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Are Formulas Really That Rare? by Jason88Notchie
Started on: 10-13-2016 05:18 PM
Replies: 26 (1203 views)
Last post by: Raydar on 02-18-2018 02:54 PM
Jason88Notchie
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Report this Post10-13-2016 05:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jason88NotchieClick Here to Email Jason88NotchieSend a Private Message to Jason88NotchieEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A Fiero friend had one of his buddies that worked for a Sheriff in a county, do not know where, do a search on registered, licensed Formulas in the United States a few years ago. Came up with like 250 left. Now I know there will be a lot of attrition over the years. And many will be sitting around in garages or yards. But damn. 250, really?
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Report this Post10-13-2016 05:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Those are only ones still on the road. But yeah. There were less than 5500 total produced in 1988. There's probably more than 250 total left in service, but there might only be 250 in that county, or state. There are of course a number in Canada too.
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Jason88Notchie
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Report this Post10-13-2016 05:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jason88NotchieClick Here to Email Jason88NotchieSend a Private Message to Jason88NotchieEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:

Those are only ones still on the road. But yeah. There were less than 5500 total produced in 1988. There's probably more than 250 total left in service, but there might only be 250 in that county, or state. There are of course a number in Canada too.


The search was ran on a nation wide level. That would not include Canada. But it does seem pretty amazing.
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css9450
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Report this Post10-13-2016 07:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for css9450Click Here to Email css9450Send a Private Message to css9450Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Number seems too low. I've probably seen almost that many Formulas in person. The Formula is a desireable model and as such is much less likely to be traded-in, scrapped or abandoned than a base 4-cyl. And its an '88 so its also less likely to be traded-in, scrapped or abandoned.

How'd they do the search? Seek out all Fiero VIN numbers from 1988 (with the "J" in them), plus a "9" (for V6) and "E" (or whatever it was the Formula was)?
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Raydar
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Report this Post10-13-2016 08:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would be very surprised if there are only 250 left.
I don't know of the parameters that they used to search, but they probably don't specify "Formula" on the title or registration.

Since the Formula is really just a base coupe with a V6 (according to the VIN) it would probably be more useful to search "1G2PE" (88 coupe) and then narrow that list down to the cars that show the 8th digit of the VIN being a "9".

Just a thought...
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Report this Post10-13-2016 10:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DanyelClick Here to visit Danyel's HomePageSend a Private Message to DanyelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well we could do a Formula roll call ..... like the CJB or 88GTs .... would give us an approximate....

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Jason88Notchie
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Report this Post10-14-2016 07:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jason88NotchieClick Here to Email Jason88NotchieSend a Private Message to Jason88NotchieEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm not sure how the search was done. I was pretty surprised to see that number so low. As to Danyl's pointI would be interested to see how that would work to see what's out there.
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Report this Post10-14-2016 08:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for andrewwSend a Private Message to andrewwEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I really wonder exactly what is left out there. I'd hazard a guess that original 84 2M4s are probably just as rare these days. 1988 models were sought after from very early on, so even though their production numbers were very low, collectability rating was high. The lowly 84 2M4s on the other hand were produced in high numbers but the had very little collectability appeal. When major work (usually expensive) needed to be done, the cars were scrapped. In the Toronto area I see very few examples of 84 fieros, mostly fastback GTs.
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Report this Post10-14-2016 08:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Running and registered with tabs probably only constitutes 15-25% of the ones left anyway.
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Report this Post10-14-2016 08:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CoolBlue87GTClick Here to Email CoolBlue87GTSend a Private Message to CoolBlue87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've got two of them. That number seems low.

[This message has been edited by CoolBlue87GT (edited 10-14-2016).]

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Report this Post10-14-2016 08:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for css9450Click Here to Email css9450Send a Private Message to css9450Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:

Running and registered with tabs probably only constitutes 15-25% of the ones left anyway.


I'd agree with this. 88s certainly fall toward the higher end of that estimate, since more were saved (as a percentage) than any other year. There's no reason to believe the Formula would be opposite to that trend.
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Report this Post10-14-2016 08:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I gave one away last year.
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Report this Post10-14-2016 09:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The number build is low but it is not really what is considered low production. Case in point a 1969 Trans Am is considered low production. Normally low is 1000 or less.

As for these counts by different people they are not very accurate. Here in the mid west Fiero's and Formulas are not that rare of a sight. I know several people with them and see others on the road all the time.

I am sure the number has dropped from the original total but realistically 250 is just not realistic.

Note 697 69 Trans Ams were made and we have lost some of them yet the Formula is still a much easier car to find or see.

I just saw one the other day with nearly no miles on it for sale. So you can even find new ones yet.

The rate one was the Yellow T top but even in my area there are 3 different ones here.

One has to remember that the Fiero 4 was a very common car and was the most common one used as a daily driver. The V6 cars some were for DD but many were weekend cars and third cars so they were kept away and preserved over the years. This is why there are so many low mileage FIero's in good condition around vs. say a Sunbird Turbo.

While we have lost Fiero's the attrition was more like a Corvette vs. a regular sedan. They were used differently and treated differently so more than average survived.

Then you get into the supply and demand side and that is another debate.

The bottom line there are more than 250 Formulas on the road. If that was all there was they would be much harder to find and buy. Look around and you will find a good number for sale around the country and many on the roads where most were origianlly sold.

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Report this Post10-14-2016 09:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:
The number build is low but it is not really what is considered low production. Case in point a 1969 Trans Am is considered low production. Normally low is 1000 or less.


What you consider "low" production numbers, is irrelevant. The question wasn't how rare the car was during its model year of production. The question is how rare they are now.

The simple fact is that the 80s was not a great time for cars, and most people who may have had them, just aren't especially interested in keeping the cars running and on the road. Even for Corvettes. I rarely see 80s Corvettes. If I do see any C4s, they're almost always 1990-1996 models.

Even if you can find a Formula with extreme low miles, it may have never been titled. Remember, in 88 some dealers kept a few cars in storage hoping they'd bring value later on, and never actually titled the cars. They might have some test drive lot miles on them, but they would not be counted in any search of registered vehicles. Nor would cars sitting in barns with expired tags.

When you consider that less than 5500 Formulas total were produced, for two countries, which now together have an estimated total population of about 360 million people, compared to other available cars, especially ones that are running, registered, and road worthy, you aren't going to see a lot of Formulas. Yes, the 1969 T/A production numbers were very low, but it's also a much more desirable vehicle, and more likely to be garage kept and not daily driven. Fieros are cheap, and for the vast majority of the population, expendable vehicles of necessity, rather than collector cars. How many have been wrecked, cut up, abandoned, etc… over the last 25 years?

Heck, at least one was cut up and turned into a VW cabriolet, right here on the forum.

Some creep out of the woodwork every now and then, but outside of this forum, people just don't care about cars from the 80s, and the Fiero isn't high on the list of the ones they would care about.
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Report this Post10-14-2016 09:55 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
The US needs something like this: http://www.howrareismycar.co.uk/
Cool website for anyone in the UK.
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Report this Post10-14-2016 02:31 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 dobey:


What you consider "low" production numbers, is irrelevant. The question wasn't how rare the car was during its model year of production. The question is how rare they are now.

The simple fact is that the 80s was not a great time for cars, and most people who may have had them, just aren't especially interested in keeping the cars running and on the road. Even for Corvettes. I rarely see 80s Corvettes. If I do see any C4s, they're almost always 1990-1996 models.

Even if you can find a Formula with extreme low miles, it may have never been titled. Remember, in 88 some dealers kept a few cars in storage hoping they'd bring value later on, and never actually titled the cars. They might have some test drive lot miles on them, but they would not be counted in any search of registered vehicles. Nor would cars sitting in barns with expired tags.

When you consider that less than 5500 Formulas total were produced, for two countries, which now together have an estimated total population of about 360 million people, compared to other available cars, especially ones that are running, registered, and road worthy, you aren't going to see a lot of Formulas. Yes, the 1969 T/A production numbers were very low, but it's also a much more desirable vehicle, and more likely to be garage kept and not daily driven. Fieros are cheap, and for the vast majority of the population, expendable vehicles of necessity, rather than collector cars. How many have been wrecked, cut up, abandoned, etc… over the last 25 years?

Heck, at least one was cut up and turned into a VW cabriolet, right here on the forum.

Some creep out of the woodwork every now and then, but outside of this forum, people just don't care about cars from the 80s, and the Fiero isn't high on the list of the ones they would care about.


Well low the low volume number is not my opinion it is an accepted number for people who generally collect cars in the hobby since the term Limited Edition has been bastardized over the years.

As for how many are left I think I made it clear more than 250 are left and compared to hard to find cars they are not difficult to find even in like new condition.

The 80's in hind sight are not spectacular but at the time it was an era of excitment. The 70's killed performance and we were told it was gone forever. The 80's arrived with more power than we had in the 70's and the computers many said could not be countered were being conquered.

At that time there was much serious talk the V8 could be gone in a couple years. The F body was expected to move to the FWD GM 80 platform and the Mustang was moving to what ended up a Ford Probe when Ford changed its mind.

Many of these cars went two ways. Half or so went to Daily Drivers and were used up and just less than half ended up as weekend cars and many were put away in good condition and some in like new condition. Hell you can buy a new GNX today if you have the money.

The Fiero was not a car many could live with as a daily driver and many used it as a play car. This saved many of the V6 models as they were treated differently than your average sedan. 1988 also was treated special by a larger group as many put them away for safe keeping with a lot of talk of them being valuable in the future based on some pretty optometrist magazine stories. I even remember many people going out and buying new GT and Formula models to put away. This is why there are so many low mile 88 cars today as they come out of hiding since the investment is now worth about what some paid new.

Now here is the realality of the older cars like the said 69 TA. Few were saved and most were used up. Survivors in new condition are extremely hard to find. Thinking in the 60's was not the same as it was in the 80's were people were all buying new cars and dreaming they had the next Shelby in the garage. There was much in the way of false hope in the 80's and 90's and a lot of cars sitting around with little value gained.

Often the cars today worth a lot are cars back in the day that were too expensive to buy or ones no one wanted like the SuperBirds that took some dealers 3 years to sell because people though them ugly back then.

Shelbys were cheap as many were used up race cars that were noisy and hot to drive. Even the Ferrari GTO could be had for only $6K-7K as they were used up and not really reliable while very expensive to fix. Nick Mason paid less than $10K for his and we had one here in Ohio that sat on a trailer in the weather for a very long time as it was not worth much for most of that time.

The bottom line is the Formula is one of the Fiero models that while it was a one year model was one that did not get used up like many 4 cylinder 84 models. In fact the effort to preserve most Fiero models is greater than many other makes.

Just go to the Chevelle Nationals or Monte Carlo Nationals and while popular cars their attendance is much smaller than most Fiero national events. Most of their web sites are much less used.

Even with the Chevelle. The 4 door was built in greater numbers. But yet today most are two doors that have been saved. Wagons are very rare as they were used up and few saved them. The same with the Fiero is happening as most cars saved anymore are V6 cars and the 4 cylinders are fast becoming parts cars in greater numbers. But with so many they are not all that rare either.

As cars go for the 80's they are still young yet for collector cars. Most collector cars do not even get on the radar till they are 30 year or older.

For sure we do no have the numbers of Fiero's we used to have but as for cars of that era we still have a significant number of them. While some assume there are none left because of where they live it does not preclude that there are still areas with deep concentrations of them. Most were sold in the mid west and many still remain and are seen often still on the road in varying conditions from new to junk.

When looking at cars you must take into context the car and the era it was from. The Fiero by nature was not a common daily driver to many owners like so many other cars. Then you must put into context the era also. The 80's was a whole different era than the 60's were. In the 60's the end was never coming and in the 80's with talk of a V6 Corvette everyone was grabbing what they could. Hell Chevy was testing a Citation with two V6 engines to replace the V8 they feared was going to go away.

As for the C4 there are many early ones still out there and they are very cheap to buy. You think Fiero values are depressed the early C 4 is a bargain. Yet there are still many low mile example offered. I just found A Pace car 1985 with hardly any miles the other day for a bargain. The issue with the C4 is the early models had issues and the later ones were more refined. Both were built in great numbers and most are still on the road today. Supply and demand.
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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post10-15-2016 04:04 PM 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
Formula Fieros are rare and our audience appreciates that. Unfortunately that does not always translate into the car being valuable. Formulas will probably sell for a bit more than a std coupe but the demand is just not there. Unless you own an 88GT; Fieros are very hard to sell.

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Report this Post10-16-2016 06:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for busa_poweredClick Here to Email busa_poweredSend a Private Message to busa_poweredEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
there are a few running around dfw here
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Report this Post10-18-2016 10:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I live in N Alabama, not far from The Fiero Factory. And I have never seen another Formula on the road around here.
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Report this Post10-19-2016 09:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Many years ago, 88 Database guy started to count 88 Fieros. In one of his posts he said he had over 5000 recorded (including scrapped cars) or about 25% of the original build number. That would suggest that around 1,300 Formulas are left....but. many of those are now Formula chassis only, and they look like an Italian supercar. I am guessing that less than 1000 are still around still looking like a Fiero.
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Report this Post01-29-2018 04:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AJISNOTClick Here to Email AJISNOTSend a Private Message to AJISNOTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I do have 2 Formula sunroof cars. Both manual one with power Windows other with manual. Automatic has grey interior. Manual has tan interior. Love them both. And I sold one last year that was stored for years to some guys in Oregon. They hopefully have it back on the road. And there are a few formula in Jet City Fiero Club.
And not much rust on these cars in Washington state.
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Report this Post01-29-2018 04:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AJISNOTClick Here to Email AJISNOTSend a Private Message to AJISNOTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Miswrote some info above. Automatic was the one I sold. I am looking at 3 formula for sale in my area as well. I personally like the formula over the gt.
I am sure there are over 1000 formula alive and well. I will do my part to bring more back to life as well. I only wish there were more color options factory out there.


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Report this Post01-29-2018 02:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for da.slyboyClick Here to Email da.slyboySend a Private Message to da.slyboyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I understand this is an older thread, but I almost wish I knew more about them since I just seen an 88 T-top formula being last weekend. Oh well, a good deal to that person.

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Report this Post01-31-2018 09:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MRBLUE87Click Here to Email MRBLUE87Send a Private Message to MRBLUE87Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have three Formulas. None are registered so that will not show up on a search
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Report this Post02-01-2018 06:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofrenzyClick Here to Email fierofrenzySend a Private Message to fierofrenzyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Count me in ! I own the amazing yellow Formula that runs around central Georgia.
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Report this Post02-12-2018 09:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FIEROPHREKSend a Private Message to FIEROPHREKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Count me in. lowered and repainted with some color changes.





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[This message has been edited by FIEROPHREK (edited 02-12-2018).]

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Report this Post02-18-2018 02:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Since 88 coupes are fairly common, and swaps are also fairly common, there are a number of Formula (and GT) "tribute" cars out there. If done correctly, the only way to tell is by looking at the VIN.

Here's mine. Work in progress.
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