1985 Pontiac Fiero GT 2.8 from North America

Summary:

Fun, fun, fun!

Faults:

Currently undergoing a mechanical & cosmetic restoration to the cruiser/fun car level.

The untouched 175k motor (still had GM part#'s on every part and gasket besides water pump, belts, and tune-up parts) needed only to have those things replaced and leaky gaskets changed. Runs as good now as a new car.

Had been parked for a year because of overheating due to a cheap aftermarket plastic impeller water pump. Also needed a TCC solenoid. Last major mechanical problem to fix is to trace down an A/C leak and finish the retrofit to R134a.

General Comments:

Fun, inexpensive enthusiasts' car. Underappreciated and undervalued. Undeserved negative reputation. Great, but small community of fans willing to help and share knowledge. A handful of great vendors to support the car.

Much easier to work on than most think. One of the easiest and least expensive cars out there to upgrade and mod. Tons of proven mods with plenty of DIY info out there. Nearly any GM transverse-mount 4 or 6 cylinder engine can be swapped in relatively easy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th January, 2019

3rd Feb 2019, 04:47

Very nice review.

This is a true parts bin car.

The downside is its refinement due to the mix of Chevette (T-Body) and Citation (X-Body) parts.

The upside is its repair needs are easily addressed by its mix of Chevette (T-Body) and Citation (X-Body) parts.

Given it has a 2.8 V6, keep up with coolant flushes and be careful to not let it overheat. Head gasket integrity is not too strong on the fuel injected Chevy 60-degree V6. Aluminum heads on a cast iron block did not auger well at that time.

Other than the TCC solenoid, the TurboHydraMatic 125c is a good transmission - I worked for a Buick dealer for 4 years, and other than the TCC solenoid, no problems - a refreshing change from the other GM transmissions of that era.

Enjoy!!!

3rd Feb 2019, 11:55

So, the upside is the downside, and the downside is the upside?

What about the 1988 model with the redesigned suspension? Would that be the upside-down-side?

4th Feb 2019, 21:30

These came out when I was in elementary school and at the time as a kid I thought they were very cool. The issue the Fierro had was the same as many GM products of the time. What had started as a very promising program wound up being ruined by bean counting and cost cutting. The suspension and braking systems were awful seeing as how they just took the same parts used on much cheaper cars like the Chevette.

It's a shame because the plug was pulled only 4 years after introduction.

10th Feb 2019, 04:25

The 1988 Fiero was a much improved vehicle that didn't get a fair shot at survival.

Quality was getting better, as they refined the X-Car/T-bits that comprised the car, as they underpinned other cars that sold more units, and would move the needle for the company's reputation as a whole.

Moreover, the suspension kinematic improvements in particular made for a much nicer vehicle to drive. Suspension geometry is critical when you have a tail-heavy, mid-engine car, and the critics liked what the engineers did.

It's sad GM pulled the plug on this car when they finally got it right.

Too many MBAs in The Corptrate Anthill methinks ;)

1985 Pontiac Fiero SE 2.8 from North America

Summary:

Handles like a Ferrari, and is fun as heck to drive!

Faults:

No problems yet. The stock stereo wasn't working upon purchase. But when I installed a nice Kenwood CD deck, I realized that the connections had just come apart. So it actually worked fine, and I've saved it for the lucky individual that eventually buys it from me.

General Comments:

I've owned my 1985 Fiero SE for a month so far, and I am TOTALLY impressed with this rig! It sounds super tough at an idle, and when punching it.

It has a TON of torque, and the ridiculously light body enables it to jump like a rocket. The 4 speed has very long gears, and will do 75 mph in 2nd without getting near the 5500 RPM redline.

The stock headrest speakers sound excellent, and you don't need to turn it up loud at all, because being that they are mounted in the headrests and are right in your face, it sounds loud at even modest volume.

Mine with a 2.8 V6, is getting 25.7 MPG, even with my foot in it hard!

These cars deserve to have nice wheels with low profile tires. The low pro's make it corner and generally handle like it's on rails, or on velcro! It corners scary fast and with precision.

This car gets stares constantly, and is a blast to drive.

I've bought a second one, same year, in meticulously PERFECT condition with only 42,040 miles on it, and it looks identical to my 1st one; I bought it because it's flawless and without a single blemish; a true 100 point car! I'm not even driving the new one. It is only going to be worth a ton 10 or 15 years down the road.

But I'm going to enjoy the heck out of driving my 1st one with 69.5k miles on it. It is an awesomely fast and fun car, equally fun as my 1989 MR2, but with more stomp (torque).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2012

16th Aug 2012, 16:15

Really hard to accept Ferrari comparisons with something that has all of 140 hp and a Chevette-based front suspension.

16th Aug 2012, 17:58

If any Fiero's ever have good value as a true collector's car, it will be the 1988 six cylinder models, when Pontiac finally got everything (including the front suspension right). The earlier models had far too primitive a front suspension, and just did not handle as a sports car should. Not surprising, because early on the Fiero was planned to be a "commuter car", not a true sports car. However Pontiac decided to give it a decent sporty car treatment, and actually got it right in 1988, just before they killed off this fun little runabout.

I sold Pontiacs in that era, and believe me, the 88's were the best of the bunch. They weren't perfect, but they finally displayed handling worthy of their good looks.

I always liked those speakers in the headrests, as well.

Engine accessibility was another story, and do watch out for those "space frames" underneath the plastic bodies, as they do rust out.

17th Aug 2012, 09:54

Well, like a modern Ferrari, these did have a thing for catching on fire.

17th Aug 2012, 14:24

Have you ever driven a Ferrari? I was only 21 when I was allowed to have a go in the 348tb, which left a massive impression on me, and I also had the owner with me by the way :P.

But I can't imagine a Pontiac that was pretty much thrown together being similar in character to the bespoke Ferrari. I may be wrong, but I'm confused.

18th Aug 2012, 12:13

Thank you, I was trying to be diplomatic by calling the front suspension "primitive", but you are right on - the early models had Chevette front suspensions.

This is a case of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear - or more accurately, making a Ferrari out of a Fiero.