The Pontiac Fiero may be affordable forever

The Pontiac Fiero lives in a strange space. A sporty, small, two-seater that stands as a constant reminder of what could have been. The spritely handling matched its looks, but a penny-pinching development team saddled the early version with the “Iron Duke” four-cylinder. Its modest 92 horsepower made driving more of a leisurely experience than an exhilarating one. Later versions added a 140-hp V-6, which elevated performance to match the redesigned aero bodywork, but the car always struggled to shake its initial reputation. It compared well to other mid-engine small cars of the time, including the Fiat X1/9 and Toyota MR2, but that didn’t seem to save it.

In current times, the somewhat roomy and decidedly fun-to-drive Fiero seems to struggle in a market flooded with affordable comparable cars like the Mazda Miata and Toyota MR2. The Fiero has never escaped the realm of affordable fun, with a median #2-condition value of $7300 10 years ago; today that same condition sits at $7000. A small climb from $7200 to $7900 took place between January 2015 and May 2016, only to return to $7000 from May 2017 to January 2018.

1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula engine
1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula Mecum
1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula interior
1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula Mecum

1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula profile
1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula Mecum

The best-performing Fieros in the market are 1988 GT coupe models. That final production year saw in improved suspension to make that model the best of the breed, and prices reflect it, with #2-condition values at $13,400. Despite being the most valuable model, even the ’88 GT coupe has seen a 5.6-percent dip over the last two years, although the 1984–86 base models took a larger hit with a drop of 12.5 percent in the same time.

One factor in the overall decrease across is the market continues to be flush with options to buy. The 12-month average of cars coming to auction sits at 25 cars from mid-2017 to mid-2018, meaning a buyer has little incentive to buy when there will always be another opportunity in the near future. Further evidence of a slight drop in top-tier prices is the high mark for a Fiero sold in 2018 was $11,550 for a 2100-mile 1985 GT coupe. Looking just a few years back to 2015 shows the highest auction price paid was $18,360 for a 1500-mile 1985 GT coupe.

Where will the Fiero go from here? All signs point to: not far. The Pontiac two-seater seemed to have a small day in the sun in 2015–16, but the initial knock in its reputation seems to have had a lasting effect. If prices do rise in the future, it will likely be only a modest increase. If you’ve been thinking about picking one up, go for it. Just don’t plan to flip it for big profits in the future. Maybe just enjoy the unique mid-engine car for what it is good at—driving.

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    I can not find an 87 of 88 fiero gt in the price range suggested. Most sellers are in the 15 to 20 thousand range.

    Im guessing they are unaware their Fieros are not worth that kind of money.

    I have a 86 and 2 87 GTs one is a 2.8 converted to a 3.1 stroker which is a driver . And a 84 SE indy If you are interested id be happy to talk to you about them . I have all the parts off another 87 GT too.

    This article will be proven wrong. I can’t count the number of Fiero articles where readers often said they once owned a Fiero and then regretted selling them. Good well kept Fieros still twist heads when driving by. There are very few MR2’s around, most having been converted into iron oxide.
    I wonder if the author of this article has ever even driven a Fiero? Probably not!

    Hi Ed. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I have driven a Fiero and quite enjoyed the experience. More often than not I view the Fiero as being similarly misaligned like the Corvairs I have owned and love. It seems that one little piece of history–that is often proved incorrect with time–follows these cars forever and owners have to tolerate hearing the same three stories, myths, or outright lies every time they take their car out of the garage. It’s a bummer really, as that incorrect perception seemingly puts a ceiling on prices as only those dedicated to the model are willing to pay for the honor of being an ambassador who will go out and drive the car and correct history whenever someone tries to tell them how dangerous or bad their car is.

    In short, I don’t think it would be a bad thing to see Fiero values rise. Unfortunately there seems to be outside forces that may have to let up in order for that to happen.

    Thanks for the carefully thought out reply! I guess that Fiero owners become a little jaded after having the same “stories, myths, or outright lies” flung at them time and time again. And you are no doubt correct that Corvair owners probably endure the same abuse!
    I currently own two 1987 Fieros, one the gentle iron Duke powered coupe and the other the V6 powered GT. I enjoy both of them for what they are. My neighbour’s boys (early 20’s) both keep asking if I’m going to sell them? How many almost 40 year old vehicles foster such intergenerational interest?
    Thanks again for your reply!

    I am new to this site. I really enjoyed reading what you guys are say. I a 87 GT with some custom scoops. it looks good confederate Grey. I also have an 84 Indy Fiero. I put a new iron duke engine, but haven’t got it cranked yet. I thoroughly enjoyed my Fiero. Pontiac finally came back with me solstice roadster which is a small engine that runs like crazy. I may be Pontiac fan?

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