red tape, he just walked right around it.

The Banshee, the XP-833, was 100 percent a DeLorean project, 100 percent conceived by DeLorean.""

http://www.hemmings.com/mus...1/hmn_feature12.html

I like John Delorean.



Note too they built a prototype 2 seat air cooled rotary 4 cylinder engine coupe in the late 60's too. Popular Mechanics published a story on the still born prototype. It never got far but was pushing the envelope as John did with many things he tried to put through when at Pontiac.

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Report this Post11-25-2015 02:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:

I like John Delorean.



Same here.

There are 5 guys, in my opinion, who are automotive icons that were cutting edge in forming the automotive industry:

Henry Ford

Virgil Exner

Lee Iacocca

Harley Earl

John Delorean

Sure there are others, many others, but to me these were the guys.

[This message has been edited by Thunderstruck GT (edited 11-25-2015).]

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Report this Post11-25-2015 02:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Thunderstruck GT:


The point I was making was contrary to the people that claim that 2 seater cars have a short production lifespan due to sales numbers.

Should the Fiero be priced higher? Perhaps. The Ford GT was priced at around $125,000.00 to $150,000.00 when the new gen first came out. The new version is expected to be much higher with 2 less cylinders.

Would a higher price have saved the Fiero? Absolutely not due to the threat the Fiero imposed on the Corvette. Remember, Corvette still isn't mid-engine.

The Fiero was priced so that almost anybody could own a mid-engine sports car be it GT or base model.


Sports cars are generally built to three levels.

Affordable and for a limited time as they can not make a business case to go more than 1-2 generations. Investment is difficult to get back.

Cars like the Viper and Prowler that are done as a Halo car and the company is ok with absorbing the cost or losses on the car. Fiat has lost interest here and will pull the plug next year. Rare but these do happen.

Finally the higher priced cars that sell in lower numbers but still show much profit. That is what companies like McLaren and Ferrari live on. The Higher price also limits who can buy them and helps improve the image. Porsche tried to build cheaper cars in the 924 and 944 and nearly killed their image. They went back to feature the 911 and now while they offer the Boxster it is more Corvette priced vs. Camaro priced.

In the sports car segment there are general patterns but you can see some odd case like the Viper now and then. Generally most companies expect a return.

A higher priced Fiero would have been a hard sell at the time as the industry was not doing well in general. Most were struggling to sell regular cars and had greater challenges to worry about than a mid priced 2 seat car in low volume.


While many like to blame Obama for the death of Pontiac they really died years earlier but GM did not acknowledge it. {I am Not a Obama fan either}

Pontiac lost their soul with the loss of their own engine back in 1979 in the 400. The 301 was never much and the Iron Duke was not something to build a performance division on.

Many of the loyal Pontiac fans were leaving at this point. Pontiac did gain some spot light with the Fiero while it was not getting poor media. The TA was seen as the better looking F body but that was not enough. Few people at GM knew what to do with Pontiac and in the end it was a performance division with little performance outside the Solstice and G8.

What really killed Pontiac is they had no presents outside North America. Today it is a global Market and if you do not hold the volume here like Chevy you need to sell globally. Buick had that and it kept them alive. Now merged with Opel/Vauxhall and partnering with Holden they will hold a larger global foot print than any other GM division.

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Report this Post11-25-2015 03:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Id always heard the story that Corvette division killed the Fiero when they were running cars on their test track and people thought because of the performance of a particular Fiero (that they thought was a Corvette at first) they couldnt have a car that outperformed their flagship. I dont remember all the story, but seems that Fiero had a turbo 3.8 or V8 in it for test purposes.
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Report this Post11-25-2015 04:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rogergarrison:

Id always heard the story that Corvette division killed the Fiero when they were running cars on their test track and people thought because of the performance of a particular Fiero (that they thought was a Corvette at first) they couldnt have a car that outperformed their flagship. I dont remember all the story, but seems that Fiero had a turbo 3.8 or V8 in it for test purposes.


Maybe the intercooled turboed 2.9, "porsche killer"?


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Report this Post11-25-2015 07:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The Porsche Killer got a lot of attention at the time not just from Chevy but Porsche. Note they had to remove the lighted Porsche Killer Tail Lamps when in and around 1985 Porsche Engineering did some of the tuning on the front of the new 1988 Suspension. I think it was the engineer Doug Goad that relayed that story.

As for the Car on the proving grounds. The story goes that a V8 Fiero was built and the Corvette people saw it at the Mesa Proving grounds. This set them off to make sure this car never reached production. Never could confirm this from a GM person.

The fact is yes the Corvette and Chevy people were for sure pointing out all that was wrong with the Fiero program and made sure it was ended. But many of the things Chevy used against Pontiac were mistakes they made themselves. Chevy just used their own mistakes against them.

Yes it is true Porsche Engineering did the tuning on the front suspension but it was still designed by GM. The engineers were emphatic to point this out. While the Lotus story was false the truth is there was a little Porsche Engineering involved here. I think they worked on the scrub radius and the turn in tuning. In other words they worked on the feel and feedback of the steering.
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Report this Post11-25-2015 07:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:

The Porsche Killer got a lot of attention at the time not just from Chevy but Porsche. Note they had to remove the lighted Porsche Killer Tail Lamps when in and around 1985 Porsche Engineering did some of the tuning on the front of the new 1988 Suspension. I think it was the engineer Doug Goad that relayed that story.

As for the Car on the proving grounds. The story goes that a V8 Fiero was built and the Corvette people saw it at the Mesa Proving grounds. This set them off to make sure this car never reached production. Never could confirm this from a GM person.

The fact is yes the Corvette and Chevy people were for sure pointing out all that was wrong with the Fiero program and made sure it was ended. But many of the things Chevy used against Pontiac were mistakes they made themselves. Chevy just used their own mistakes against them.

Yes it is true Porsche Engineering did the tuning on the front suspension but it was still designed by GM. The engineers were emphatic to point this out. While the Lotus story was false the truth is there was a little Porsche Engineering involved here. I think they worked on the scrub radius and the turn in tuning. In other words they worked on the feel and feedback of the steering.


Okay, perhaps I stand corrected here regarding the suspension.

Ever since the '88 was to come out I have been told the suspension was designed by Lotus. I have even seen sill trim with the Lotus logo, although never looked into whether that part was factory.

If this info is incorrect, where did it all come from? Like I said, I've heard this since before the '88 hit the streets. Quite frankly, this is the first time I've heard the Porsche angle.

[This message has been edited by Thunderstruck GT (edited 11-25-2015).]

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Report this Post11-25-2015 09:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Thunderstruck GT:


Okay, perhaps I stand corrected here regarding the suspension.

Ever since the '88 was to come out I have been told the suspension was designed by Lotus. I have even seen sill trim with the Lotus logo, although never looked into whether that part was factory.

If this info is incorrect, where did it all come from? Like I said, I've heard this since before the '88 hit the streets. Quite frankly, this is the first time I've heard the Porsche angle.




I take it your are fairly new? So let me explain.

The Lotus thing was something someone said years ago that was never true. Now to qualify things a bit GM owned Lotus Engineering (that is not the cars just the engineering side of Lotus] They did so things for GM mostly for the Corvette like the original ZR1 DOHC engine. GM still works with them as they did a lot of work on the Ecotec 2.0 Turbo also. Lotus engineering is like Porsche Engineering as they do projects for anyone with the money and many go to them as they are good at specific things and in the long run save cost.

Around the same time Isuzu also had a car that did have a Lotus tuned suspension. Many of the Fiero's with Lotus Tuned Suspension came from the Isuzu.

This Lotus lie is like many others that swept around even untrue and really no one large enough was able to get it corrected and it made a lie become believable. At this point it is well known not to be true to the Fiero faithful but still many outside the Fiero hobby still buy into it.

Now Doug Goad was a GM engineer for Pontiac that did a lot of their suspension work. He was not only a great engineer but also one of the SCCA racers with his son winning championships in Trans Ams over the years. I have been lucky enough to see them race and win.

As for the Porches engineering this is what we knew. The 2.9 Turbo Porsche Eater Fiero had a tail light that lighted up that said Porsche Eater when the brakes were applied. There were two cars one black one red. In the Fiero book it stated the tail light had to be removed when GM did some work with Porsche in the mid 80's.

Now no one connected the Fiero but we did know the work was not for Chevy and the Corvette. Year later there was an interview with Goad in High Performance Pontiac Magazine about his time at Pontiac. He stated how the 88 Suspension was what they had wanted years ago in 84 but just did not have the money for it. He also stated it was a full on Pontiac design as they were damn proud of it. He also confirmed the Lotus rumor was BS. Finally he delivered the shocking news Porsche was working for the Fiero team on tuning the Fiero front suspension. He mentioned how they were working on the turn in and scrub radius as well some other tuning areas. In other words they were working on the feel of the steering to give it better turning and feedback. They were in essence dialing it in. He made a strong point that Porsche engineering did not design it as it was all GM but they did help tune the front suspension.

Just to let you know as I assume you may be new here. I am not any smarter than anyone else on the Fiero but I have been at this much longer than many here have been alive. I was a Fiero fan with my first magazine on it in Sept of 1980 when it was called a little GTO on the cover. I bough my Fiero 29 1/2 years ago and still have it. I was just lucky to have been there when the car was build, I went to the races and saw it win and got to meet most of the principal people involved with the program along with some other key people at GM. Lets just say I have a little more experience and a damn good library of info. Though I have had a hell of a time trying to fins the Goad Story again. I know it was late 90's and I have the issue some where but I have so many other magazines on the Fiero it is in that mess some where.

So anyhow I am just trying to share what I learned over time and know what is true. This is why I would love to get a book together on the car just to document the truth as there is so much BS out there. The record need set straight on many things on the car. Some things Fiero people will like and some they may not like as the car while good was far from perfect and if we document it correctly with have to show the warts as much as the roses to be creditable.
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Report this Post11-25-2015 09:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:
I take it your are fairly new? So let me explain.


Over 40 years with Pontiacs, many '64 & '65 GTO's under my belt, as well as Grand Prixs, Catalinas, Firebirds and Fieros. Been a member of POCI since 1983.

I can assure you I am only new to this site, but have lerked for years.

B.T.W.: If driving the Prototype at the 1983 POCI convention in Niagara Falls, NY and owning my '88 GT since 1991 is considered "new", just call me a newbie then.

[This message has been edited by Thunderstruck GT (edited 11-25-2015).]

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quote
Originally posted by Thunderstruck GT:


Okay, perhaps I stand corrected here regarding the suspension.

Ever since the '88 was to come out I have been told the suspension was designed by Lotus. I have even seen sill trim with the Lotus logo, although never looked into whether that part was factory.



I've never seen the "Lotus Logo" on a Fiero unless it was put there by an owner. I do know that the Isuzu Impulse did have Lotus Tuned suspension although Impulse based Geo Storm did not.



It's possible those badgings were lifted from a Impulse or other vehicle and placed on the Fiero.

 
quote
General Motors, who owned nearly half of Isuzu, also owned Lotus Cars at the time. Lotus selected the 1.6 L engine and transmission from the Isuzu Gemini for the Lotus Elan M100 and a following generation of that engine eventually ended up in the Impulse. Lotus was subcontracted by Isuzu to fine-tune the suspension of the Impulse, through selection of stiffer dampers, larger sway bars, and softer springs. All of the second generation Impulses had the Lotus-tuned suspension.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isuzu_Piazza

According to Wikipedia the Storm didn't have the Lotus Tuned suspension. Since the changes to the Impulses weren't changes to the geometry I don't see why it wouldn't have been possible to swap part over from a Impulse to a Storm though.

 
quote
The Geo Storm was a rebadged version of the sporty, second generation Isuzu Impulse minus some of that car's more expensive features. The Storm was sold in Japan as the PA Nero and related Gemini Coupe, Impulse.[1] The Storm lacked the Impulse's Lotus-tuned suspension as well as the Impulse's optional turbocharger and all-wheel drive drivetrain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geo_Storm

This all was however 2 years after the Fiero production stopped. However, the Fiero's I've seen with "Lotus" badges on them looked just like the ones used on the Impulse so I always assumed they were lifted from a Impulse.

[This message has been edited by Khw (edited 11-25-2015).]

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Report this Post11-26-2015 12:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm pretty sure the main reasons behind the "Lotus Suspension" BS are that GM acquired ownership of Lotus in 1986 and held onto their nearly 100% stake in the company until 1993, and Lotus having a reputation for mid-engined sports cars. Given the involvement of Lotus with the DMC-12 and MR2, it would be a reasonable assumption to make that they were involved with the 1988 Fiero, given GM's acquisition, even though such an assumption is totally unfounded. It's a rumor that some people started way back when, a lot of people repeated, and which unfortunately caught on.

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Report this Post11-26-2015 07:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GTGeffSend a Private Message to GTGeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Don't forget the Lotus suspension question was asked of Hulki during the 20th Anniversary in 2003. He did confirm it wasn't.

He did tell a delightful story about them going over to Lotus to examine their paint system. Seems the Lotus paints jobs were flawless and they wanted to find out how it was accomplished. Come to find out an older worker was re-doing touchups by hand!
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Report this Post11-26-2015 09:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Thunderstruck GT:


Over 40 years with Pontiacs, many '64 & '65 GTO's under my belt, as well as Grand Prixs, Catalinas, Firebirds and Fieros. Been a member of POCI since 1983.

I can assure you I am only new to this site, but have lerked for years.

B.T.W.: If driving the Prototype at the 1983 POCI convention in Niagara Falls, NY and owning my '88 GT since 1991 is considered "new", just call me a newbie then.



I was questioning your family heritage or anything I just assumed that you had not been on this site long or possibly new to the Fiero. Note the number of post you have and the fact most long time members here are well versed in the Lotus lie.

Hell I have been into Pontiacs even longer and been blessed to drive many of the best ones made since I grew up around some major Pontiac collectors and historic Pontiac Racers from the old Tin Indian days. Out daily drive to School was a 63 GP with a Ram Air IV in it and also a host of many GTO models we built and raced over the years.

the fact is many Pontiac people know little about the Fiero as so little truth ever got out about the car as GM ignored it and tired to make it forgotten after it was killed off. When I say some are hesitant to even speak about it today was not a joke. I know one present marketing manage of sever GM models that will speak privately to me about his time on the program but will not speak publically. Even with the culture change he said as long as he works there he will not go public.

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hyperv6

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quote
Originally posted by dobey:

I'm pretty sure the main reasons behind the "Lotus Suspension" BS are that GM acquired ownership of Lotus in 1986 and held onto their nearly 100% stake in the company until 1993, and Lotus having a reputation for mid-engined sports cars. Given the involvement of Lotus with the DMC-12 and MR2, it would be a reasonable assumption to make that they were involved with the 1988 Fiero, given GM's acquisition, even though such an assumption is totally unfounded. It's a rumor that some people started way back when, a lot of people repeated, and which unfortunately caught on.


One other thing that is confusing is that Lotus is really three companies. One is the car branch. The second is the engineering and the Third is the race team. GM only owned the first two and sold them to two different groups.
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quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:


I was questioning your family heritage or anything I just assumed that you had not been on this site long or possibly new to the Fiero. Note the number of post you have and the fact most long time members here are well versed in the Lotus lie.

Hell I have been into Pontiacs even longer and been blessed to drive many of the best ones made since I grew up around some major Pontiac collectors and historic Pontiac Racers from the old Tin Indian days. Out daily drive to School was a 63 GP with a Ram Air IV in it and also a host of many GTO models we built and raced over the years.

the fact is many Pontiac people know little about the Fiero as so little truth ever got out about the car as GM ignored it and tired to make it forgotten after it was killed off. When I say some are hesitant to even speak about it today was not a joke. I know one present marketing manage of sever GM models that will speak privately to me about his time on the program but will not speak publically. Even with the culture change he said as long as he works there he will not go public.


I remember "Hoot" saying that you don't even want to bring up the word "Fiero" around Detroit due to all the butthurt over the car and its demise.

I liken owning a Fiero to owning my '62 Grand Prix. Even Pontiac wouldn't acknowledge the '62 GP in their '77 sales brochure. They referenced the '63 Grand Prix as the first in the line.

I find this rather funny because they recognise the '64 and '65 GTO and that didn't have its own style/trim/VIN number, unlike the '62 GP or the Fiero.
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hyperv6
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Report this Post11-26-2015 10:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Thunderstruck GT:


I remember "Hoot" saying that you don't even want to bring up the word "Fiero" around Detroit due to all the butthurt over the car and its demise.

I liken owning a Fiero to owning my '62 Grand Prix. Even Pontiac wouldn't acknowledge the '62 GP in their '77 sales brochure. They referenced the '63 Grand Prix as the first in the line.

I find this rather funny because they recognise the '64 and '65 GTO and that didn't have its own style/trim/VIN number, unlike the '62 GP or the Fiero.


Well the 62 had a lot of odd things that contributed to it being unknown by many.

But in the case of the Fiero it was pure bad blood between GM, Pontiac and the UAW.

Pontiac Made a lot of promised to get breaks from the UAW for the Pontiac plant to build the car there. Then the rug got pulled our from under them and Pontiac could not live up to the promises. The people who held a grudge at GM for Pontiac disobeying orders let them hang out to dry. After that those at Pontiac were marginalized if they spoke out.

Kind of like the guy who failed to kill the Corvette in 97 he paid the price by getting passed over for new positions because he disobeyed orders.

What many fail to recall is many who were in charge or involved with the Fiero were ex Delorean people who spent several decades breaking rules at GM. John taught them how to do it and they from time to time would do it on a smaller scale like the 455 SD TA etc. John paid the ultimate price when they moved him to Chevy and saddled him with Ed Coles projects like the Vega and the Rotary engine that never came to market. Chevy was in trouble and while none of it was his doing he was the one caught holding the bag.

The old School Sloan people worked well in their time but as the 60's arrived the auto industry transitioned and again later and the old Sloan style management people just never could come to grips with change. In the end GM had too many division and too many models in a very competitive market. They put manager in charge of Pontiac that had no clue what to do with them and if they did they were not let to let them be what they could be. In the end the Killing of Pontiac was a mercy killing as they really had little to offer and the cost to fix them was just way too great with all GM had to fix else where.

I know the Sloan think well as I was taught it by my Great Uncle as he was a major part of it for decades. He was old school for sure and was one to curse the Delorean name as he knew him and hated him because he was a rule breaker. I wonder today looking back if his opinion would be different and he would see John as I see him today as the one who could have saved GM if he was permitted.

Lutz was similar in his ways but worked with management better. Our issue was by the time he got to GM it was too late to save them. He did the GTO with no budget and tried to make a case with the G8 and Solstice of what they could be but even he knew it was too late.

I found it funny how I went to the Pontiac Nationals the largest Pontiac meet in the world and the mood there was no different as most people there had little love for the new Pontiac models and for many their company died in 1979 with the death of the 400 Pontiac engine. I never really under stood that at the time but now looking back I see what they meant now. Pontiac became a fancy Chevy and not really a car that offered much special like the models of the past.

I really view the Fiero as the last true Pontiac. It was the last Pontiac specific platform and model. It was had a Pontiac built 4 cylinder and it was the last Pontiac from the Pontiac Michigan plant. For 25-30 years Pontiac pushed the envelope and the Fiero was the swan song of breaking rules and special engineering.

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Report this Post11-26-2015 10:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If I recall, wasn't it around 2000 or 2002 that GM said that they were going back to the days when each brand was going to have its own identity again?

That apparently was short lived because I missed it.

As far as the Pontiac faithfull losing interest in the brand.... Like I said, you can only build the identical car for so many years. GM not spending a dime in 10 years on R&D all but killed enthusiasm to buy a new Pontiac. It also didn't help that the Quad 4 was a ticking time bomb and many Pontiacs had them. And don't even get me started about putting that Northstar in the Bonneville.

[This message has been edited by Thunderstruck GT (edited 11-26-2015).]

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California Kid
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Report this Post11-26-2015 12:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Cars get killed by Manufacturers for many reasons, most of which you will not find in print.

I was working at the GM Tech Center when the debacle was going on over the Fiero. While not directly involved on the Fiero Program, I did hear all the rumors about what was going on at the GM Proving Grounds, which was that Modified Fiero's were kicking Corvette's butt in performance testing there. The Chevy Division would have no part of that, and slammed the door on Pontiac. It would be not different if Chevy wanted to market a car equivalent or better than a Cadillac.

Regarding the Banshee, it could have been the same, manufacturing cost v/s profit, or many other things.
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hyperv6
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Report this Post11-26-2015 02:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by California Kid:

Cars get killed by Manufacturers for many reasons, most of which you will not find in print.

I was working at the GM Tech Center when the debacle was going on over the Fiero. While not directly involved on the Fiero Program, I did hear all the rumors about what was going on at the GM Proving Grounds, which was that Modified Fiero's were kicking Corvette's butt in performance testing there. The Chevy Division would have no part of that, and slammed the door on Pontiac. It would be not different if Chevy wanted to market a car equivalent or better than a Cadillac.

Regarding the Banshee, it could have been the same, manufacturing cost v/s profit, or many other things.


It goes back to what Schinella stated. Chevy sells more cars so Chevy gets more say.

I think this is really changing today to a point with the new culture and real work going on to create little to no overlap with Chevy, Buick and Cadillac. Once they are done they should complement each other vs. compete with each other.

The Banshee was pretty well documented by Delorean in his book on GM. It was pretty much the Corvette people that stopped him several times to build a sport car or 2 seater.

Many do not know that the Firebird originally was a 2 seat coupe an and convertible. Delorean delayed the car and pushed to do a 2 seat version of the F body. John again lost his battle and had to commit to GM's wished for a Camaro based Firebird.
This is why the body and much of the car was not different than the Camaro Even the fenders are interchangeable. He did order them to make major suspension changes and more powerful engine packages. Most people never realize now since the old springs are sagging but the original Firebird was 1 inch lower on the springs. It also had a traction bar set up that kept the springs from winding up and creating wheel hop. Auto
got one bar standard 4 speeds got two.

John got away with a lot under Bunkie but after he was gone he had a tougher time fighting his battles. All the advances he had planed pretty much got cut by GM. In fact the only reason he got away with most of what he did like the GTO was because they sold well. Once the sale tanked on his adopted Ed Cole projects he paid the price while Cole was rotting in his grave after the plane crash.

Imagine the GTO with the things John had planned or even a GP. DOHC. FI, Radial Tires, composite head lamps. 4 wheel disc brakes etc. All of this before 1968. Each Idea was pitched for production and killed by GM.

John was a smart and skilled engineer but he just never could conform to the GM system and in the end it finished him. Those who were protecting him were not there anymore and he finally left when he knew he was as far as he was going to go. His obsesson for a sports car just kept on till it really did finish him later on.

John made peace with many in his life and got his life back on track by the time of his death. He said he made many mistakes and wish he had done many things different.

As for reasons for cars not making it the Fiero is a classic case as are many others. Many still blame the Corvair demise on Nader but the truth is the Mustang killed it. The Mustang had more power and was much cheaper to build. The air cooled engine was more expensive to make than the SBC. GM decided to go with the cheaper to make Camaro and let the Corvair die a slow quiet death.
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