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Imagine hitting the track in a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive sports coupe that's affordable and has pretty good parts availability. It might sound like a pipe dream, but it's actually quite possible, if you're willing to think a little outside the box. The Pontiac Fiero is out there just waiting for a little work to turn it into a competent racing machine.
Think about it for a second. Of course, we would all like to be snaking through the curves in something exotic, but what happens when you crash or something breaks? The bills are going to mount up quickly. However, if you ball up a Fiero at the track, as long as you're not hurt, then it's not a huge tragedy.
That's basically the story of Steven Snyder in a new video from Drive starring Matt Farah. Snyder wanted to go to the track cheaply and ended up with an awesome little Fiero with a huge wing and a claimed 220 horsepower at the wheels thanks to a V6 from a Chevrolet Lumina. Check out the video to see how this pint-size Pontiac performs.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Every few a decades, the folks running General Motors lose their minds briefly try to market a car that public doesn't see coming and often aren't ready for. In the '60s there was the rear-engine, air-cooled Chevrolet Corvair, then the mid-engine Pontiac Fiero in the '80s and the completely bizarre Chevy SSR in the 2000s. What all of these had in common was that they bucked the trend for American models of their era, for better or worse. The latest episode of Generation Gap tasked the hosts with finding two cult classic vehicles to choose between; they came come up with two of these quirky products from The General.
On the classic side, there's a 1967 Chevy Corvair Monza convertible. Being from later in the production run, it wears slightly more aerodynamic styling than the earlier, boxier examples. Hanging out back is an air-cooled, 2.7-liter flat-six pumping out a robust 95 horsepower. In the other corner is the somewhat more modern 1986 Pontiac Fiero SE with a mid-mounted, 2.5-liter "Iron Duke" four-cylinder, an engine nearly ubiquitous in GM cars of the '80s.
Judging by when they were new, the Corvair was far more successful than the Fiero with over 1.8 million sold. Of course, Ralph Nader's book Unsafe at Any Speed kind of poisoned the well, even if the poor safety reputation wasn't entirely deserved. The Fiero on the other hand only lasted for a few model years before shuffling off, but it eventually got its own performance boost with the V6 version and rather attractive GT models. Check them both out in the video and tell us in Comments which you want in your garage.Permalink | Email this | Comments
At fourteen years of age, Kathryn DiMaria has already done what many self-proclaimed gearheads won't even attempt in their lifetimes. The Dearborn, Michigan teen is rebuilding a car from the ground up.
The intrepid youngster asked her parents when she was just twelve to start a Pontiac Fiero project, even offering to pony up all the funds herself. Father, Jerry DiMaria only expected the project to last a few months, but two years later, Kathryn is still at it. In this CNN video, the two are at Maker Faire (a DIY festival) rebuilding a 3.4-liter V6 engine out of a Chevrolet Camaro to replace the 2.8-liter mill found in the Fiero.
The whole family hast pitched in, with Kathryn's mother teaching her how to sew in order to complete the interior, father Jerry providing much of the technical know-how, and even her sister is chronicling Kathryn's progress through photos. Jerry even started a thread in a Fiero forum which has been live for two years and is now 22 pages long. Of the project, one forum member wrote, "welcome to the madness."
Apparently math and science lessons are coming into play in her project, hopefully putting an end to the "Why do I need to learn this?" argument, at least among her classmates. The lessons will hopefully allow Kathryn to follow her dream to become an engineer. The target date for the project's completion is Kathryn's sweet 16. You can check out her progress in the video below.Permalink | Email this | Comments