Far North Fiero: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT

Sometimes craigslist surprises you.  This huge free ad website has its tentacles in basically every nook and cranny of the planet, and neat things can pop up in areas you would never expect them to be.  Our faithful reader Jack M. has discovered this beyond pristine 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT on craigslist in the most unusual of places: just off the Trans-Canada Highway near Vancouver, British Columbia.  With an odometer registering a mere 28,700 kilometers, this trophy gathering sports car is currently is currently on the market for $12,500.  That is likely Canadian dollars.  As of today, this converts to exactly $9,686.69 in American greenbacks!

So, what will $12,500 in Canadian dollars, or “loonies” as they call them, buy you?  Well, this 1986 Fiero GT is claimed to be all original.  Looking at the paint, wheels, and interior, that claim is either entirely correct, or a very talented restorer has brought any deficiencies back up to snuff.  The only item that might not be correct is the gold stripe that stretches around the car.  I do not remember seeing any Fieros with such a stripe.  It could be a Canadian market item, added by a dealer as a mark up item, or applied by the owner.

Looking at the picture above, we see that the interior is in equally stunning shape.  Even the old school premium GM radio is still intact.  While sadly discontinued for the 1986 model year, 1984 and 1985 model Fieros boasted speakers in the headrests of the seats!  Seems like that would still be a good idea.  Anyway, we can see that the car is equipped with a five speed transmission and air conditioning.  Power windows, tilt steering, and a leather wrapped steering wheel round out this car’s well appointed interior.

When you reference the hood when discussing the Fiero, you have to think about the question for a bit.  With the engine in the middle section of the car, the front “hood” opens up and reveals a “trunk.”  Or, just the opposite.  In fact, I don’t think anyone really has a clue what the proper terminology should be.  All we know is that there is precious little room for anything in the front section.

Between the rear bumper and the engine was a small area to put a few grocery bags or some luggage in.  However, the car’s size and packaging allowed for little else.  What is interesting is that the engine compartment was designed to be big enough for a small V-8 to be fitted instead of the 2.8 liter V-6 seen here.  Tinkerers and aftermarket firms have crammed all manner of engines into Fieros.  Everything from small block Chevrolet V-8s  to Cadillac NorthStar engines have been successfully transplanted into these cars.  While production sadly stopped in 1988, the same year that Pontiac introduced a fantastic new suspension based on their racing experience with the car, can you imagine an updated Fiero with NorthStar V-8 power?

The mid engine design naturally demands the Fiero be considered a sports car.  However, Pontiac had to sell the car to GM brass as a “commuter car” to gain approval. The Corvette crew at GM, who had been advocating for a mid engine Corvette for decades, must have been beside themselves in fury when Pontiac got the approval to build these cars.  The Fiero slowly developed into a very capable sportscar before GM pulled the plug.  Again,it is hard to not wonder where the Fiero concept would be now had it been allowed to live.

This 1986 Fiero GT from the land of bagged milk may seen a bit high priced, I doubt you will find a Fiero in better condition.  While some might deride the cars for their initial lack of performance and reliability, by 1986 these cars were coming into their own performance wise.  You might pay too much now, but we also may one day look back and say now was the time to buy.

 

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Comments

  1. nycbjr Member

    I love these.. my 14yo self wanted one of these (and still does) I’d prefer the ’88 but this one looks nice!

    Anyone know if the suspension from the 88 fit in an 86?

    4
    • Chris Kennedy

      88′ Suspension goes right in! Worked on these ( retired bodyman) when they first came out! They handle like a go cart and have great road manners!

      6
      • Don

        Err, no, the suspension (at least in the rear) doesn’t just go “right in”, the ’88 rear suspension is a multilink specific to the Fiero, while in prior years it’s basically the Chevy Citation front suspension. You have to weld on new mount points on a pre-’88 engine cradle to fit the ’88 suspension and probably a few other mods. Doable, but by no means a “drop-in”

        1
    • theGasHole

      Why would one even bother attempting to do that? Just buy an ’88 they are not hard to find. I’ve had an 86 and an 88 and the differences in suspension/handling are quite noticeable.

  2. Howard A Member

    Not being into Corvettes, I thought these were the coolest 2 seat AMERICAN sports car made. So much so, when my daughter got her license, mid 90’s, we looked at a 2M4 as her 1st car. Wasn’t too bad, guy wanted $750 bucks, had a howl in the back, but I could fix that, I was just about to say “We’ll take it”, when, for the heck of it, I checked the coolant tank, looked a bit dark, it was full of oil. No deal ( whew) Next Fiero story, late 90’s, I was driving a semi for a friend, Friday’s and Monday’s, I’d go to Hastings, Mn. pick up a load of flour, and take it back to Milwaukee. On the way up, I went along the river( to bypass the scales) and went through Red Wing. On the west end, top of a big hill, there was a gold ’88(?), very similar to this for sale at the side of the road, for $2,200. There was no place to pull the semi over, and as the weeks went by, the price dropped to $2,000, then $1,800, then $1,600!! Late ’90’s, mind you, still a heck of a deal, I bet $1,500 would have got it. I said, that’s it, next week, I’m putting on the flashers and check it out, well, next week came along, you guessed it, it was gone.

    8
  3. Rock On

    That converts to under 18,000 miles, which is really impressive.

    3
  4. Jimmy

    Cool find, I liked these cars when new and wouldn’t mind one today.

    3
  5. Dean

    Wiring harness had a tendency to rub through ( being close to one of the exhaust manifolds)and melt, leading to disaster on the V6 engines if I recall. Might be the first PM you tackle.The other might get you in hot with the RCMP.

    1
  6. Keith

    Here’s my 1987 Fiero GT with only 17k original miles, I plan on selling this car at the 2019 Barrett Jackson Auction. Car is currently in storage.

  7. irocrobb

    I never really cared for them but do think they are a incredible buy.Drove one years ago and it did drive well but you did sit lower than my Iroc.
    Seems to be a a few of them for sale at bargain prices.

    2
  8. GMoparman

    This is a great find. Prices are sure to rise, and the buy-in on this is quite reasonable considering the mileage and condition. If I was not 6’7″ I would love to have one of these!

  9. Tom Justice

    Typical GM, they had horrible 4 bangers that caught fire and made these really sweet V-6s that fixed all the problems and stopped making them. I understand these are really sought after in Great Britain and bring a good price. A pal of mine had one of these and it was a blast to drive and it will never rust. Don’t know if the price is right but it seems like a good car for sure.

    • Don

      “Never rust”… right. Let me tell you about the frame rot that my ’88 Formula suffers from… the upper frame rails, right above the rear wheels, have holes in them to serve as a “crumple zone” in a rear collision. Well, those holes collect water (salty water in the winter, here in MI), and the frame rails rot from the inside. Check the trunk, under the liner, on a northern climate Fiero that’s been driven in the winter and odds are you’ll find a rust hole where the frame rails attach to the outside of the trunk box.

      Not mine, but as an example:
      http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Archives/Archive-000001/HTML/20060811-2-068409.html

      2
  10. Johnfromct

    Seems to me that putting an aftermarket turbo on the six would be easier than a transplanted Northstar. Do any folks do that?

    • Don

      Yep, it’s been done, along with transplanting supercharged 3800’s into them. Easiest swap is to put a 3.4l V6 from a base-model late-’80s Camaro or Firebird, it’s just a bored&stroked 2.8. Other than having to swap the starter to the other side, everything bolts right up.

      Another swap is to get the 3.4l 24-valve engine from the early-’90s Grand Prix GTP – if Pontiac had continued to build the Fiero, that was going to be the GT engine. There’s pics of a 1990 Fiero GT prototype around with that very engine in it. :-)

      1
  11. Eric Asmussen

    Only a few 84 4 cyl’ had the fire problem….The 88 rear subframe/suspension fits with just coil-overs and a few holes drilled- Big improvement. Converting the front to 88 is more of a hassle(And not a big improvement)- have to cut the frame a bit, then weld and seal….The frames will rust- just not the plastic body….Easiest/best engine for real power is the 3800 in NA or SC versions. One guy put an LS7 in one! Best V8 is the LS4 (FWD bellhouse pattern)…..300 hp and only 20 lbs more weight….I have owned my 85 V6 since new…..190,000!

    1
  12. Miguel Member

    To know if the interior is OK, you need to look at the left hand seats bolster.

    Those are always damaged from sliding down into the seat.

  13. Bob

    I had 2 my first and last one

    1
  14. Hitch

    My 85′ with a Chevy 350. This car is a blast to drive. I love the look on the faces of Mustang and Challenger owners when they see what this car is capable of.

    6
    • Bryan

      That must be a blast!A guy had a red one growing up that I drooled over,always have wanted one!would imagine that smokes up those tires nicely,that is rwd correct?would hope so.Amazing build man

  15. Amelio

    I just picked up a red 1988 GT with 30,000 original miles. In Pristine condition….will be selling it once I clean it up!

    2
  16. cunnanm

    I believe that the 87 gt was the first to get the 5- speed. Am I wrong on that? I have an 87 gt with a 5-speed and another auto one with a 350 SBC. Both are lawn art at the moment.

    • CowsPatoot

      The Getrag 5 speed was available in late 86 starting at build number 76,399. However…this particular 86 GT does only have the 4 speed.

  17. Bradleyh Member

    Why is it some folks just have to find fault with every post. How about looking at the bright side and offering positive comments. After all a good portion of the car hobby is the common enjoyment of all makes and models.

    1
    • Howard A Member

      You’d think that, since few here are going to buy it anyway, this is just a fun place for me, but some folks still adhere to what “dad” had to say, and not actual experience. I must say, while not as bad as my old man, Asian cars still are not appealing to me, in part, because of my old man.

      1
  18. Bob

    Xr4ti turbo on factory2.8 goes 10.81 in the quarter

  19. Robert E Bammerlin

    my Uncle Mike had one. first year they came out. 6 cylinder 5 speed. black with gray interior. took me down to dead mans curve n 90 east. down shift to slow down and then hit the gas and take off. never went that fast on dead mans curve before or since. like all Pontiacs that car was awesome.

  20. Lawyer George

    I was a sales man for s short time when these came out. Like nearly everything that GM plans to put out that sounds neat is a great disappointment.The Fieros were gutless clunky, primitive, unrefined turds when they hit the market. The V6 was also under powered. I do not recall any great enthusiasm expressed when people came to the agency to see what GM had wrought. As usual they were disappointed. And typically of GM, when they worked the bugs out, they quit making them. Chevy 454 Pickup; the 49er the bulbous rendition of the lovely 49Chevy design. It was so bad that cut the appeal for the 47’s,48’s and ’49’s.

  21. Marko

    Just went out in the driveway, and gave my 1985 SE 2M6 a big hug.
    Have had mine for 10 years now, and still a kick in the pants to drive.

    Drives the local Tuner / JDM kids nuts, cause they don’t know what the heck my Fiero is.

    Nice car in the Craiglist ad, but Fieros have always been a cult car, with a budget friendly price tag to own and operate, and only a serious Fieroholic would spend that much in price.

  22. Keith

    Here’s a picture of my 1987 Fiero GT with only 17k original miles.

    1
  23. Keith

    I plan on selling it at the 2019 West Palm Beach Barrett Jackson Auction.

    • Bryan Leveille

      That is in pristine condition it looks!Is that the Emergency brake on the left side by the drivers seat?If so thats a odd spot,would think it would be difficult to get out of.Nice car

      • Keith

        Yes that’s the way they made them, the C4 corvette also has the emergency brake on the left side. It doe’s not get in the way when getting in or out, once you engage the brake you push it back down while not depressing the button for stow away.

  24. Keith

    Another picture…….

  25. Keith

    Back side…..

  26. James Schwartz

    Here’s mine. An 88′ GT in the one-year-only Yellow Color.
    They made a total of 241 GT’s in Yellow.

    2
    • theGasHole

      Ahhh the Talbot Yellow. A rare one indeed. My 88 Formula was Talbot Yellow and though I generally think yellow is a pretty ugly color on a car, I always have liked how it looks on Fieros.

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