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- Year: 1988
- Exterior Color: Bright Red
- Marque: Pontiac
- Scale: 1:24
- Features: Removable T-Top Panel
- Build: 188
- Official Release Date: December 2nd 2022
General Motors is having a mid-engine moment with the recent release of the C8 Corvette. As revolutionary as that new Vette seems, it is not GM’s first foray into the realm of composite-bodied two-seat sports cars with the motor mounted amidships. That honor goes to the Pontiac Fiero. The Fiero stormed onto the automotive scene at a time—1984—when there was precious little excitement rolling out of Detroit. Chevy had launched its flagship C4 Corvette a few months earlier, and muscle car fans had the Camaro and Firebird, but those big coupes were expensive and their V8s were thirsty. Up until then, customers wanting an economical two-seater had been forced to look to the imports. GM wanted to give them a domestic alternative; one that was inexpensive and light enough to offer a sporty drive and decent fuel economy with a 2.5L inline-4.
Essential to the Fiero’s low-cost concept was a development budget of just $300 million, so the engineers were instructed to set aside some original designs and use components from the existing GM corporate parts bin. That presented challenges as GM had no existing mid-engine architecture, so the design team got creative and borrowed a concept that had been successfully used years earlier to develop inexpensive mid-engine vehicles like the mid-engine Fiat X1/9. They took the engine, transaxle, and suspension hardware from a mass-produced front-engine/front-wheel-drive model (in the Fiero’s case the X-platform Chevy Citation/Pontiac Phoenix), spun it around, locked the steering knuckles in place with fixed-mount tie rods, and installed the whole assembly in the back! The front suspension was pilfered from the Chevy Chevette/Pontiac T1000 subcompact and the wedge-shaped body was molded from plastic. As a result, Pontiac was able to launch the Fiero with a base price of just $7995—about a third of the cost of a new Corvette. The concept was a huge success; in its debut year, Pontiac sold more than twice as many Fieros as Chevy sold Vettes! It outsold the Firebird too, becoming Pontiac’s best-selling sporty car.
The surprising sales success encouraged Pontiac to expand the Fiero line to include a GT model in 1985 which used a 2.8L V6 from its midsize sedans, offering an additional 40+ horsepower. 1986 brought a sleek new fastback profile with flying buttress-style C-pillars for the GT that differentiated it visually from lesser Fiero models, and the availability of a 5-speed manual gearbox. But the Fiero saved its best for last. For 1988 the hand-me-down suspensions were replaced with the bespoke designs that had been shelved years earlier, along with upgraded vented disc brakes and staggered wheel/tire sizes. Finally, the Fiero was equipped to deliver the sports car handling to match its sporty looks! Unfortunately, the strong sales that had accompanied the car’s launch had faded due to challenges from economical import 2-seaters like the Honda CRX and Toyota MR2, and GM canceled the Fiero just as it finally started to realize its full potential. That makes the 1988 model the last, the best, and the rarest Fiero—an excellent combination to attract collector attention!
Even though it exited the market more than 30 years ago enthusiasm for the model persists and owners still bring out their Fieros for car shows and conventions. Among the rarest and most admired at those gatherings are surviving examples of the just 6,848 Fiero GTs built in 1988. This is the model Automodello has chosen to replicate in exacting 1:24 scale as part of its ONE24™ series. Standard Edition in Bright Red with production run limited to no more than 188. A special Encomium Edition in Black, Yellow or White is limited to just 49 examples, each hand-numbered. To commemorate the 40th anniversary, just 40 Bright Silver Metallic with a special Certificate of Authenticity will be built. All editions come in premium collector packaging with a display base, and each features removable T-Tops. Congratulations on being one of the select few to own this precision replica of GM’s first mid-engine sports car.
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