I wanted to store the car for the first winter to save some dough for some new wheels and tires. With a young driver learning standard at the wheel, I stalled the car on the way to the storage depot. Sounds innocent enough but as I was turning the key to restart the car I was rear-ended by a distracted driver. After exchanging info I came to appreciate the toughness of the car. No doubt the foam in the bumper suffered but there was no visible damage of bumper displacement in what could have been whiplash inducing if I wasn't the manly man I am. I would come to find out that smaller cars are much more likely to be ignored on the road and miss-judged in parking lots.
|My first car: a 1986 Pontiac Fiero 2M4|
Modifications aside, the car was a considerable burden to own daily. Fieros are not reliable by any automotive definition. I attribute most of the cars short-comings to the horribly designed 4cylinder "Iron Puke" as I like to call it. I never felt good pushing the ancient OHV motor, even after a rebuild and proper break in period. It was never running as smooth as I would have liked. There were quite a few problems I encountered with the car over the two years I owned it. The starter mounts cracked causing it to fall off; the engine burnt oil; the driver seat was rusted in place; all the shocks needed to be replaced and the emergency brake seized. I expected issues due solely to the cars age but the reality and the frequency of them were eye opening.
The aspects of the Fiero that kept me coming back was the feeling it offers behind the wheel. There are few cars on the road that offer the same level of road feel as the Fiero. The light weight, standard transmission and lack of power steering made the car about as exciting and engaging as 90hp on four wheels can be. I drove that little car everywhere and enjoyed every minute in the drivers seat. It was frustratingly underpowered sometimes but I got slick with the stick and managed to have no trouble passing when I wanted. I will admit that I avoided any speed contests out of fear of losing and not from a strong sense to uphold public safety. The lack of anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control were things I liked about the Fiero. I learned how to drive in a car that allows the driver to control everything and I appreciate the experience I now have because of my old Fiero. Even in bad conditions the car encouraged the right foot to do its worst, despite the engine's noisy arguments.
|My 1986 Pontiac Fiero 2M4|