My other son, Brian, and I flew up to Dayton on Friday to look at George's white 88 GT. I am sure glad I looked in the for sale part of the forum! Didn't take long to see that on balance this car is definitely equivalent to Kevin's red 88 GT. No problems paying full asking price. We got $5783 from the insurance company to compensate for the damage to Kevin's red 88 and that plus a few more dollars bought George's white 88 with the Firebird 3.4l V6.
Each of the previous owners since about 2005 have kept meticulous records of the work on the car. I am going to continue -- starting with a log of the travel expenses, etc. to drive the car back to Texas. We left Dayton at 6:48 PM EST and headed south. Brian and I took turns sleeping and driving and made it the 824 miles to the Texas line before stopping for both of us to sleep for an hour or so. The car drove like a dream the whole 13 hours to Texarkana!!
Fieros being what they are, that is when the fuel system went hinky. I heard a pop that I now think came from the fuel tank. The car stalled for less than a second and restarted on its own. We got about 40 miles down the road going 78 MPH (love that 75 MPH speed limit) when the car just simply stopped running. Put it in neutral and coasted about a mile. It started back up but did the same thing a few more times. It would start and run if we let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. By the time we got to Mount Pleasant, it refused to start any more. Tried dry gas (in case we had condensate from being stored in the cold in Ohio) and other things but it had finally gotten to the point it would not start at all. Did not bring tools or the shop manual so no way to work on it in the field.
Called wife and daughter to bring the Tahoe from Austin and ordered a car hauler trailer from U Haul in Mount Vernon. Waited for 4 hours. Got the car pushed up on to the trailer and drove the 5 hours back to Round Rock. We have a 10% grade on our driveway so pushing the car off was going to be a chore. Figured nothing to lose since the car had to be in neutral, so I turned the key all the way. Started right up!!! Drove it off the trailer and into the garage. Moved it out to the driveway this morning and it was still starting right up and running.
I figure maybe something got weird when the car cooled down for that hour while we slept and something is clogging the air inlet to the fuel tank. My guess is that if we had taken the gas cap off, we could have driven all the way to Round Rock. Guessing that whatever was wrong was pulling a vacuum in the tank and the pump could not overcome the vacuum. Oh well, with luck I will never have to troubleshoot this issue. The car will be a daily driver the 8 miles back and forth to work, two miles to the grocery store, and probably little else. I will post pictures of the two 88's sitting side by side in the driveway. I am really happy!!! Now Kevin and I both have 88's.
Our waiter at Appleby's in Mount Pleasant saw the Fiero and our books with a picture. He had an 85 GT years ago, but sold it before finishing the project. We talked for quite a while about Fieros. It is a small world. Had two other folks offer to buy it as we were putting it on the trailer!!
We have Kevin's 88 in the driveway with pieces starting to come off in prep for repair. I am guessing the guy only hit me at 20 MPH or less since his airbags did not deploy. The frame is bent right in the middle where the metal "under bumper" is. It pushed the frame forward about 1 1/2 inches so the rear deck just barely catches to stay closed. We got really lucky. There is a small scratch on the deck that can almost certainly be filled and smoothed for repainting. Also, the body piece above the bumper is one large piece that goes around the back of the trunk and then up and over the passenger compartment (the sail panel piece on a GT). It flexed enough that it has only one very small crack on each side right on the back where the deck meets it. Once it is removed and the frame straightened, you will never see that it cracked ever so slightly. I need a new rear bumper (maybe this one can be salvaged??), the left and right wing pillars, and the two GT turn/stop/backup lenses. The car is actually drivable if I put the lenses back on.
So the good news is that this car is saved from the bone yard and will be back on the road probably later this year with a new paint job and almost all matching number body pieces. Good time to do dew wipes, replace the deck restraining cables and other little things that are easier with the body panels off.