As the saying goes "Eventually everything gets old enough it becomes collectible" In the case of the much criticized Pontiac Fiero that proves to be true. Launched in 1983 as an econo commuter car the Fiero proved to be much better than its's off the shelf gaggle of GM X-Car and Chevy Citation parts.
Designed by George Milidrag and Hulki Aldikacti as a sports car. GM didn't want to market it that way in fear a plastic bodied sports car would steal some thunder from the Flagship Corvette. With a new Oil Crisis looming the GM Beancounters seen an opportunity to market the Mid Engine Smallish car as a fuel-efficient sporty commuter car. That both helped and doomed the Fiero all at the same time.
To help with costs The General used off the shelf parts despite it radical plastic body. Suspension and brakes were borrowed from the very frumpy Chevy Citation aka the X-Body. The only engine of choice in 1984 was the frugal but low revving 2.5 Liter Iron Duke 4 Cylinder. Not a bad engine but its design first arrived at GM in the early 1960's.
The slug like Iron Duke was fed thru a Rochester 2 Barrel Feedback Carburetor whilst most of the Fiero's sporty competition was fuel injected. Sports car drivers who purchased a Fiero were let down by the low rpm's and tractor like smoothness. Despite the Fiero did prove to an MPG leader. A 4 speed manual trans Fiero 2M4 could squeeze out a Al Gore A Smiling 40mpg on the highway. Sales were good the first year. A total of 136,480 Fiero's found new owners in 1984.
As with things GM of the 1980's the poor little Fiero had reliability issues. The Ole Iron Duke was prone to failures due to heavy footed drivers thinking it was a Porsche. Over revving The Duke till it would puke. GM would later update the owners manual with a warning of not to go above 4800rpm. The early 1984's were prone to engine fires. GM must of fixed the problem because late 1984's and 1985' didn't have the problem or not so bad of a problem.
GM continued to improve the Fiero. A silky 2.8 Liter V6 was added as was a GT model and upgraded Ferrari like body work. As usual when GM starts to get something right it stops making it. The last Fiero rolled off the assembly line in 1988.
Even with it's quirks the Fiero remains popular with a core group of enthusiasts who covet and collect them. The Fiero because its easy to bolt on and off body panel is a favorite of Kit Car Makers since it's debut.
Our feature 1984 Pontiac Fiero 2M4 SE has only traveled 43k miles since new. It has the chunky 4 speed manual transmission and no A/C. It's current owner says the car runs and drives like new. Despite it's X-Car roots it did drive wonderful, felt very well built and sorted out. As reported the Ole Iron Duke is no VVT-I Civic but plods along nicely if you don't rush it. We say watch the marketplace because people are starting to figure out Fiero's are kinda cool.