1986 Pontiac Fiero 2.5L Iron Duke from North America
Still stylish, slow, but very economical
Its important to note here that I bought this car from a junkyard and the engine that was in it at the time was blown. I also did all of the work myself, so no labour cost is factored in. All price estimates are in CDN.
Replaced engine with another Fiero engine. $200 and my time.
Replaced all of the brake lines, not because they needed to be replaced, I just felt better if I did them. $40.
Replaced brake pads, rotors and calipers all the way around. $500.
New fuel pump: $150.
Replaced clutch slave, installed new one to replace 19 year old original. $70.
Replaced lower outside transmission oil seal. $20.
Like I stated above I purchased this car from a junkyard as it was going to be scrapped.
When I hit the 10th grade I gained this affinity for Fieros. I don't know why or how, just one day that's all I found myself talking about.
I finally bought one in my final year of high school and stored it in my grandfathers garage while I fixed it up. My intentions originally were to modify it and make essentially an older car with brand new parts, a new high performance engine and some kind of modern styling. By the time I was done I had nothing close to that.
My grandfather passed away about 2 years into the project and I was forced to move my car out of his garage. With no where else to store it I had to rush to get the car road ready so I could drive it. I purchased a used engine and all of the parts I felt would not allow it to pass an Ontario Safety check and quickly replaced them.
I took the car in to get it safety checked and it passed first time through. I got insurance and drove it home that day.
This car has been my daily driver for 2 years now. I couldn't have asked for a more reliable vehicle. It has never once broken down and left me stranded on the side of the road. Which for being 20 years old I'm quite impressed.
I abuse this car. I constantly am flooring it, revving it into the red-line, taking hard turns and braking quickly. It has never once whined for me to stop. Which brings me to the engine. This car is so underpowered it is ridiculous. I get beat at stop lights by school buses. They whiz past me in a blur of yellow and black.
Because the engine is so underpowered I get great gas mileage. I hit at least 37 mpg on most tanks. I find I get about 40 on higher octane gas.
This car is good looking as well, for being 20 years old it still turns heads. Most people, and I honestly don't know how, mistake it for an Italian super car. I don't know how many times I hear "nice Ferrari" or "nice Lotus" in a week.
The interior is terrible by today's standards, but back then it was probably top notch. The seats are comfortable, the cloth tears easily, so I bought new leather seat covers for them, which fit snug and look beautiful. The speakers suck, so does the stereo, but I can live with that. The worst thing about the interior is the throw distance on the manual shifter. The distance between 1st and 2nd is at least 6 inchs. Which after a lot of traffic causes you to develop tennis elbow.
This car handles very well. I can hold tight turns at 60kms without feeling like the car is going to spin. The only problem comes when you do actually lose control. I took a corner hard in the rain once with older bald tires and I lost it. The car spun a full 540 and ended up on the other side of the road, facing the opposite direction, one tire in the grass and the other 3 on the shoulder. Luckily no one else was on the road at the time. So a rule of thumb, do not drive like an idiot in the rain.
Since I have been driving the car I have only replaced the clutch slave cylinder, the brake pads and a fan belt. That's it. A total of maybe $300.
Overall, this may be one of the best cars I will ever own. I don't intend to sell it any time soon, but I do intend to resume to original project once I have some storage space. If you have a chance, pick one of these up just as a fun weekend car. They are very cheap and if you can find the right person to work on it, they are easy to take care of.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th September, 2007