Former Rally Star: 1985 Super Duty Fiero

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Although craigslist and eBay are chock-full of interesting projects and former race cars, some of the best finds turn up on club websites and other less visible forums. Thanks for Barn Finds reader Peter who spotted a very interesting Pontiac Fiero with a rally car past. You can find it here on the Michigan Fiero Club website, where it sounds as if a fair amount of work has already been done but the spouse of the most recent owner wants it gone. 

I did a bit of digging for the history of this Fiero, but didn’t come up with much. The seller’s ad references it as belonging to Alex Maxim, and the event photos show what appears to be a fairly serious build. Personally, I would do very bad things to own a set of those original Marchal fog lights, but I’m sure there’s other bits attached to this Fiero that reflect the ingenuity required to make a competitive rally-x vehicle. The ducting on the roof isn’t something you see on your average craigslist find! And as you’ll read next, the engine is a serious upgrade over the Iron Duke four cylinder.

The Fiero would seem to offer an ideal platform for competitive events in general. Mid-engined, rear wheel drive, and able to accept a wide range of higher horsepower motors. For this car, the original builder created his own version of a “Super Duty (SD)” – which is a fairly common upgrade in the Fiero world. I can’t get into all the specifics here, but it is essentially a new SD 3.0L block with a matching SD crank. From there, it seems the build can get as crazy as you want it to be, with forged pistons, an SD aluminum head and clutch, titanium valves and keepers, a custom exhaust – the list goes on. Across the board, SD Fiero owners agree it results in a very quick car.

I don’t know the story behind why this Fiero now sports a different paint job and is for sale, but the listing mentions that Alex Maxim’s wife wants the car out of the garage. Several recent maintenance issues have been addressed, including the fuel pump, fuel diverter check valve, carburetor float and overflow, ignition cables, MSD ignition module, starter, and the starter interlock/safety circuit. As of the ad’s posting, it hadn’t been run out of the garage yet. No price is listed, but it sure looks like it’d be an ideal candidate for continued rally-x or autocrossing this summer.

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  1. Alan (Michigan )

    Hard to see, but this car is caged. Might not meet current specs.
    Note that it was built for and run in high speed stage rallies, not rally-cross. Could be fun for that, though!
    I wonder what amount is expected for the car? There were very many cars prepped for the pro rally series, but most had little success, and a lot were crunched into trees, etc.

  2. gbvette62

    The over roof scoop was developed by Pontiac, and was a variation of the one used on the 84 Fiero Indy 500 pace car. They were made by Diversified Glass Products, and marketed through Pontiac, or direct from DGP.

    The Trans-Am Series driver I crewed for in the 80’s, co-drove a Fiero with John Oates (of Hall and Oates fame), in the 1984 Longest Day of Nelson, 24 hour SCCA Showroom Stock race. Hall and Oates were featured in Fiero ads at the time, and Pontiac was sponsoring their 1984 tour. The car was prepped by Charles Bates Motorsports in NJ, with backing from Pontiac. Oates also co-drove a Huffaker Racing Fiero, in a couple IMSA GTU races.

    Pontiac was pretty heavy into supporting teams racing Pontiacs throughout the SCCA, including rallying. As a result of the contacts Jerry (the driver I crewed for) made racing the Fiero, he ended up acquiring a Pontiac Trans-Am, that his wife raced in SCCA SSGT. We even ended up re-bodying our TA Camaro, as a Firebird for the 85 season.

    A quick google of Alex Maixm, turned up an obituary from last June, which is why I guess his wife (now widow), wants the car gone.

  3. Marko

    Being a current owner of a 1985 Fiero 2M6 4-speed car for the last decade, this would make a fun addition to the driveway. Just gotta figure out how I’m gonna sleep in it, cause I’m sure the wife will be “letting” me do that for the foreseeable future.

  4. Tim K Petersen

    I was the Pontiac design/release engineer for the SD4 amongst other responsibilities. The over the roof hood scoop was the brain child of John Callies who developed the real Indy Pace Cars and all the aero body parts. It was most beneficial in off road racing since the engine compartment would fill with dust and dirt, trashing an engine if there were any intake leaks. The SD4 was used in NASCAR’s baby grand national series and at the max 3.0 L displacement was the largest engine available. Most teams switched to the SD4 by the second race.


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