1988 Pontiac Fiero: East Coaster Today

The Formula designation on the side of this vehicle leads us to believe our East Coaster today is a 1988 Pontiac Fiero.

The infamous/famous Pontiac Fiero deserves a special place in automotive history, despite the notorious engine fires that ultimately led to the demise of the wedge-shaped sporty faux-Ferrari, after only five model years in existence, from 1983 until 1988.

The Pontiac Fiero was the first American mass-produced mid-engine sports car, the first two-seater Pontiac since the coupes of 1926 to 1938 and the first GM vehicle to use plastic composite body panels.


1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula (at least we think its a 1988)


The goal for the Pontiac brand was to build a small, sporty car that would comply with stricter fuel economy standards and go up against competitors arriving on the shores of America – the Mazda RX-7, the Toyota MR2, the Fiat X1/9 and the Triumph TR7 and TR8.


The Fiat X1/9 was one of the vehicles that inspired the Pontiac Fiero.


To save money, Pontiac pulled parts for the Fiero from GM parts bin like the front suspension from a Chevrolet Chevette and the engine cradle from the Citation.

The Fiero can be credited with drawing new customers to Pontiac for its fun-to-drive looks but it may have lacked the performance it appeared to have. The standard engine was a 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder that made 98 horsepower. The Formula version, introduced for the last year of production, offered a 2.8-litre V6 engine that produced 140 hp.

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