Q: Hello Greg and I want you to know I look forward to your column every issue. I would like your opinion on the Pontiac Fiero, mainly the 1988 model.
As you probably know, 1988 was the only year that the Fiero was available with high-performance GT parts and new suspension that Pontiac developed.
I am the proud owner of a 1988 GT, and knowing Fieros were only built for five years do you think the interest and value will increase in the years to come?
To me, it’s like the Fiero never existed and I seldom see any at car shows, for sale or driving on the street. Thanks again for your excellent column. Clarence Young, Spokane, WA
A: Clarence, first and foremost, thank you so very much for your kind words and being a faithful reader. As for your question on the Pontiac Fiero, here’s my opinion coupled with some pricing that I’ve dug up for you.
First, for whatever reason, General Motors has been a consistent builder of small two-seater sporty cars from the divisions of Pontiac, Buick, Cadillac and Saturn. And, more importantly, none have resulted in serious collector car attention or escalating values.
The Corvette notwithstanding (it’s a completely different animal), the Cadillac Allante (1986 to 1993), Pontiac Fiero (1984 to 1988), Buick Reatta (1988 to 1991), Pontiac Solstice (2006 to 2010) and Saturn Sky (2007 to 2010) all fall into a category that not only hasn’t really caught on with collectors, they were so unique in their build (and many very affordable) that not many of them are around in tip top condition. Sans the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice, which were the latest offerings that were shelved as both nameplates are now gone from General Motors dealerships, you just don’t see many of them around.
Sales were best for the Fiero, with a five-year total of 370,167 sold compared to Buick Reatta’s dismal total of 21,751 over a four-year period.
Cadillac Allante, with its Italian styling and even the all-new Northstar engine in 1993, found sales even worse than Reatta, as just 21,347 Allantes were sold in seven years of production.
As for the more modern two-seaters, the Saturn Sky sold 32,495 in its run while the Pontiac Solstice was much better with a total of 65,724 units sold. One reason for Pontiac Solstice popularity was a less than $20,000 entry price, which attracted many consumers.
So, with this information, we’ll both agree that when it came to two-seats (not counting Corvette), the Fiero was the most popular by far of the bunch.
Additionally, and to get to your high-performance interest, your 1988 Fiero GT is indeed the most popular of the bunch and currently is worth the most. It’s mid-engine 2.8-liter V6 engine and all-new suspension architecture (versus the more docile four-cylinder) is the Fiero everyone wants to own.
Currently, pricing is non-inspiring. The NADA currently lists the 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT from a low retail of $2,350 to an average of $4,950 to a top flight great condition $8,650. Considering the car listed for $13,999 when new, these are certainly not the prices a collector wants to see.
Personally, two of my friends currently own Pontiac Fieros, on a street driven GT model and the second a wild drag racing Super Pro car that has a big block Chevy for power. (See photo).
Although we can’t compare the drag racing machine to a normal Fiero as it is a special-built Fiero on a front-engine frame, it sure makes a great looking race car. I can also relate that my other friend paid less than $5,000 for his all-black GT model.
Currently on eBay, good condition Fiero GTs from 1985-1988 go for about $5500 to $7500 for a nice one, with many non-GTs selling for under $5,000.
The bottom line is simple. The GM two-seaters are not going to be a serious collector car investments any time soon. With this said, however, it doesn’t mean Fieros won’t ever appreciate in the future years or that you can’t have lots of fun with your car.
I feel of all the small GM two-seaters we’re discussing, the Fiero and Solstice are the most popular, with the Saturn Sky also in there for consideration.
To this day, however, I still can’t understand why Buick is going back to a similar drawing board as its Reatta misfire with the introduction of the all-new Buick Casada convertible, although the Casada does have small seats in the second row and is listed as a four passenger. Unless Buick knows something about the markets that everyone else doesn’t, I do not expect this car to be a big seller. Could it be Buick’s popularity in China? Maybe so.
In summary, if the Pontiac Fiero does start to increase in value in the coming years, you have the one specific model that everyone will want, thanks to the more powerful engine and new suspension in 1988. Thanks again for your nice words and good luck with your Fiero GT. It’s a very neat, mid-engine sporty car.