Junkyard Find: 1984 Pontiac Fiero

There’s nothing quite like a quiet junkyard stroll on a cool fall day. Now that temperatures have cooled off a bit here in Boise, we decided to visit one of our favorite pick and pulls to see what kind of interesting vehicles might have shown up recently. We were surprised to find more than a few interesting finds. The first one that we are going to take a look at is this 1984 Pontiac Fiero.

One of the best parts of a junkyard stroll is getting to have a close-up look at vehicles you might not otherwise look at normally. We’ve seen countless Fieros over the years, but never really taken the time to inspect them closely. I for one was really impressed with the design and engineering. It’s definitely an ’80s GM design but in a good way.

I was very surprised by the quality of the interior, which isn’t always the case with specialty cars from this era. The plastics don’t seem to be degrading or cracked yet and the seats look downright sporty! Obviously, this one’s upholstery is toast, but it didn’t stop me from climbing on it. The shifter position felt a little odd and the dash a little too close for my taste. Honestly, it was very comfortable and sporty.

Pontiac eventually offered a few engines in the Fiero, but initially, the 2.5 liter inline-4 was the only option. To get the car past GM’s leadership, Pontiac had to market it as an economy car, so the fuel-sipping Iron Duke was mounted midship. There were several trim levels available, the base car was geared for fuel economy, while the Sport and SE trim levels were geared better for performance. They also built a few Super Duty 2.7-liter equipped cars, which were used as Indy Pace cars.

After looking this Fiero over, I won’t lie, I’m tempted to buy one. I’ve never driven one, but I’ve heard they can actually be a ton of fun and there are lots of available upgrades to make them even more so. The challenge is finding one that’s in good shape, as so many have either been turned into Lamborghini replicas or ended up in the junkyard. It’s definitely a car I’m going to add to my watch list! How about you?

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Comments

  1. Dusty Stalz

    A Fiero in the junkyard? What a find!!

    Like 9
  2. Kincer Kincer Member

    I had one of these in high school. same white with grey interior, same wheels for a bit. I believe I got as a junior in high school, 1984 with 63k miles on it in 1988 for $3500. I gotta say it was like a Timex, it took a beating and kept on goin. I took care of it, always had maintenance and was always clean but I was hard on it. I sold it in 92 or 93 with 137k miles on it and it still looked and ran great. I wouldn’t mind having an 88 GT or Formula to tinker with on the weekends, pretty neat cars for the time.

    Like 9
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    Too bad it couldn’t have been saved,rather than ending
    up there.And it’s sad that most wrecking yards won’t/can’t sell
    complete cars.
    I found a Volvo 123GT in a wrecking yard.Appeared to be
    complete,with a clean body in BRG.I tried to get someone to at
    least get parts off of it,but I think it just got crushed shortly after
    that.This was before the internet.

  4. Joel Patton

    I had an ‘84 like that. 4 speed in red. Traded it for an ‘87 Fiero GT, 5 speed, V-6. Still have it and it runs great. Really fun to drive. If you find a 4 cylinder make sure the GM recall has been done. Otherwise you might end up with a very hot, actually on fire Fiero.

    Like 3
  5. nycbjr Member

    an 88 gt is on my car bucket list!

    Like 3
  6. Gary

    Would have been a good commuter car if they had been priced better and cost less to insure. Drove one once when I was a much younger and thinner man when I fit in these better. Liked the little Iron Duke/ 4 speed. Not practical for me, but I didn’t feel bad at all wasting the salesman’s time. Was a lot of fun. Drove a lot of cars I never intended to buy. Guess I am a nasty human being.

    Like 6
    • Gerard Frederick

      You gues you are a nasty human being? Guess what – you are. To waste a salesman´s time, to deliberately prevent him from making a living is nasty, to put it mildly. During my years in the car business I encountered countless types like you. They all shared the characteristic of being ugly human beings. You probably kick dogs and never pick up the tab in a bar as well.

      Like 9
      • Gary

        Yup. But you know what? I find your average car salesman to have a black heart. Lying to a customer is part of the business. Of course profit is required, but how much, and at whos expense? BTW, don’t kick dogs, though a few now and then sure deserve it. Bar tabs? Not a drinker, I am naturally mean, no booze required.

        Like 9
      • Jim Dandy

        I’m with G, car salesmen are among the lower forms of life. Like an alligator in a Florida swamp, dumb but vicious. Good idea to avoid them at all costs.

        Like 7
      • Claudio

        I do not and cannot have sympathy for a lying salesman , you are compulsive liars and if your lips are flappin you must be lyin always apply to your kind
        Spent 35 years in the security industry and dealt with many salesman , ALL liars

        Like 4
  7. Dave

    Pontiac came out with these, Toyota jumped on the bandwagon with the MR2.
    Buick came out with the Reatta, Mazda jumped on the bandwagon with the Miatta, or “me too-atta”. Fieros could have been the 80s Mustang, but bad quality, a bad safety rap, and the almighty insurance companies attaching a “sports car” surcharge to it was just too much for it to overcome.

    Like 2
  8. SebastianX1/9

    I’m not an American car guy but I do love all 70-90s mid-engine cars, and I know Cadillac makes a small V8 that fits right into these and turns them into mini Ferraris like the Toyota MR2s.

  9. Howard A Member

    Your funeral, Josh. Just kidding, I thought, while an absolutely miserable car, mechanically, it was one of the coolest car to come out of Detroit. I know that’s a hefty claim, but I’m a guy that thinks the Corvair was equally as innovative, as well. These really were a mechanical nightmare, but about as close to a race car as you could get. When looking for a 1st car for my daughter, a guy had a red 2M4, he wanted $750( 20 years ago) It wasn’t a bad car, the test drive showed it needed a rear wheel bearing, but ran well. Naturally, my daughter loved it. I was just about to say we’ll take it, when I looked at the coolant tank, looked a bit dark, turns out, it was filled with oil. No thanks.
    Then there’s the old story of the ‘Gold ’88 GT in Red Wing, Mn. also about 20 years ago, with a sign, $2200. I drove past it every Monday, and price dropped weekly, the last time was $1600. The more I thought about it, I said, if it’s there next Monday, I’m buying it. Well, you know the story, it was gone. Always regretted that, the V6’s are really cool cars.

    Like 4
  10. VTDan

    Another GM story of good intentions, bad execution. Iron Duke in a mid engine sports car? Brilliant. Wonder what committee came up with that idea. One can find these things all day long in better condition; I’d say keep this one in the junk yard…

    Like 1
  11. Marko

    I agree with Howard. The V-6 cars are cool.

    Disclaimer: There is an ’85 2M6 SE in my driveway, so I am a little biased.
    The Fiero is a fun mid engined American sports car, that is fairly cheap and easy to repair. And if you want to upgrade the power, there are a ton of engine swaps and kits available. Prices are steadily going up for good examples on the auction sites.

    Like 3
  12. James

    My step sister had one of these, 4cyl. She let me romp around in it when I was in 12th grade. One time driving, looked behind me and saw flames. Flew into the convenience store, grabbed the largest slurpy cup they had, filled it with water, ran back out to the Fiero and was just able to get the fire out. Timing I guess, LOL. She has no idea I probably saved her car from burning to the ground, and no doubt it would have been “my” fault. Haha. I do remember it handling pretty dang good. Dad had an ’84 Vette, handled similarly if I remember correctly. Good times.

  13. Frank

    Just add a Buick V6 a friend of mine as one. It lots of fun but is still a Fiero!

  14. Richard

    Had two of these little monsters – an 86 then an 87 GT. Loved them both though people looked at me a little strange in the summer with the windows down, the sunroof open and the heater going full blast in traffic. GM never did figure out how to put a big enough radiator to keep that 6 cyl. from getting too hot. Wish I still had the GT but my Miata makes me happy.

    • Kincer Kincer Member

      I don’t know about the V6 but the Iron Duke ran hot too, I used to pop the thermostat out in the summer, back in the winter, ran super cool. Had a radiator cap to take it out, don’t know if the v6 had that but that was my solution.

  15. Doug

    If you are going to look for a Fiero, I’d strongly advise going for an 88 model- As with the Corvair, GM finally got it right, then killed it. The previous cars had a number of issues that were finally fixed on the 88 model. The V6 can be upgraded to a 3.4 from one of the front drive cars, or the Quad 4, for less weight an better handling.

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Good one, Doug, “GM got it right, then killed it”,,

  16. Daryl

    I had an ‘84. Put a 350 in it. Went like a bat. Then I discovered that two of the spark plug wires had come off. The kid who bought it from me was going to put on a Ferrari shell.

  17. Beel

    I had a new 86 MR2 and my friend had a new Fiero. We’d lightly banter back and forth, but compared to the MR2, the Fiero was an embarassment, GM-wise. I bought the MR2 specifically for it’s rev-happy engine. Can anybody say the iron duke is a rev-happy engine? I’m glad people liked their Fiero; isn’t that what us car lovers are all about???

    Like 2
  18. Edfiero

    Why is half the interior brown (doors) and seats and dash are gray.
    Has this been in a wreck??

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