It frightened me to approach it but Dad insisted.
To me, it looked like an animal hiding in tall grass, waiting to die. To him, for $50, it was worth looking at – A grey, 1984 Fiero 2M4. Because Pontiac made it out of fiberglass, it didn’t have any rust on it. Because it had sat for so long, it didn’t run. It was 1991.
We had it towed to a garage for me to work on it. I imagine now he thought it a good project for me – something to get my hands dirty and to spend time with him doing something he thought I enjoyed.
- I took a spoiler from a late model RX-7 and adapted it to the rear deck
- Exhaust poured in from the firewall because the previous owner had removed the air conditioning and torn away some of the insulation in the process
- Had to install a manual fan to keep it cool – never figured out the cooling system on the damned thing. There’s a red toggle that lights up when flipped on.
- Loved the speakers in the headrest
- Finding reverse was a true pain in the ass
- I have a vivid memory of being underneath the car, trying to replace the starter motor, while Dad and his friend laughed and joked about how funny it was that it took so long for me to do something so simple while I enjoyed the solitude of being under the car
- We had someone repaint it a beautiful shade of red
Ultimately, the transmission gave out and so did my enthusiasm for the project. So many hours and so much thought put into keeping it on the road for one more drive seemed like a waste, but getting rid of it seemed like more of a waste. So, in order for it to depreciate enough in my mind, I have kept it ever since.
Until my grandmother moved in with my parents, I kept it in her garage. When I got married and bought a house, I transferred it. Instead of simply getting it towed by CAA, I decided to enlist my brother (a real mechanic, mind you) to help me try and get it started. What seems like a thousand dollars later, he still couldn’t get it to work and we still ended up towing it to my new home.
Now it sits in my garage, taking up as much space there as it sometime does in my brain. I admit, my first thoughts are to start trying to get it running again. Just start taking it apart and put it back together and see if it works. Maybe Reido would could out in the garage and take a turn or two at the wrench – he seems to like tools well enough. But after I watch his toy adventures and deeply he gets involved in reading and how intense he gets when he outlines the stories and ideas he has I think it’s not right to make him do what I want to do.
So, for anyone that is interested. There is a red, broken down 1984 Pontiac Fiero for sale. It hasn’t run in fifteen years and hasn’t been stored in a temperature controlled environment and the tires are flat and the rims are grungy. It looks nothing like the monster in the grass that frightened me almost thirty years ago. It’s just a plastic car sitting on flat tires in my garage. Good news, there’s no rust.
I’ll take your best offer.
Get it before it’s gone to the wreckers.