But enough of that. I'm definitely in the first camp of Fiero lovers, the ones that appreciate the car because of its quirks, not despite them. The very low-slung design of the coupe, coupled with the placement of the engine behind the driver, meant that the Fiero handled a bit like a Go-Kart, and held the road extremely well. However, the relatively pedestrian source of much of the suspension and driveline components (the Chevrolet Citation and Chevette donated many parts!) also meant that the acceleration and handling of the original models left a little to be desired. I myself found it quite entertaining, but if you hit a bump in mid-corner, things got a bit wonky. The first model only came equipped with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, which didn't really have its place in a car that looked so sporty. Legend has it that General Motors wouldn't approve a Pontiac sports car that might rival the legendary Chevrolet Corvette, so the Fiero was designed more as a commuter car than an all-out sports car.
I have been participating for years on an automotive forum, and more than a decade ago made the acquaintance of Ken, from Michigan. Back in 1988 Ken purchased a brand new Fiero GT, and has kept it ever since. When he heard that I was coming to Michigan this month for work, he kindly invited me to see his car. We first joined another forum member, Jason, in a visit to the Gilmore Car Museum near Kalamazoo. We spent a great day checking out some truly impressive old cars and displays. But obviously the highlight of the day was getting to see Ken's Fiero.
We spent a good moment in the driveway discussing the car. It had 75,000 original miles, and ran like a top. The years hadn't been kind to the paint, which was starting to fade a bit, but overall the car was in excellent shape. It was pretty clear Ken wasn't looking to sell, and I didn't think it would be polite to steal the car of someone so kind, so I handed him back the keys knowing that one day I would buy my own Fiero GT.
You never forget your first love, which is why I am so excited to have had this chance. Thanks Ken and Jason, it was a super weekend, and it rekindled my love of the Fiero! Time isn't the friend of old cars, but there are still Fieros to be found. At some point, somewhere, somehow, I WILL own one of these GT models. Some dreams should come true!