Engine: 2.8 litre V6
Transmission: GM automatic (TH125-C)
Power: 135 bhp (SAE)
Torque: 165 lb/ft
0-60 mph: 7.9 sec
Top Speed 123 mph
The Fiero has its origins in the late 1970s, when global oil price rises resulted in US legislation requiring the major US car makers to improve the “Corporate Average Fuel Economy” of their cars. This led to pressure on the manufacturers to produce smaller, fuel-efficient cars as well as the traditional gas-guzzlers. At the same time foreign car makers were beginning to make inroads into the US sports car market, with such models as the Datsun 240Z and the Toyota MR2.
Manufactured in Pontiac, Michigan, the Fiero was launched in 1984. It was a sales success, and a specially-styled version was used as the pace car for the Indianapolis 500. But enthusiasts complained about lack of performance and insufficiently sporty handling. Between 1985 and 1987 GM responded by introducing successive improvements each new model year including a version with a 2.8 V6 engine, options of manual and auto transmissions and in 1986, the Fiero GT, which had a fastback rear profile and new aerodynamic lines. Handling was however still compromised by the fundamental limitations of the parts-bin suspension, and sales declined gradually.
For the 1988 model-year, GM produced a completely new suspension, and upgraded the engines. This transformed the car. Three models were available – the base Coupe, the fastback GT, and the Formula. But, later that year, the continuing decline in sales, and growing competition from both foreign (Honda CRX, Mazda RX7) and US (Mustang, Camaro) rivals led GM to discontinue production.
The Fiero design was technically interesting, and all versions are future classics. The 1988 models in particular, and especially the rare Formula (of which only 5,475 were made) are now much sought-after.
This 1988 Fiero Formula has had only one previous owner, the lady who purchased it new in the US and later brought it to the UK when assigned to a job in London. On her return to the US in 1992 she decided not to ship the car home but to offer it for sale. It was bought that year by the present owner.
The car is totally original other than the minor modifications required to meet UK/EU regulations (eg amber indicator lights, rear foglight) and has required only routine replacement parts including such items as water pump, brake pipes and the usual filters etc.
Only 5,475 of the Formula version of the Fiero were made before production ceased in August 1988. There are perhaps one or two other Fiero Formulas in the UK, and maybe a dozen or so other Fiero models of various earlier years. Regrettably, the space-frame construction and easy removability of all the outer body panels meant that these cars appealed to kit-car makers, both amateur and professional. Many Fieros have been used as the base for fake Ferraris, or have been fitted with other fibreglass bodykits of dubious quality and limited aesthetic appeal.