The Pontiac Fiero could have been a winner with a supercharged V-6

1986 Pontiac Fiero front 3/4

By all reasonable accounts, the Pontiac Fiero was a disappointment. GM’s mid-engine experiment had a lot of potential, but it was ultimately stifled by cost cutting measures and corporate mandates designed to keep its abilities under it’s big-brother—the Corvette. Fortunately, owners and enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to right this performance-crushing wrong. And this supercharged V-6 on eBay might just be the poster child for this movement.

With a starting bid of $3000 and a Buy-It-Now price of $4000, this Fiero offers a ton of potential for minimal coin. And even if purchasing it turned out to be a mistake, that low entry cost makes the gamble just a bit more palatable. By decoding the VIN, we can tell the car itself is a 1986 notchback originally equipped with the asthmatic 2.5-liter Iron Duke. However, that 92-horsepower four-banger is long gone, with a supercharged Buick 3800 series V-6 now filling the space behind the seats. While the seller doesn’t specifically state its output, you could safely assume that it is somewhere in range of 250 ponies, placing this Pontiac at a Corvette-rivaling 10.8 lbs./hp.

1986 Pontiac Fiero engine buick 3800 supercharger
1986 Pontiac Fiero rear 3/4
1986 Pontiac Fiero drivers side
1986 Pontiac Fiero drivers interior

Beyond the impressive performance estimates, the rest of the car appears to be in great shape. Interior photos show very clean carpets and dash, complemented by highly-bolstered aftermarket bucket seats. And were it not for the polished aluminum valve covers and anodized fuel rails, it would be easy mistaking the supercharged Buick mill for a factory installation. The car’s exterior continues the tidy trend (save for the not-really-my-taste aftermarket wheels) with no major noticeable dents, dings or paint imperfections. Also, this Fiero’s Florida history and its mostly-plastic construction probably minimize the chances of corrosion.

So is this engine swapped Fiero a total win or a fool’s folly? The Hagerty Price Guide indicates the value of an average-condition 1986 example is around $3500. And while the V-6 transplant might detract from originality, the argument could easily be made that this is how the car should have come from the start. But if one thing is for certain, it’s that this car potentially offers one helluva fun-per-dollar ratio. That alone might be its greatest selling point.