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Old 02-13-2008, 02:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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V-8 Fiero w/suicide doors.

I was talking to a vendor and the conversation went as it always does to cars. He said he belonged to a Fiero car club and that his car has a Corvette V8 in it and gets 300+hp, but still "handles like it's on rails". Sounded interesting and asked him to send me some pics.

To my understanding the later Fieros were actually pretty decent cars. Could this car possibly give our beloved Lotus a run for it's money?
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wanted one sooo badly when I was 18. American car, tons of support for them, but they had a problem with over heating and catching on fire.

Ive been in one or two. Dont think they could hang with the Elise.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ive been in one or two. Dont think they could hang with the Elise.
This car is not stock.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The last year (1988)of Fiero's had the "Lotus Tuned" suspension from when Lotus was owned by GM...fairly decent cars.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, it didnt look like he "boxed in" the pressed steel suspension parts, not to mention the fact that the frame has been cut up and re-welded further increasing the chance of flex. Most of the suspension is stock, but it does use Caddy and LeBarron brakes. Im sure those rotors and calipers could not stand a lot of heat.

With the extra weight (he has the LT-1 not the aluminum head LS-1) and its 2x torque, I do not think the suspension could handle it on the track.

But what do I know?
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The extra engine weight was just 85 lbs. from stock

Don't know how much those suicide doors added. I always question what some people will do to their cars. Of course I've converted my front half to an Exige. Something that 90% of the population wouldn't even notice unless they were on this forum.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have driven one high-school girlfriend's Fiero (when I was 17...). It actually handled very well and was much fun. Hard to smooch in it though. Come to think of it, maybe that's why her dad got it for her.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I still own an 86' Fiero GT. Much heavier than the Elise but the v6 is a torqie motor and the car still handles pretty good. Not on par with Lotus and even if GM owned Lotus at the time, the suspension of the 88's was designed in-house by GM. The Fiero was a good match for the MR2 but put 400+ hp and upgrade the brakes and it could be a fun autocross car.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I wanted one sooo badly when I was 18. American car, tons of support for them, but they had a problem with over heating and catching on fire.

Ive been in one or two. Dont think they could hang with the Elise.
I actually had an '84. The fire problem had nothing to do with overheating, per se.

There was a recall for them because of this fire hazard. The way the dealer who did my recall explained it to me, was along the lines of a bunch of people who know nothing about cars bought these things, then neglected maintenance, never checked the oil. In his quaint way he suggested it was because the motor was in the back, and people simply forgot about it being back there. Oil would run low, engine would blow, throwing rods through the block. What oil was left would spew forth onto the exhaust manifold and voila, melting plastic car. That's what he actually told me.

The recall was...true story...they simply put an extra quart of oil in the car and put in a new dipstick marked to reflect the new oil level.

When I went to pick my car up after the recall, the service manager told me that very day they had done the recall on another car, was test driving it afterwards, and the thing caught fire. Burned to the ground on the side of the road.

Good thing about the recall though, was that Pontiac fixed virtually anything else in the engine compartment at the same time, for free. I had an oil leak, and a couple of other problems they took care of, at the time had about 100K on the car.

Anyway, I got 150K miles out of mine, drove it all over the place for work. When it was time to sell, I advertised in local paper. Guy called and wanted to come look. The guy shows up, his face was pretty badly burn scarred, his arms were covered in nylon material that burn victims often wear. Anticipating my reaction (I was hoping it wasn't obvious), he told me he had been in a car fire, and was now looking for a car. I asked him if he knew about the Fiero's rep re burning up, and he said yup.

Ok, he bought it at my asking price.

Two weeks later, the car caught fire and burned down to the wheels.

Oh, and no. Under no circumstances would a Fiero keep up with an Elise/Exige. I don't care what motor you put in it.

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Old 02-13-2008, 05:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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he certainly has made an interesting car.
nice workmanship.
the man's got talent.
someone could pick a fault with any car.
i wonder what he could do with an elise.....
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I owned an '86 Fiero. One of the most reliable cars I've ever owned. I'll never forget the night it went below zero and I went out and my Fiero started and all the BMWs, Hondas, etc. were RRRRRRR,RRRRRRR,RRRRRRR. Mine, one click and a RR and it was running. Hah.

It handled well, but certainly not Lotus like. It was pretty close to 50-50 balance and a bit hairy when the roads were slick. But I drove it round the calendar and it did ok in snow if one didn't turn too hard.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The Fireo seemed like a good idea, just done wrong.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The Fireo seemed like a good idea, just done wrong.
In some ways it was a VERY good idea...ease of body repair and cheaply swapping out body panels if there was damage. Interior as I remember was a fairly friendly and sporty environment. In it's time, when it first hit the street, it looked every bit as different and exotic as the Elise does now.

But it was underpowered, overweight, and the steering was not at all sporting.

That said, it was my daily driver for 3+ years and 150K miles (drive a lot for work), and it really didn't cost me much to run. Looked as good the day I sold it as the day I bought it.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I had an '87 GT and to be honest, it was great. I swapped the suspension, did some early welding lessons on suspension components (boxing) and kept dreaming of a 400 cubic inch V8...and sold it.

As the saying goes...*...the two happiest days of my life - the day I (bought the Fiero) and the day (divorc...err sold the Fiero)...*

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Old 02-13-2008, 07:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I had an 87 Fiero GT as well w a 5 speed. Love/Hate relationship..fun to drive but went thru 2 transmissions/3 clutches..always in the shop. Sadly was tboned at an intersection in San Antonio. RIP

Coworker of mine had an 84 and had to deal w the infamous cracked block issue. I remember a blurb in the Fiero newsletter stating how to deal with the Pontiac/GM regional service mgr. in getting claims covered under warranty
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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stef and i had an 87 gt. great car! it had problems, but we were lucking in finding a local guy that only worked on them! it got almost as much attention as the elise. every time we went out we would be stopped by someone asking about the car. miss that car, we traded it on the blazer, i think we got 300$ for it. and that was a week after we put a new 1200 dollar clutch in.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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wow pretty nice. I really like the design of the last year (don't know what year that was)
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I always though they looked cool. Don't forget all of the electrical gremlins these had and the pop up headlights that constantly failed. My dad had one and what a mechanical nightmare.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I had an 87... owned it for ten years, never had any problems with it really. Fell in love with it in high school (well, the fastback GT-- but I couldnt afford that model). I even mentioned it my blurb under my senior photo. Now I look at photos of Fieros and they don't seem quite as sexy as they were back then. Still, it was a fun car. I guess I was lucky with mine since it was trouble free.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think it was a great idea of a car. Smart is taking a few Q's from the Fiero. The first year it came out I saw it at the SF auto show. They had a pendulum with a bowling ball at the end of it. It was for demonstrating the dent proof body parts. They would raise the ball let it go and boink it would hit the door leaving it without a dent.
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