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Oct. 4 Weekly Open Thread--Our Cars Week Upcoming!

As always, this is the right place for the random conversation that doesn't belong anywhere else.

I'm delighted to announce that we'll be holding another Our Cars event in the next few weeks and are now accepting reader submissions. For those unfamiliar with this somewhat awkwardly named feature, the Our Cars feature is our semi-regular reader-powered feature, in which readers are invited to share the stories about their own cars that they have loved and despised over the years. Car Lust's contributors will likely chime in as well, but this is really about readers sharing their stories.

It's also worth mentioning that virtually all of our Car Lust contributors began their career with this blog by contributing Our Cars posts. If any of you are interested in contributing to this blog, Our Cars is the way to start.

So, if you're interested in participating, here are some suggested steps and guidelines:

  • Choose a car (or, I suppose, multiple cars) with which you actually have some personal experience. Ideally, this would be a car that you personally owned, but it's possible to put together a great Our Cars post on a car that you drove regularly--like a friend's car, a company car, or a parent's car.
  • Tell the story of why you found that car interesting; the more the car interests you, the more it will likely interest the rest of us.
  • Don't feel bad if the car you'd like to write about isn't a supercar; most of us find everyday cars as interesting, or potentially even more interesting, than exotic hardware.
  • Include some pictures to help us follow the story and appreciate your car. Ideally, they would be pictures of your actual car, bu representative images are fine as long as you credit the source.
  • E-mail your piece to me at the e-mail link in the right column.
  • If you're looking for some good examples, read this, this, and this. Or, simply browse through all of our Our Cars posts; the farther back you go into the archives, the more reader-submitted posts you'll see.

--Chris H.


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I had two that were good drivers but way different. First was an '85 Plymouth Duster Turismo I bought new, cost around $7,500.00. I got it with a 5 speed manual and the 2.2 engine. It was a comfortable driver and always got around 33 MPG. I changed the oil and filter regularly and only had two problems in its entire life. One was a new clutch and the other was a new throttle body injector. It went out at 143,000 miles. No. 2 was an '84 Crown Vic, which I bought from an uncle in '92. Velour interior, and rode like a dream. Again, I changed the oil and filter regularly and had few problems. It has been in storage for some time, and I hope to bring it back to life. The body isn't too bad, and it would be a neat one to drive.

I always thought the Pontiac Fiero was a cool car back in the day! Never owned one, but they were different from anything else I had ever seen.

there was a 84 2M4 for sale in the exact same color red, automatic (yucky) for $5000 in my hood. It had barely 21k miles and not a scratch. I was not sure a Chevy Citation powered non sports car that "looks" like a sports car was really worth that kind of cash?

kenny, I remember you telling us about it. The problem with the price is that with a couple grand more I could buy a mint BMW CSi series, locally.

Never get an '84 model Fiero. That was their first year... they got recalled for tons of stuff, including catching on fire. I had an '86 and in typical GM fashion, they were just starting to get them right by then.

My problem with the Fiero today is that the best looking ones were the 1984s. As GM slowly prepared the Fiero for death by addressing each of its mechanical shortcomings, they couldn't resist chintzing out the styling and ruining the purity of the original design. You can have a good looking Fiero, or you can have one that performs moderately well and doesn't burn to the ground, but you can't have both.

Oh, but you can. The optimal solution is to get an '84 Fiero, yank out the Iron Duke and send it off to be melted down, and swap in the drivetrain from an '86. I also understand a 4100 V-8 can be made to fit, and I'd at least explore the possibility of dropping in a Honda engine and transaxle.


Didn't they also replace the Chevette front suspension and Citation front suspension used as rear suspension as the kill date approached? Pontiac actually offered racing parts that could create a killer Iron Duke, but the chassis was kit car quality until late in the the life cycle.

The '84-'86 Fieros were virtually identical. Yes, they got new bumper covers in '87-88.

My understanding is that only the '88 GT got the new suspension (Designed by Lotus), and GM only built them for six months before killing the car entirely.

The Iron Duke put out about 90 hp, the 2.8 V-6 was 120.

My idea of the best engine in Fiero is a DOHC Quad-4 that put out 180 hp. Small enough to fit the car with ease, lightweight (the damn things were too tail-heavy already), and hopefully plenty of power.

CJinSD, you may find this Car Craft article interesting:

That Car Guy, Only 180HP? Ehh... :/

The supercharged 3800 from wrong-wheel-drive-Buick GSs and Pontiacs is also a common swap.

But there are a few out there that, well... check the link:

This one I dunno much, but, allegedly, there are videos of it in Youtube.

And finally, not the pic(s) that I was looking for, but hey:

And since we're on the subject of engine swaps, go to the DeLorean feature and check the link I added.

My concern about too much power in a Fiero is that most of them were not made to go at high speed, with the cannibalized Chevette and transplanted FWD rubbish suspension pieces. But doubling the Iron Duke's horsepower, while actually using a smaller (and maybe lighter) engine sounds intriguing, especially since it could have been done with all-GM parts.

I looked up the Quad 4 and found this:

"The W41 was the highest output Quad 4. The 1991–1992 W41 were rated at 190 hp (140 kW)..."

I knew they had been released at 180hp, I never knew at 190... and we haven't talked about adding a turbo yet. And while still maintaining the Fiero 2M4 nomenclature LOL!


Thanks for the link! I recall that Car and Driver tested a road car that Pontiac built with the Super Duty Iron Duke and a different intake system. It may have had a single 4-barrel or some version of TBI. They also tested Pontiacs GTU race Fiero. IIRC, the Super Duty catalog car was three-tone brown. I think the article you linked to shows that it would be no amatuer or inexpensive thing to build a Super Duty Iron Duke. All the components arrived basically unfinished and in need of hours of expert machining. I guess that is why the engine swaps took hold instead.

Thanks again tigerstripes! I love it when old Car and Driver articles turn up. They do seem to drive home the point that the magazine's best days are well past it though.

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