Here is the extent of the Pontiac Fiero’s storied and illustrious history: Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off had one.
That’s really about it. So when Matt Farah of /DRIVE received an email inviting him to check out one fan’s Pontiac Fiero track car, he just had to go try it for himself.
This particular 1988 example originally came equipped with the base, 2.5 liter four-cylinder, producing about 92 horsepower. But owner Steven Snyder saw to that, dropping in a 3.4 liter, DOHC V6 from a Chevrolet Lumina, so that the car now makes about 220 horsepower at the wheels.
The result? Surprisingly good, according to Matt Farah. He takes the car out for a brief spin at a Buttonwillow track day and, while admitting that the speed isn’t “tear-your-face-off-fast in a straight line,” concedes that really, the 2800 pound car drives so well, it’s difficult to believe that it wasn’t set up by the factory.
We think that Matt Farah is unnecessarily harsh on the poor, under-appreciated Fiero; it’s mid-engined American performance. And sure, it may not be as overwhelmingly tight and buttoned-up as mid-engined exotics of its time (nor those well before its time, really), but as an American car, it stands alone in a class of one.
We just wish a proper motor had been in there to begin with.