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New here, not to the Fiero- Would love your 2¢! by wcgreen2017
Started on: 06-02-2017 11:12 AM
Replies: 22 (394 views)
Last post by: wcgreen2017 on 06-04-2017 03:50 PM
wcgreen2017
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Report this Post06-02-2017 11:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for wcgreen2017Click Here to visit wcgreen2017's HomePageClick Here to Email wcgreen2017Send a Private Message to wcgreen2017Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello all! Newb to the forum, but not to the Fiero. Bear with me, as I give some details- I very much would like some opinions from as many of you as possible. I am 52, returned to grad school and will graduate next May. Went back so I can be a professor, and not travel so much... stability. Right now, I ride a Kawasaki Concours... no car. It is giving me horrible tennis elbow, and my wife will finally be joining me in Tuscaloosa as she remained in FL till now, so I will have a car and will be selling the bike in a month or two. The first car I bought was a red Fiero in 1984 and traded that on a GT in 1985. Loved that car. Lots of fan issues, but loved it. My bike will sell for about 7-8K, and I will have about 8-9k to spend on a vehicle. I really want to get another GT. Preferably the 86-88.

So, here is what I am thinking and I would like your thoughts. I am looking to get a SUPER clean and sound car. It will be my DAILY DRIVER, and my last car. I want one car to tinker on for the next 20 years. My last car, so to speak. I do not care about room, or ride, or this or that. I know the Fiero. I owned two and restored two Datsun 240Zs, so I don't mind, and LOVE two seaters as my primary ride. What I want to know about is dependability with using one as a daily driver. What can I get for 8-9K... sound enough for this sort of use? 6-8K miles a year? Maybe rebuild the engine in 5-10 years? I would like something super clean and about 40-70k miles on it.

I had a 77 Vette I got last year that was to serve this purpose... it was a Chicago vette with only 54K, but the salt and time had done a little body mount damage... more than I wanted to attack. I want a car that is solid as heck and I will just tinker on and address things as they come up... not a car that has any real needs at the moment. Something really trustworthy and knowing how picky I am about my rides, SUPER clean. Is all this doable for a max 8-9k?.

So, knowing my thoughts and wants and budget... is this feasible? I would appreciate all your thoughts and anything to look for or expect. Thanks for your time!!

[This message has been edited by wcgreen2017 (edited 06-02-2017).]

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Report this Post06-02-2017 11:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FIEROPHREKSend a Private Message to FIEROPHREKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For 8k you can pick up a low mile 88 gt or Formula and daily drive it no problems. You could even do some preventative maintenance/ mods and redo bushings, balljoints, hoses and belts. Get on Craigslist and search Florida or southern Cali and find a nice rust free low mileage ride. For that kind of budget you should be able to score a hell of a nice Fiero.

edit to add: Check the Mall section here on the forum. There is a nice 87 up for sale for 6k. has just over 30k miles.

------------------
ARCHIES JUNK IS FASTER THAN SHAUNNA'S JUNK

12.3 is faster than a 13.2

[This message has been edited by FIEROPHREK (edited 06-02-2017).]

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wcgreen2017
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Report this Post06-02-2017 11:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for wcgreen2017Click Here to visit wcgreen2017's HomePageClick Here to Email wcgreen2017Send a Private Message to wcgreen2017Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FIEROPHREK:

For 8k you can pick up a low mile 88 gt or Formula and daily drive it no problems. You could even do some preventative maintenance/ mods and redo bushings, balljoints, hoses and belts. Get on Craigslist and search Florida or southern Cali and find a nice rust free low mileage ride. For that kind of budget you should be able to score a hell of a nice Fiero.

edit to add: Check the Mall section here on the forum. There is a nice 87 up for sale for 6k. has just over 30k miles.


Thanks for that! I am not ready to buy just yet, but will... going to put the bike up for sale in my other forum and probably start looking for a car to purchase in August.
Billy

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Report this Post06-02-2017 12:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would agree for $8-9k you should have a pretty nice selection. You should be able to pick up a low mileage GT or even some well sorted out swap cars. Just keep in mind that a super low mileage car might not always make the best daily driver because things tend to go bad from sitting for a long time so just make sure to go through everything on it before it becomes your only transportation.

I have been daily driving a Fiero for 15 years now, except in the winter months.
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Report this Post06-02-2017 12:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wcgreen2017Click Here to visit wcgreen2017's HomePageClick Here to Email wcgreen2017Send a Private Message to wcgreen2017Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by zmcdonal:

I would agree for $8-9k you should have a pretty nice selection. You should be able to pick up a low mileage GT or even some well sorted out swap cars. Just keep in mind that a super low mileage car might not always make the best daily driver because things tend to go bad from sitting for a long time so just make sure to go through everything on it before it becomes your only transportation.

I have been daily driving a Fiero for 15 years now, except in the winter months.

Thanks! I do need it to be ready to hit the road immediately and tinker from then on, though.
Billy

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Report this Post06-02-2017 12:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for trivetClick Here to Email trivetSend a Private Message to trivetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the Forum!

You should be able what you are looking for in the Mall section. In fact, there are a few posted there now that would fit your description (location might be an issue).

Good luck and keep us posted!

------------------
Tim
Bay City, MI

'87 GT original 2.8 V6
All Poly suspension, Eibach springs
Aussie Stage 2 side scoops
Deck scoop, Fiero Warehouse lip spoiler

[This message has been edited by trivet (edited 06-02-2017).]

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Report this Post06-02-2017 12:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wcgreen2017Click Here to visit wcgreen2017's HomePageClick Here to Email wcgreen2017Send a Private Message to wcgreen2017Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by trivet:

Welcome to the Forum!

You should be able what you are looking for in the Mall section. In fact, there are a few posted there now that would fit your description (location might be an issue).

Good luck and keep us posted!

Thanks! As far as location, I will fly out for the right car. Ideally, GT fastback, super clean and pretty much stock, any color- We all have our fav color combos but I am open to any combo as long as it's on the high end of clean all around.
Billy
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Report this Post06-02-2017 01:37 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
Welcome. While $8-$9K would buy a very nice Pontiac Fiero, and even one with a nice engine swap. However, I would not recommend any 30 year old car for a daily driver. While the car could be low mile, all of the rubber parts are still old, maybe brittle and cracking. Weather will have had its way with other items. IMO, Fieros are great fun hobby cars, excellent for shows and cruise nights but not for a daily driver. I can think of far better ways to spend that kind of money for a reliable daily driver.

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
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Report this Post06-02-2017 05:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I agree with Dennis, based on my personal experience.

In January, I bought an SE with 10k miles. I was under the impression it would be like a new car. But time hurts, even when the car has been garaged. It would have been fine to stay in the garage, but has been a little work to make it a sound road car, e.g. Axle seals, headliner, speakers, filters, and fluids.

Ironically, I suspect garage queens like mine would need more "refresh" to be a daily driver cause the owners don't mess with them while they sit. If you find one with 50-75k miles, you might be better off cause the owner(s) will likely have been forced to keep them up.

Even if you bought one of these $20k '88 GTs with only 2k miles, I bet you'd spend a good chunk of money and time addressing the post traumatic effects of Father Time's butt raping.

[This message has been edited by USMUCL (edited 06-02-2017).]

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quote
Originally posted by USMUCL:

I agree with Dennis, based on my personal experience.

In January, I bought an SE with 10k miles. I was under the impression it would be like a new car. But time hurts, even when the car has been garaged. It would have been fine to stay in the garage, but has been a little work to make it a sound road car, e.g. Axle seals, headliner, speakers, filters, and fluids.

Ironically, I suspect garage queens like mine would need more "refresh" to be a daily driver cause the owners don't mess with them while they sit. If you find one with 50-75k miles, you might be better off cause the owner(s) will likely have been forced to keep them up.

Even if you bought one of these $20k '88 GTs with only 2k miles, I bet you'd spend a good chunk of money and time addressing the post traumatic effects of Father Time's butt raping.



Thanks for that. Yeah, Ideally, I would like a very clean one with about that kind of mileage. One that's been driven some and kept up. Here's my position- I am going to have a HEFTY monthly student loan payment for the rest of my life, so I will never get a new car.. that will be for my wife. Whatever I buy now, I will likely be stuck with. I won't have the luxury of having a Fiero and a daily driver. I can spend 8K now on a 2013 Corolla with 100K on it and just drive that- Makes me sick at the thought- My cars have either been 240z, Fiero, Corvette, (and a couple of junkers when I was younger) or motorcycles- or I can find a Fiero that is sound and drive it and tinker as I do. Sounds like I can't do that and the thought of a Corolla from here on out is disturbing to someone like me. I wanted a car, but sounds like I need to stick with a bike... probably going to a Triumph then and just deal with the rain on my commutes. Id rather look good that feel good. I had hoped to be able to get a GT with about 50-80K that has had the ball joints replaced, braked done, seals, lines, etc, but is pristine inside and outside for about 8-9K and driven regularly.

[This message has been edited by wcgreen2017 (edited 06-02-2017).]

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Report this Post06-02-2017 08:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wgpierceSend a Private Message to wgpierceEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
USMUCL is spot on. To get my 7500 mile 87GT up to speed for driving on the weekends:

Replaced all tires
Replaced all radiator hoses
Replaced both rear brake calipers (one was leaking, just did them both to save time)
Front brake calipers had already been replaced at some point
Replaced original oil filter!
Replaced original fuel filter!
Removed fuel tank, replaced rotten fuel sock, cleaned inside with fresh fuel and replaced all fuel hoses except the one that goes to the fuel filler
Replaced all fluids
New AC accumulator, compressor, and orifice tube
Spare ICM and pickup coil in the trunk

I didn't have any of the seal troubles that USMUCL had, guess lucky. It is beautiful to sit in and ride in a car that's this nice inside though and I am REALLY glad I got a GT that was this original and looked this good. After the above it drives really well even though it is still on the original shocks etc.

If I were to make this a daily driver AND it were my only car, I would be stocking up on a lot of parts to have them ready to go when it dies on me. Because it will. It is a 30 year old Fiero after all As it is I can afford to wait a couple weeks if I need to get something for it from the US.

Hope that helps
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quote
Originally posted by wgpierce:

USMUCL is spot on. To get my 7500 mile 87GT up to speed for driving on the weekends:

Replaced all tires
Replaced all radiator hoses
Replaced both rear brake calipers (one was leaking, just did them both to save time)
Front brake calipers had already been replaced at some point
Replaced original oil filter!
Replaced original fuel filter!
Removed fuel tank, replaced rotten fuel sock, cleaned inside with fresh fuel and replaced all fuel hoses except the one that goes to the fuel filler
Replaced all fluids
New AC accumulator, compressor, and orifice tube
Spare ICM and pickup coil in the trunk

I didn't have any of the seal troubles that USMUCL had, guess lucky. It is beautiful to sit in and ride in a car that's this nice inside though and I am REALLY glad I got a GT that was this original and looked this good. After the above it drives really well even though it is still on the original shocks etc.

If I were to make this a daily driver AND it were my only car, I would be stocking up on a lot of parts to have them ready to go when it dies on me. Because it will. It is a 30 year old Fiero after all As it is I can afford to wait a couple weeks if I need to get something for it from the US.

Hope that helps


Thanks! Though I am not ready to buy yet- Must sell the bike first in July- I have seen several that would interest me greatly... about 70K on them, second owners who drive them daily or regularly.. have new brakes, joints, lines, etc and in my price range. So, I am hopeful a little. Ideally, that would be what I would go after and pray some are around the end of summer.
Billy

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Report this Post06-02-2017 08:53 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
I ordered an '84 SE 4 speed in Sep '83 rec'd it in May '84 and it's still a daily driver with 375,500 kilometers (233,325 miles) on it.

Early in 2011 I bought a very solid '86 coupe 2.5L 5 speed for $800 to share daily duties with the '84. It needed a head gasket and cosmetic re-hab.
It has 135,000 kilometers (83,885) on it now and I replaced the engine with an '87 2.5L in 2013 from a parts car that paid for itself from parts sales.
Including the '88 wheels & Michelins, I have about $2500 into it.

I also came across an '88 Formula 5 speed with 5,200 kilometers (3,231 miles) on it in 2008. I couldn't pass up a showroom condition Fiero!
It's only had some brake and ignition work since, and has 33,000 kilometers (28,500 miles) on it now.

All three have been garaged since new and still are, and only see winter driving when the roads are dry and salt free.

All in all, pretty cheap transportation... your results may vary...

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Report this Post06-02-2017 08:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
LOL, WGPierce, if that's all you had to do, you are lucky. My list is a little longer than that. Same idea, though . . . and some things I did but didn't really have to. I'm a little OCD for my own good.

The thing we forget, these cars weren't even reliable daily drivers when new!

David -- sounds like you got good results because you were there for whatever maintenance was needed. Even the one you built up yourself, it sounds like you did a complete overhaul, so you would know what was done and what needed done. The rest of us have to pick up where the previous owner(s) left off

[This message has been edited by USMUCL (edited 06-02-2017).]

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wcgreen2017
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Originally posted by USMUCL:

LOL, WG, if that's all you had to do, you are lucky. My list is a little longer than that. Same idea, though . . . and some things I did but didn't really have to. I'm a little OCD for my own good.

The thing we forget, these cars weren't even reliable daily drivers when new!

True! My GT gave me fits with overheating and the fan cutting out. I am hoping to find one that has all those kinks sorted through with the previous owner and is close to original and clean. Wishful thinking?
B

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wcgreen2017

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Member since May 2017
 
quote
Originally posted by David Hambleton:

I ordered an '84 SE 4 speed in Sep '83 rec'd it in May '84 and it's still a daily driver with 375,500 kilometers (233,325 miles) on it.

Early in 2011 I bought a very solid '86 coupe 2.5L 5 speed for $800 to share daily duties with the '84. It needed a head gasket and cosmetic re-hab.
It has 135,000 kilometers (83,885) on it now and I replaced the engine with an '87 2.5L in 2013 from a parts car that paid for itself from parts sales.
Including the '88 wheels & Michelins, I have about $2500 into it.

I also came across an '88 Formula 5 speed with 5,200 kilometers (3,231 miles) on it in 2008. I couldn't pass up a showroom condition Fiero!
It's only had some brake and ignition work since, and has 33,000 kilometers (28,500 miles) on it now.

All three have been garaged since new and still are, and only see winter driving when the roads are dry and salt free.

All in all, pretty cheap transportation... your results may vary...


Thanks! There is hope then!
B

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Report this Post06-02-2017 11:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by wcgreen2017:


Thanks for that. Yeah, Ideally, I would like a very clean one with about that kind of mileage. One that's been driven some and kept up. Here's my position- I am going to have a HEFTY monthly student loan payment for the rest of my life, so I will never get a new car.. that will be for my wife. Whatever I buy now, I will likely be stuck with. I won't have the luxury of having a Fiero and a daily driver. I can spend 8K now on a 2013 Corolla with 100K on it and just drive that- Makes me sick at the thought- My cars have either been 240z, Fiero, Corvette, (and a couple of junkers when I was younger) or motorcycles- or I can find a Fiero that is sound and drive it and tinker as I do. Sounds like I can't do that and the thought of a Corolla from here on out is disturbing to someone like me. I wanted a car, but sounds like I need to stick with a bike... probably going to a Triumph then and just deal with the rain on my commutes. Id rather look good that feel good. I had hoped to be able to get a GT with about 50-80K that has had the ball joints replaced, braked done, seals, lines, etc, but is pristine inside and outside for about 8-9K and driven regularly.



I think you should definitely be able to find a very nice GT that's mechanically sound for that kind of money. Just take your time with your search, maybe find one that has a well documented repair history.
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Report this Post06-02-2017 11:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wgpierceSend a Private Message to wgpierceEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by USMUCL:

LOL, WGPierce, if that's all you had to do, you are lucky. My list is a little longer than that. Same idea, though . . . and some things I did but didn't really have to. I'm a little OCD for my own good.


Well, that's all I've done to make me comfortable taking it on a 4 hr drive, but It's not all I've done Mine had the ignition wires replaced at some point, but I've got an overhaul to do on the distributor so I'm putting it back to "stock" with new wires, etc. But it runs great the way it is.

Oh yeah, forgot new air filter, new battery, and replaced trans filter (auto)
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Report this Post06-03-2017 12:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BuzzLOLClick Here to visit BuzzLOL's HomePageClick Here to Email BuzzLOLSend a Private Message to BuzzLOLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you get a 4 cylinder Fiero, the MPG may not be that different from the Kawasaki...

Look for a nice Fiero around $4K - 6 K and have money left over for upgrades if/as needed...
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wcgreen2017
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Originally posted by BuzzLOL:

If you get a 4 cylinder Fiero, the MPG may not be that different from the Kawasaki...

Look for a nice Fiero around $4K - 6 K and have money left over for upgrades if/as needed...

That is true. I am not really concerned with that aspect, though. I got an 84 new back in 84 and immediately traded it on a GT when they came out in 85. just not enough power for me. I was close to trading it in on the fastback back in the 80's, but never did. Ideally, I'd like a fastback GT

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Report this Post06-03-2017 08:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wcgreen2017Click Here to visit wcgreen2017's HomePageClick Here to Email wcgreen2017Send a Private Message to wcgreen2017Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Been looking quite a bit online at various sites. Right now, there are a few that fit the bill... maybe 3 that I have seen. I would say 80% of those I see that as clean as I would like, they are wanting 12K+. I suppose I will sell the bike, and then look at that time to see if there is one on the net that fits... if not, will go with the Triumph Storm or I did see I can get a 2002 Mustang GT Convertible in MINT condition with about 50k for 8-9 and there are many. I don't have an emotional attachment to Mustangs at all like the Fiero, but it would be close to new condition and super solid.
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Report this Post06-04-2017 10:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Personally, I'd be looking for an '88 Fiero. The '88 has better suspension and brakes than the earlier years. But since even an '88 Fiero is almost 30 years old, expect to do a lot of maintenance, even if the car is in really good condition. I would suggest going through every major system with a fine-tooth comb, and fix anything that looks sketchy. So I'd suggest taking your budget and reserving about 1/3 of it for repairs and maintenance. So for example, if you have $9k to spend, look for a $6k car and spend the other $3k fixing it up. Then you should have a pretty reliable car.

Also, welcome to the forum.
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Originally posted by Blacktree:

Personally, I'd be looking for an '88 Fiero. The '88 has better suspension and brakes than the earlier years. But since even an '88 Fiero is almost 30 years old, expect to do a lot of maintenance, even if the car is in really good condition. I would suggest going through every major system with a fine-tooth comb, and fix anything that looks sketchy. So I'd suggest taking your budget and reserving about 1/3 of it for repairs and maintenance. So for example, if you have $9k to spend, look for a $6k car and spend the other $3k fixing it up. Then you should have a pretty reliable car.

Also, welcome to the forum.

Thanks! I certainly see the logic in this and agree. However, I know myself- and that is starting to tell me perhaps I need to give up this idea. I am an artist and very visual person. lol, my 85 GT, when the rubber around the center console gauges began to warp and pull away, as we see on so many, it drove me crazy to the point of obsession. I'm a bit OCD over things like that. So, not sure a 6K Fiero would make me happy... there would be visual issues inside that I would obsession every time I sat behind the wheel, and being in grad school and teaching this year, there would be little to no time to address any of them- Hence I would want a car that has had most of these things addressed by the previous owner, and hence it would be a 12K car probably. Sadly, this is my time to buy the car I want, cause once I graduate and get a teaching job, my wife will be in control of these decisions as I will have a massive monthly loan payment and will put the kibosh on any sports car/love car projects. Right now, I can get away with buying something like the Fiero... later, probably not as she will point to my $700 a month student loan payment.
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