Remember the Fiero

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Thread: Remember the Fiero

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    News Contributor Premium Member EJD1984's Avatar
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    Remember the Fiero

    Remember the Fiero
    GM’s first mid-engine car shares at least one thing with the new C8 Corvette. Okay, only one thing.
    Car and Driver
    By John Huffman
    Oct 19, 2019



    “Back then we were so bereft of good domestic cars it seemed like a ray of hope,” my C/D compatriot Rich Ceppos recalls. “So everyone hoped it would be something else. But it was crap.”

    On the occasion of GM’s introduction of its second mid-engine car, the new 2020 C8 Corvette, let’s take a few solemn moments to remember the first one. That would be the 1984 Pontiac Fiero; a car that in its day was as eagerly anticipated as the C8. Maybe even more so. And Rich Ceppos, who wrote of our first contact with the long-awaited C8, was also there to write up the first Fiero way back when.

    Pontiac anticipated selling somewhere near 30,000 Fieros that first model year. Instead it shipped 136,840 out to eager buyers. That’s an astonishing number. Corvette sales peaked at 53,807 in the 1979 model year. As far as my research takes me, the 1984 Fiero holds the single-year record for the most sales of any two-seat sports car ever sold in the United States.

    Then all the compromises made in developing the Fiero began shining through. According to a 1988 post-mortem in the Los Angeles Timesafter the Fiero’s cancellation, the car was developed on a strict $300 million budget. “We weren’t able to get the extra $40 to $60 million we needed to finish it off exquisitely,” recalled Karl Krapek, who had been the manager of car assembly operations as the Fiero was being developed.

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    emh
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    Re: Remember the Fiero

    Quote Originally Posted by EJD1984 View Post
    Pontiac anticipated selling somewhere near 30,000 Fieros that first model year. Instead it shipped 136,840 out to eager buyers.
    Whoa, was GM manufacturing nimble enough back then to adjust volume up 4.5x from plan within a year or is this revisionist history (i.e., Pontiac knew going in the demand was going to be huge)?

    Regardless, I'd say the Fiero shares at least 2 things with the C8 (not one): they are both great designs as well. IMO, the Fiero still looks good today.
    "The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion" -- John Lawton

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    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC Raydar's Avatar
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    Re: Remember the Fiero

    It still frosts my posterior that the Fiero was cancelled, but that's typical GM. Let the public be the beta testers. Then, when you finally get it right, kill it.
    I still miss Pontiac. So many things that could have been.
    To this day, GM doesn't sell anything else that remotely interests me. (I almost bought a 2018 Silverado, before they ran out, and then changed to the gawdawful body style they have now. Ended up buying a 2019 Ram.)
    But yeah... I own two Fieros. Both 1988s. One has a Cadillac V8 and a 5 speed. The other is about to receive a DOHC 3.4, also with a 5 speed.

    The C8? Lots of comparisons have been made to the Fiero. To the complete annoyance of most Fiero fans, and probably to the Corvette fans as well.
    But I still want to go and buy one, and plaster Fiero badges all over it.

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    88Fiero (01-24-2020),Mr.Buttons (01-15-2020)

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    Re: Remember the Fiero

    They really had something here and failed to realize it to a degree I think. It would have been nice with the demise of Pontiac that this could have somehow morphed its way over to one of the other still alive divisions, like say Chevrolet. Just a thought.

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    Re: Remember the Fiero

    Thanks EJD1984 for sharing this Fiero perspective, of budget limitations and failed intentions.

    By association, this reminded me very much of the tragically never produced Rover P9; an advanced, precient, and eminently USA exportable - yet lamentably still-born - mid-engined V8 sporty 'personal car' from the 1960s which held so much potential!

    To its Marque and related UK Industry, mid-engined P9 V8 remains one of those desperately great 'if only's..'

    There is much further P9 info availabe online for enthusiasts of nostalgia.

    Intro yourself to P9 via this superb UK website:
    https://www.aronline.co.uk/concepts-...er-p9-gallery/

    The most enticing Rover that never was?

    To highlight Rover's advanced engineering intentions (pre takeover) please enjoy this dreamy vintage film (link also courtesy of above website) portraying genuinely in-extremis testing (!) on public motorways of a Rover prototype featuring Anti-Roll suspension.





    Hoping my post is 'in spirit'
    Last edited by nota; 01-15-2020 at 03:14 AM.
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    Re: Remember the Fiero

    ^^ that P9 had serious oversteer ^^ almost makes the CORVAIR look tame in comparison !!!

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    Re: Remember the Fiero

    Quote Originally Posted by 1958carnut View Post
    They really had something here and failed to realize it to a degree I think. It would have been nice with the demise of Pontiac that this could have somehow morphed its way over to one of the other still alive divisions, like say Chevrolet. Just a thought.
    It did..just 30-40 years later and hellamore expensive.

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    Re: Remember the Fiero

    The Fiero still looks good. Especially with the fastback.

    It was kind of hurt by it's looks. People saw it, expected a fast, slick little car. When it came out, GM called it a commuter car, something small and easy to park. Perfect for a daily commute. I suppose they were saying that in part because the thing had no power and handled atrociously. It was not fun to drive and in reality was the most basic of transportation. My sister had an '84 and I was really psyched to drive it. What a letdown. She didn't like it either.

    The only other time I drove one was when I considered buying an '88 GT. This was around 2003. Now that was the car that the looks always promised. Quick, nimble, and just such a looker with that fastback. What a shame they gave up. (And sort of a shame that I didn't buy it.) The reputation was hurt badly by the early cars, but it was too soon to call it quits.
    Last edited by ksr; 01-23-2020 at 11:18 AM.
    Drives a 2019 Cadillac ATS Coupe and a 1988 Pontiac Trans Am GTA.

    In the past, I've had a 5th gen Camaro, a CTS sedan and coupe, two 3rd gen Firebird Formulas, a convertible 4th gen Trans Am, a Reatta, a couple of Monte Carlos, an Avenger coupe, a couple of Cavalier hatchbacks, a Saturn SC1, and a Cherokee.

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