Most of the time, I "get into Fieros" head first... My car has a body kit, and they didn't put exterior handles. Instead, they put door poppers. The driver's side popper isn't working, so I have to pop the passenger side, lean into the car head first and reach across to open the driver's door. lol
When I was about 14 or 15, I discovered the TV documentary, "Miami Vice". This fine bit of programming educated me on the dangerous world of substance dealing and South Florida undercover police. Of course, the story line was about as close to reality as the black Ferrari. However, it introduced me to the world of replicas, and later, to Fieros... the base car for so many replicas.
A couple of years later, my boss took me to a meeting in a Fiero, and I remember being surprised by the amount of leg-room, as I'm 6'4" tall. I decided that if I ever had some money, I wanted a Testarossa, or other replica F-car, based on a Fiero.
Finally, some 30 years later, I have a little money put back for a car. I had been driving the same Ford Escort for 18 years. My wife suggested I give it to our oldest, who was in process of obtaining a driver's license. She then suggested that I get myself I can that I wanted, "within reason"... within reason being around $10k. I didn't want another boring sedan, didn't need a truck, and so I just kept driving the work van for a couple of weeks. One day, I remembered the old dream.
After looking for nine months, and several dead-ends or wrong fits, in late 2016, I found a 1988 GT. It had a Testarossa body kit installed in 1994. It has less than 25,000 miles, and I'm the second owner, as far as I know. It had lots of minor issues when I first got it, but now, with a new fuel pump & wiring, new battery & cut-off switch, t-stat, coolant hoses, and tires, it seems to be running pretty well. I still need to get the door popper fixed, or install handles, and get a better solution for the headlights, but the nice thing is, I work on it over time.
At some point, I'd like to install a 5-speed... an 80's Italian sports car (or replica thereof) deserves a 5-speed, IMO.
It isn't a "real" Ferrari inside, and I guess it isn't a "real" Fiero outside, but I like it. At the end of the day, I guess that's what matters most.
I have been really impressed with the helpfulness of the Fiero community, and at some future date, I may even get a "real" Fiero.
I sat in one at a car show in '84 and thought it would be fun to own one someday. That someday came when a friend and I decided we were going to go racing again after reading about Chumpcar in 2012. Read the rules, went through a list of possible cars and settled on the Fiero. I bought an '84, decided it was too nice to strip, fixed a few things and sold it to my son's friend, then found a mostly stripped but rust free '87 GT with 83,000 miles for $50. The bellhousing bolts were loose so it sounded like the engine was knocking but I didn't care, it was all coming out anyway. Took about a year to build despite being in the race car business because customers come first and my stuff came last.
Stripped the car the rest of the way, installed a roll cage, fuel cell, modded the suspension as needed, C4 calipers all around with 12" rotors, P6000 rear hubs, changed the front wheel bolt pattern to 114.3 x 5 so I could use older tuner rims all around (cheap, set of 17 x 8/9s is usually about $200), installed Herb Adams sway bars and rear coilovers, 2001 TA WS6 power steering rack, cut the front springs, and swapped in a freshened LX9. First race weekend was in the fall of 2013, next race weekend was the summer of 2014 in Spokane and we won the Sunday six hour race by three laps. First and only win of a Fiero in Chumpcar to date. Other notables: won a sprint race at Portland and set fastest lap of the weekend at Laguna Seca in July 2015.
Here it is at its first race weekend, before any scuffs and such:
For those who've wanted to race their Fiero on a road course, this is what it looks and sounds like inside mine. Green flag drops at about the 14:00 mark, pass for the lead at 27:30. Shift to fourth is about 82 mph, to fifth about 118 mph. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDcr5-I33WU
I bought a few spare Fieros for parts but only one got stripped, one of the others is a daily driver (1985 GT 4 spd) and the extra '87 GT is waiting its turn. The race Fiero is getting a new drivetrain this year (LFX/F23) and the LX9 will be going into the '87. My daughter decided she needed a Fiero as well so we picked her up an '85 SE 2.5 auto. Started with the usual fuel pump replacement, some front end parts and brakes and wiring and such, with the major repair being the R&R of the transmission. She's proud of her first car and the fact that she's been right in there with me on all the work. We did an oil change tonight and replaced the dead block heater cord so it'll start a little easier in the temperatures we get up here in Canada when she heads back to college next Monday.
[This message has been edited by mender (edited 01-05-2017).]
My Fiero story started back when I was 15 and was looking to buy my first car. I had been mowing lawns and doing some work for neighbors saving up my money in order to buy a car by the time I was old enough to drive. I started going to the library with my dad looking through the classified ads and we came across a guy selling a couple of Fieros. I knew what a Fiero was but was only interested in what I thought was the GT (I thought only the fastbacks were GT's). My dad was kind of sold on the idea of me getting a Fiero before I was, he had worked with a lady that had bought one new and he had looked at it and sat in it in the parking lot and couldn't believe how much room they had inside and thought it was a neat car. We had called about a couple ads, but it seemed that all of the cars that were for sale near me where in some degree of disassembly or came with a second parts car, which was more than we were looking to get into at the time. We had no idea how addictive these things were and that many people own more than one. After my dad got the idea in his head that I was going to own a Fiero, he had pretty much ruled out all of the other listings in the classifieds. We came across a guy selling an 85 Fiero SE that was in my price range. I called him and asked him a few questions, but he did not have too much information about the car because it was his sons car. The car was about 45 minutes from me so one night we took a drive to go look at it. It was in a shopping center parking lot and it didn't look too bad to a non-Fiero person for only $1,500 but I was immediately disappointed because it was not a fastback. The owner was not able to meet us that night, so we looked around the car and peeked through the windows as much as we could since they were tinted. When the owner was able to show us the car I was either at work or in school, so I gave my dad the cash and he went to check it out. He decided it was worth buying so he brought it home. I thought I was going to have to sell the car before I ever even drove it after we looked into what insurance would cost, because every insurance company I called was classifying the Fiero as a "High risk sports car" and the premiums were insane, even to have only liability on the car and have my dad as the primary driver. So I ended up transferring the title of the car into my brothers name and registering it in a different county because the insurance rates in that county were MUCH lower.
The car needed a decent amount of work, lots of little things broken in the interior and some mechanical things that needed addressed. But that was part of the plan as to why I was buying it when I was only 15, so by the time I was old enough to drive it, I would be able have all the repairs done and make it road worthy. I did a lot of work to that car, lots of new parts and lots of time hunting junk yards for interior odds and ends. I drove the car all through high school and into college (excluding the winter months). At some point during my sophmore year of college I was talking on the phone with my dad and he happened to mention that he bumped into a guy at the grocery store parking lot with an 86 Fiero GT and struck up conversation with him. The guy had planned to fix up the car and have it painted and then sell it because he needed a truck for work. So my dad asked him how much he would sell it for without getting it painted first, because he knew it would be out of my price range after a repaint, and the guy said $300. He exchanged phone numbers with the guy because the guy said he needed to find a truck before he could sell the Fiero, but that he would call us as soon as he was ready to sell it. Later that year I picked up an 86 GT that was pretty rough but it was from Virginia so it was a very solid rust free car. During the summer I worked on cleaning it up and fixing it up, swapped the entire interior with pieces I had pulled from the junkyard. The car had 190,xxx miles on it but it ran like a top. My plan was to keep it around with intentions to do a motor swap on it some day.
I was still daily driving my 85 SE and had been stashing away parts and saving up money for paint. When I had finally purchased everything that I thought I needed and had the money saved up for a quality paint job, I discovered that the spaceframe was pretty rusty and there would be no sense in painting a car that needed structural work. At that point I was browsing the forum and came across and 87 GT that was a California car with a rebuilt motor, new trans, lots of work done on it, and it was in Indiana. So I went and looked at that car, the interior was pretty ragged out, but it was nothing I couldn't fix because the interior of my 85 SE was near perfect including new Mr. Mikes seats. So my plan was to make the 85 into a parts car and buy this 87 GT to use a daily. I stripped everything that was worth saving off of my 85 SE and sent it to the junkyard.
A couple years later I was browsing the forum again and came across a 3800SC Fiero for sale in Indiana only about an hour or so away. I had no intention of buying the car but had just commented that he needed to post some pictures to really help with the sale. The owner ended up sending me a PM with more info and offering a better price. At that point I really had to think about it, because from the list of things done on the car, I could see that a lot of money had been spent. So I started adding up everything that my 86 GT was going to need if and when I would ever do an engine swap on it, and I decided it was worth going to check out this engine swapped car. I told the owner that either way I would take pictures so he could post them in his ad, because he was in California and the car was at his parents house. I ended up purchasing the 3800SC Fiero which needed an entire interior, BUT I figured I could take the interior out of my 86 GT so that was not a deal breaker for me. I ended up selling my 86 GT with what was left of the busted up broken interior that came in my 3800SC car.
Currently I am 30 years old and I still own both my 87GT and my 87GT 3800SC. Both of which look very different than the day I picked them up.
[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 01-06-2017).]
This is a picture of my Fiero shortly after I bought it on January 15th, 2011. Growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, my brothers and I had been fans of GM muscle cars, especially GTOs. We thought Fieros were cool when they came out, but none of us ever bought one until years later. Fast forward to the mid 90s. After a divorce my youngest brother, Roger, started going through cars as fast as he went through girlfriends. Over the years he bought and sold all kinds of vehicles, including a couple Fieros. I had started a family and was living in another state at the time so I didn't see much of my brother or his Fieros, but I do remember riding in one of them once. I remember it was loud because the muffler was shot and the auto transmission really needed a fourth gear, but that's about it.
Rog sold that Fiero and bought a 1992 Beretta GTZ, which he drove for 6 months until its Quad 4 blew a head gasket and he gave it to me. I had moved back to Oklahoma to be close to my siblings. After I fixed the engine, that GTZ was my daily driver for four years. I loved that car until rust ate its body. One day in late 2010 as I was trying to figure out what to do with its engine and 5-speed, I saw a Fiero on the highway. I asked Rog what he thought about putting the GTZ's Quad/Getrag in a Fiero and he enthusiastically endorsed the idea. He told me about this forum and I started reading and looking for a car.
On January 1st, 2011, he and I drove to Fayetteville, Arkansas, two hours away, to look at a 1987 Coupe. It was still owned by the woman who'd bought it brand new. The paint was awful, it didn't run and it had no options, but it was a 5-speed car and it was 99% complete. Two weeks later we returned with my brother's pickup and a borrowed trailer and we hauled it home. I took this picture when we stopped for lunch in West Siloam Springs.
I've joked many times on this forum that I'm doing the world's slowest Quad 4 swap. I've done a lot of work on the car, but life has continued to get in the way. Major issues with other vehicles in the family prevented me from working on the car for months at a time.
That all pales in comparison to what happened in August. My kid brother, Roger, died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart problem. He was only 50. I haven't done any work on the car since then. I've gone over to the shop many, many times but just can't bring myself to accomplish anything. But I have resolved to finish the car, because I know he would want me to.
I'm sorry to relate such a sad story, but I'd like you all to know that I've found a lot of comfort in reading the forum these last five months.
[This message has been edited by Quad Raider (edited 01-07-2017).]
Dude, life is short, and you never know what may happen to shorten your own life. Let the passing of your brother be a wake up call to you to get the Fiero functional and running. The first step might be the hardest, but take that first step; do something productive to the Fiero and you will find that everything else will fall into place. Hopefully you will make the time to work on the car and get it running. Do it to honor your brother.
[This message has been edited by lateFormula (edited 01-07-2017).]
1984 Was the year I bought my first new off the show room floor car, The Pontiac Fiero. Go ahead and laugh at the pic, my wife does. I always loved mid engine cars and this is the only one I could afford then and now lol! Still have the 84 and own a 86 gt.
Its been a lot fun having a car that no one has at a car show.
I've always had a love for weird, underappreciated, or hated vehicles (AMCs, Mustang IIs, etc). My first car was one of the k-car variants, a 1993 Dodge Spirit. Twelve years later, I still have it. Loved it so much, I bought a second one, and still have that one too. It's a 1992 R/T. I won't sell it. Only 191 R/Ts were made that year, and they have some minor improvements over the '91s (150mph speedo, woodgrain interior trim, improved gear ratios). That said, it was only natural that I took an interest in the Fiero. I love my turbo mopars, but I was getting tired of the FFD layout. I wanted something different, something mid-engine, but also affordable. I didn't care for the styling of the Porsche Boxster or the MR2, but I remembered when I was in college, there was a guy who drove a Fiero GT. I liked the styling of the GTs, and it was well within price range. After I did some further research, which is when I found this forum, learned about the Fiero's unique space-frame construction w/ interchangeable plastic body, Archie's V8 conversions, and the Yellowstone Fiero, I knew I had to have one. I found an '87 GT w/ the Getrag 5spd on Craigslist near Cincinnati. It was in rough shape, and needed a transmission, battery, and brakes. I paid $900 for it, which, I admit, was probably a little too much, but it was a manual car and it was born that same year I was, so I let that cloud my judgement. I fixed the trans, and installed an LSD and Beretta gear set in the process. I also upgraded to the S10 brake booster, larger master cylinder, and larger calipers w/ drilled slotted rotors from the Fiero Store. That really made it feel a little more lively. I love the car, and I'm still restoring it. I have since also put in a 3.4 w/ a mild cam, but I don't have it running yet as I've been away in the military for quite some time. I hope to get it running when I get back and move on to the fixing the interior and body.
I was a kid, 7 or a bit older, stuck in the back seat of our 4-door boat at the time; we were on the way to pick my father up from work for some reason. Maybe we only had one car at the time? Who knows.
I was boredly staring out the window, looking at nothing in particular, right up until we were driving past the sad little car dealership(s). Cars didn't interest me at the time; most were big boring things, not worth looking at. Only this time there was some sporty little thing parked out back that actually caught my eye. I actually stared at it for the seconds it took to drive past. I liked looking at it, whatever it was. I would stare at it every time we drove past for the next few weeks or however long it sat there.
Fast forward almost a decade, when I'm at the age to get my license and start actually looking at cars as something more than just a seat to sit in with wheels that takes you places. While I didn't find myself a Fiero, I did finally find out WTF I had been staring at, and continued to drool on them when I would see them. I really wanted one.
I almost bought one when I crashed my first car, but, alas, I was seriously in debt from the university I was attending at the time, so I thought better of it. $2500 was a lot of money to me back then. Heck, I still wouldn't pay that for one, unless it was perfect. Anyway, the idea went on the back burner, but it never cooled off...I finally got one - a project car for next to nothing - another decade later...
This is a great story....I think the best one so far!
And tell your Father that the Fiero(And the Pinto!) have a better fire record than the average for all cars....And it was built under Demings TQM process...The same system the Japanese used to beat us at the quality game!
I'm an 80's and 90's kid so I have loved Fieros since I was really young. I wasn't sure what I was going to get for my first car and I drove my mom's car for the first year I had my license. One day I was with my parents at Godfather's pizza and in the parking lot was an 87 gt painted burgundy with 16" 3 spoke wheels and fog lights. I had to have it!!! I told a buddy of mine about it and he said he knew the owner. About a couple weeks later he came up to me and told me "my" car was for sale if I wanted it. Long story short I ended up buying that Fiero for my first car at 17 years old in the summer of 97. I drove it for about 3 years then sold it to my brother. A couple months later the engine took a crap and it hasn't been driven again. That was in 2001 or 02. Just 5 months ago I acquired my Fiero back along with an 85 gt 4 speed manual. I'm really pumped to get one of them back on the road. I'm going to get the 85 going first because it is more complete. The fastback is in very poor shape these days. So that's my Fiero story so far.
When I was in high school ('87ish) my cousin had bought a silver 85 2m4 and we rode around in that thing all the time, I thought it was the coolest car. About a year later he traded it in on a Indy 4spd. I thought that was the most awesome car. After graduating in '91 and shipping off to the Marines I got into lowered trucks. I owned 10 S-10's since then, currently still own one ( '95 Blazer w/Typhoon Drive-line, long story). So in 2006 I had noticed a 87 GT auto for sale, the people wanted way too much for the car so I passed. About 3 months later it was back for sale... $800..... I couldn't pass it up. It had a seriously bad spun bearing, I replaced the engine with one I had laying around from a Cavalier that I was trying to build. Got it going and spun a bearing in it again. Sold it, bought it back with a new bottom end. I then swapped in a 3800sc2 auto, loved it. In the mean time people going by the house seeing my Fiero and my friends fieros, someone stopped by alerting me to another 87 GT auto for $500...... Couldn't pass it up. A few months passed, I was not happy with either car I ended up selling both of them. About a year later i located THE car in SC. a '84 Indy Pace Car!!! Couldn't resist!!!! I bought it, currently refreshing it and swapping in a 5 speed!! I am also building a garage for the Indy and that basterdized Blazer that I created!!
First one was an '86 SE, black, auto. Bought it around '93 or so. For some reason, I don't think Fieros had even registered with us before, didnt really know they existed, So we were looking in a dealership lot one day, don't remember wat we even were looking for, but saw the car sitting in an open shop door, dash apart. We (my wife and I) found out what it was, both liked it, so bought it. Seems like we paid about $4K, had never driven one, so a bit of a leap of faith, It was a good car for us - kinda turned into my wife's car somehow. Sold it about 2002, but missed it - bought another in 2007, then another, then another,
I had been interested since the articles about the P car in the early 1980s. I was driving a Honda Accord hatchback which was a demo when I bought it. It was a great car, but I think the miles were turned back. It had 30k miles and felt like twice that. We couldn't keep it running right. So we all went car shopping and I fell in love with a little black 85 2m6 SE. It was 14,500$$ as it had all the options including WS6. We had the GM discount and I got what I thought was a good deal! The rest is history. I have had a black Fiero in the garage most of the years since. I have always regretted selling my first one after 6 and 1/2 happy years. The one I have now was built on my birthday! The Date is written on the inside of the front deck lid. I'm in love!
------------------ JJFieroFan Prior Fieros: 85 2m6 (85-91) should have kept it 85 2m6 (CLONE) (00-14) sold to a friend
Current cars: 87 Fiero GT (13-now) 07 Nissan Murano SL AWD (07-now) 15 Nissan Juke S AWD (15-now)
[This message has been edited by JJFieroFan (edited 02-05-2017).]
When I saw the title to this thread, I assumed it was about how you could get in and out of the cabin of the car without wearing out the seat bolster or kicking/breaking the dash corner. LOL.
I tried getting a mint 84 SE in 1990, but was unable to get my Camaro sold in order to purchase the Fiero. I was heartbroken, and I became obsessed after that. Finally got a much less nice 84 a year later, and ended up getting 3 more Fieros in the following few years - various models including an 86 SE, and 85GT, and an 88 Duke. Got another V6 SE when I was 29, but didn't keep it long.
Now, at 44, I have my "mint" Fiero in the model and color I always liked the most.
[This message has been edited by USMUCL (edited 02-06-2017).]
Back in 84, my best friend’s older brother bought a brand new white automatic, loaded, and my friend got to borrow it on occasion. We were both car crazy kids, big dreams, no money.
A couple of years later, he bought the car from his brother, so we spent a lot of time cruising in it….and I fell in love with the looks, and the “low to the ground road hugging feel”. Always was in the back of my mind, but when the 86 GT was introduced, I was HOOKED! I promised that one day, THIS would be mine. Well, it wasn’t until 1990 that I was ready to buy my first new car, and I was saddened by the fact that my only choice would be a used Fiero, as I was set on new. After a LOT of research, test drives, and comparisons between the 88 GT, a Camaro RS, and a new car I just learned of, an Eagle Talon TSi. I ended up with a Plymouth Laser RS Turbo (FWD twin of the Eagle TSi). No regrets, I loved every minute of that thing – still miss it today. But I always had a spot in my heart for the GT (you never forget your first love).
Fast forward to 2009 – a blue GT pulls into the parking lot where I was working at the time. I told the guy, “nice 87 you have there”, and he gives me a weird look, “You know these cars?”(He was surprised I knew it was an 87, but hey, it was factory blue, not a hard guess) We ended up talking Fieros for a while, told him I always wanted one, but never seriously considered it. He was a member of the Michigan Fiero club, and mentioned there are several nice condition GTs available very reasonably. Now the bug was firmly burrowed into my soul, so I began the search for my dream car.
Ended up with my low mileage, all stock, very good condition, 87 GT for a lot less than I thought possible (still probably overpaid though). Spent WAY more on it than I paid for it originally as I fixed every little thing to make her perfect and get her just the way “I” wanted. Can’t imagine NOT having it, though there have been a few spots that I’ve thought about selling her due to tough times, but I’ve been fortunate enough to hold on to the dream. An 87 Mera is the only thing I would ever consider replacing her with, but even THAT is unlikely, because I can’t imagine ever giving up my GT
------------------ 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
I just came across a Fiero when I was looking for a car for high school last September. Once I saw it, I knew it was mine. I looked at few other 80's cars such as 1987 supra non turbo and a 1986 nissan 300zx non turbo but my 1986 Fiero GT beats them all I feel. It's very cool to be part of a very small group of people. Heck I don't even know if there is another one in the Spokane, Washington area. Being a sophmore in high school and owning a fiero is pretty dang cool.
In the fall 1983 at 28 years of age, I'd been following the development closely of the new P-car in car magazines with great anticipation. Finally they arrived at the dealerships. and I went with my dad to test drive one; oh what a disappointment. You see, I drove a 1979 Datsun 280Z at the time, and was looking to replace it with a mid-engined sports car, the Fiero, built in america, hoping it to be an approximation of a Maserati Merak, or Lamborghini Uracco, even a Ferrari 308. I wanted to give an american sportscar a chance, the Corvette was new in 1984 too, but it was unproven and alot more than the Fiero.
But that was OK, I decided that a used 1980 Porsche 911 would satiate my desire for increased performance beyond the 280Z. In hindsight the C4 would have fit the bill (as it lived up to or exceeded expectaions), but it was still a bit more money than my used 911. One day while driving home from work in the spring of 1985 (by this time I had all but forgotten about and vaquely followed the production development of the Fiero), driving on the expressway, enjoying my spirited drive in my Porsche, I came upon a new 1985 Fiero GT trying to merge onto the expressway from an on-ramp. Ha, I thought, "not in front of me you won't". I downshifted and floored it to make sure he wouldn't enter infront of me. Well FFS, that car gave me a fit, it was actually pressing me hard, in fact I was barely able to hold him off. Life went on, I attended many Porsche Club events, got married, traveled extensively, bought a sailboat, and sold the Porsche to buy a larger condo.
After a few years, I wanted a little sportscar again, but I couldn't afford a Posche or a Corvette without increasing my debtload beyond my comfort level. And that's when that memory from 1985 reared it's head, and it dawned on me, that perhaps a 1985 Fiero GT would keep me satisfied for a few years till I could afford a Porsche again.
And so, I acquired an 85GT, and was actually quite content and entertained for the next few years. A friend of mine (he is a legend in our community for his mechanical ingenuity) had an 88GT that I admired because of it's fastback roofline, but also because he modified it extensively, lowered, gutted, and engine mods to the tune of some $8000 in parts alone. Bored, stroked, knife-edged forged crank balanced to 9000rpm, big oil pump, and extended oil pan, weiseco pistons with zero-gap rings, sodium filled vaves, titanium retainers, Crower high-lift cam, and Crane narrow roller rockers, MSD ignition with spark advance/retard control in cocpit. It had an Offenhauser dualplane intake manifold with Holley 450cfm double pump carburetor and NOS setup. Everything on this engine was for sprint-car specification, yet somehow he was able to make it streetable, it was the most predictable and fluid car I have ever driven to this day. For 10 years I begged him to sell it to me and finally in the fall of 2000 he did. I drove that car as a fun toy once or twice a week (spring and summer)early saturday or sunday, for an hour or so. That was all you could tolerate, it was a very intense, high strung car, and loud (even though I tamed the exhaust somewhat) and despite it's predictability, you had to pay attention unwaiveringly.
Eventually, my interest lagged, mainly because I bought a larger sailboat and a cottage up north (to escape those oppressively hot summer days) that took up more of my time, and I discovered I'd rather now be sailing on those sunny days. So, from 2007 to 2009 that 88 Fiero sat, outside no less (and winters are harsh where I live), neglected, and without cover. Then in early december of 2009, out of the blue, a stranger approached me and offered to buy the car, he drove by the car twice daily for couple years noticing it hadn't moved, and I told him I really wasn't interested in selling (hoping my interest in the car would return). However, I knew it would be a while yet before I'd get back into Fiero's, and reluctantly sold in to him, if only to avoid watching the car deteriorate beyond affordable repair. Believe it when I tell you, that after 2 full years sitting outside, that car started at first crank and only required a new battery. It was below freezing when he first started it, and it had 2 year old 94 octane gasoline and 3 year old syntheic oil in it. Most surprising, was the sunroof never leaked!! Off he drove, and I saw it once fleetingly driving by a year later, and have never seen or heard of it since.
I often thought of that car, even regreted selling it, as a good rust free example is rare to see, and perhaps even valuable to some, even though mine had been heavily modified.
Some health issues arose in 2012, I had surgery and fully recovered, but that motivated me to retire early. I also decided that I didn't need both a cottage and a sailboat. So, because the sailboat was costing me more to keep just in annual maintainance, winter storage and summer dockage, than the cottage was with almost an acre of land, I decided the boat would go. I could use the cottage alot more than 3 months of summer sailing. So, March 1, 2013 I retired, sold the boat, and....... became restless, lol.
Now with al this new found time on my hands, and just having built a nice garage and workshop at my cottage, what better way to fill the garage and my time than with another sportscar. Hmmm, a Porsche Boxster/Cayman or an 88 Fiero GT would be perfect about then. I eventually settled on finding a pristine stock 1988 Fiero GT with a 5-speed with which to do the carshow circuit in my region. I felt I would enjoy promoting the virtues and intent of this eclectic american sportscar experiment, and try to dispell many of the rumours and falsehoods that have maligned Hulki Aldikacti and his team's vision.
So, for almost 2 years I searched, and visited within a 500 mile radius of my home, a number of stock 88 Fiero GT candidates, and became discouraged, as most were automatics, and the 5-speeds needed attention. In fact, they all needed some wrenching, if it wasn't vacuum leaks it was seized parking brake cables for sure. I did not want to work on it unless it was washing a waxing.
April 2015 rolls around and all through the winter searching, I had become frustrated with finding a perfect stock 88GT for the car show season.. But I did see a number of 3800SC swapped GT's advertised that I was overlooking, and so I looked into this swap thing on Pennocks. I found it had become quite common throughout the new milenium, and I noticed too, that brake upgrades went along with it sometimes, as well it should.
Of course one ad eventually stands out, right? As advertised, a mint, low mileage, 5-speed, 3800SC 1988 Fiero GT, with FieroGuru 13" brake upgrade and poly'd suspension, and there it was, 3 hrs away. Called and arranged for immediate viewing, drove the 3 hrs, and just when I got there it starts to rain. Even so, the car being in the garage, I could see that this owner who did this swap, had done a meticulous installation along with the brake swap. It looked factory. He started it up, and it was just like a Pontiac GTP, quiet but with an authoratative low rumble, suggesting we go for a ride. I declined, because I knew right then this car was going to be mine, and it was going to avoid rain if possible so long as I owned it, like it had under all of the previous owners, garaged all its life with only 57,000km (35,000miles).
Now, from the photos in the advert and talking to the owner on the phone, I knew I was probably going to buy this jewel. Upon viewing and noticing the attention to detail that he bestowed upon this engine and brake swap, a test drive was not necessary for me to feel comfortable in purchasing this example. I gave him a significant amount of cash (50%) on the spot, he was firm on his asking price, and I respect that, he had every right to do so, mainly because it was done correctly.
I returned 2 weeks later with my friends, paid the balance and drove a flawless ride home. It drove like a new car, as advertised, and I realized that this car really was what the Fiero GT could have become. It definetly approaches C5 Corvette quickness (at least up to legal speeds), with brakes to match. Even without traction control or ABS, this car is impressive, very entertaining, and you can enjoy driving it every day. Certainly you can get into some serious trouble with this car, as getting into the boost is highly addictive, and of course driving it hard regularily will sooner than later uncover the inherent weaknesses of the Getrag and the front wheel bearings. All these would have been addressed appropriately by the engineers at the time, and redesigned accordingly, and so also, the exterior design would evolve, as the 1990 Prototype exemplified.
Kudos to the Pennocks community for laying the groundwork and promoting improvements and innovations for the Fiero exclusively. There are some masterful DIY'ers here that continue to inspire us to keep, maintain, improve and be "proud" of our Fiero's. Somebody once said, "I'm not the owner, I'm just the caretaker" It applies here because of the 6,800 or so 88 GT's produced, how many remain in relatively pristine condition after 29 years? Not many I venture to guess, and I don't expect them to be all that valuable a collector car either. To me, unless we take care of the few good examples left, there may be none left to be worth collecting, and that would leave the Fiero as just a footnote in automotive history. That would not be right.
I had been interested in buying a new Fiero in 1984 but the Pontiac dealers were not willing to work with me. Some of them were marking the price up over the sticker so I passed and decided to wait until I could find a good used one. When the 1986 came out with the 5 speed transmission I decided to go back and take another look.. It seems that by then the dealers were working to clear the lot and they were very much willing to deal so I purchased a new 1986 GT with the 5 speed from Mike Salta Pontiac in Long Beach, Ca and then I joined the FOCOA. I still have the Fiero and it has got right at 50k miles on it. I had also bought a Fiero Indy with the 4 speed and replaced the engine but later sold it. I still regret that.