Pontiac Fiero – the Car Truth Report – Car Comedy / Commentary / News etc.


It’s 33 years old, wears fake designer clothes,
has flip up headlights, and is probably worth less than 1000 dollars. Are we talking about your adult live-in son,
or the Pontiac Fiero?  Find out today on the car truth report. Today on the Car Truth Report, we’re riding
the rad riptide of 80’s nostalgia by taking a look back at the Pontiac Fiero! I’m your host and pragmatic four cylinder
fanatic, Noor Elahi bringing you the Car Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,
unless we get it wrong. Thank your for joining us. The Pontiac Fiero was introduced in 1983 as
the mid-engined four cylinder American car that was too beautiful for this world — sealed
beam flip-up headlights and all! Around the time Lee Iacocca coined the word
“reliability” — look it up — Pontiac decided it would be smart to make a coupe
with an anemic American engine to compete with similar European offerings like the Porsche
9-whatever. Pontiac used the much loathed Iron Duke engine
to power the base Fiero, which was also found in the 1st and worst 4cyl Camaro. The 2.5L pushrod carbureted Iron Duke made
an embarrassing 92 horsepower. A couple of grand extra could have gotten
you a V6, but this wasn’t what the car WANTED. What it WANTED was the aluminum, dual overhead
cam Quad 4, which made a much less pathetic 150 HP, and was introduced in 1987. Remember, this was back in those dark days
when a V8 Corvette made 230hp. As a matter of fact, give a thumbs up if you
think the Fiero would have had a fighting chance with the Quad4 motor, or a small block
for that matter. So what was GM thinking? How did they plan to sell their tiny little
slow-machine? Well, the Fiero actually had a couple of decent
selling points. It was born from the 1979 Oil Crisis as a
small commuter car, like the frog-faced three Ford Escort EXP. With the 2.5L Iron Duke chug-chug-chugging
away in back, it  managed up to 50 miles per gallon in manual trim. But most of all, it looked hot! Even today, Wikipedia – or as we like to call
it, the Car Truth Report Investigative Department – compares it to the Ferrari 308GTB. As time went by, mid-westerners such as myself
saw in this little car a thrifty sporting competitor to the sleek imports such as Toyota’s
contemporary MR2. GM borrowed bits from their existing lineup
such as the rear suspension and powertrain from the Chevrolet Citation, and the front
suspension from the Chevette; a seemingly regrettable decision today but one that ultimately,
kept the production costs low.  It should be noted that the suspension was
updated on later models It was this affordability, and it’s engine
placement that gave birth to the Fiero’s real claim to fame as the base for a million
kit cars. Late 20th Century car magazines were awash
with back page ads for Fiero body kits. For a few thousand dollars and two years of
weekends you could build yourself a replica Italian exotic.  Results may vary.  Even today if you see a Flamborghini or
Fauxarri at your local car show, There’s a good chance it’s a Fiero. The Fiero is also a favorite candidate for
engine swaps, the most popular being the chevy small block v8.  Let’s look at one here. Regular Car Reviews once said that Pontiac
killed the dream of low-priced, mid-engined American cars and in many ways they’re right,
but I have to fundamentally disagree. I don’t think America ever truly WANTED
an affordable car with an engine behind the driver. We WANTED it to fail. We WANTED Corvettes, Trans-Ams, and Mustangs. We WANTED a car to hold up and say, {Hank
Hill voice} “look Europe, we made one and it just isn’t doable! Now get with the dang-ole program and put
a motherloving V8 in front like Jesus intended!” And that’s what the Pontiac Fiero is: a
thirty-something year old lesson in self-sabotage, just like your son Jason Thank you for joining us for this episode
of the Car Truth Report. We want to hear from you! Is the Pontiac Fiero a quirky American Classic,
or the greatest pretender car of all time?  Will the ladies be impressed by my new designer
Calvim Klain kicks? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget
to like, subscribe, ring-a-ding-ding that notify bell and send us money so I can buy
my own v8 swapped Fiero. The Car Truth has been brought to you by about
five beers, giving me a little more courage, since 1997