There’s so much going on with today’s Nice Price or No Dice modded Fiero that it’s hard to know just where to begin. Its seller no doubt hopes that no matter where we start, the end is a thumbs-up for both the car and its price.
Life is full of tradeoffs. When it came to the consideration of yesterday’s 1994 Ford Ranger Splash Edition, some pretty compelling arguments needed to be in its favor to overcome the unexplained salvage title. Unfortunately for the seller, those arguments were not forthcoming, as the truck’s small bed and weaksauce engine pretty much kept it out of the fight. In the end, the Ranger’s $3,699 asking price took the truck down with it in a 57 percent No Dice loss.
While the Pinto four in yesterday’s Ranger may have been anemic for its size, it is historically relevant for Ford. Introduced in 1970, it was the company’s first mass-production in-line four to feature an overhead cam. General Motors beat Ford to the punch with an OHC engine here in the U.S., having given Pontiac a straight six with a single, belt-driven overhead cam back in 1966. The Pontiac engine was a bit of a fluke, and when the excitement division introduced its Fiero sports car nearly two decades later, neither of its available engines featured overhead cams.
This 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT has had its pushrod motor yanked out and replaced by a larger, newer and more powerful 3500 LX9 V6. That engine is a pushrod design as well, but let’s just start by saying that there’s nothing inherently wrong with that
A further plus with this engine swap is that the intake is also swappable (with about 90 minutes’ effort, according to the ad) with an Eaton supercharger intake in case you need even more poop out of those pushrods. That’s not as quick as, say, having Mad Max spit Everclear in your intake, but it’s still pretty damn convenient. Plus, when installed, the blower pops through the top of the engine bay like R2D2 riding dirty on an X-Wing. That’s hilarious. The engine is bolted to the standard Getrag five-speed, which means the car has three pedals going for it too.
So yeah, to be perfectly clear, this is a project car. To be precise, it’s someone else’s project car, and I know how most of you feel about that. Before you rush off to take a massive dump on the No Dice button, however, just read through the ad for the litany of work the seller has amassed in 10 years of ownership. That’s a lot of effort.
Is it now perfect and ready to take the top prize at the nearest Radwood or Fiero-fest car show? Probably not, but none of the issues the seller notes seem overwhelming. If this were a movie from the Pontiac’s era, most of the problems would be addressed by way of a third-act montage played to something like “Eye of the Tiger” or “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
The biggest issue seems to be with the front suspension ride height which, according to the seller, is too low. This could be rectified with some tubular A-arms, but those are out of the range for the seller at this point. Maybe the solution is actually simpler? There’s also an absent headliner and some wayward trim in the interior, but that’s not going to leave you stranded.
The matte black paint is a respray, but the seller claims it to have been professionally, if cheaply, done and hence not too bad a job. Smoked plexiglass panels used to adorn the sail panels, but those have been removed, perhaps to allow better ogling of the supercharger when it is installed. Other than that, the bodywork looks relatively stock and without issue.
Aftermarket wheels from Drag fill the arches and make the car look a little more modern. The interior has decent seats and a dash, the latter with an aftermarket stereo and some re-positioned switchgear. It all looks totally livable. According to the ad, the car has driven 129,000 miles, and for what it’s worth after yesterday’s Ranger, a clear title.
The asking price for this clear-title project Fiero is $8,500, but before you decide its ultimate fate, there’s more. The seller provides a photo in the ad of a rack filled with boxes of spares and also-ran parts that come with the car. That means you get both a Fiero and its detritus in case anything ever comes in handy. That’s quite the bonus considering the Pontiac’s age and increasingly limited parts availability.
OK, now that I’ve given you that last little tidbit, what’s your take on this on-again/off-again supercharged Fiero and its $8,500 asking price? Does that make it a deal to take on as your own project? Or, is that way too much for so cobbled together a car?