Friday, February 01, 2008

Bitchin' Fiero


First let me start by saying that I am far from a motorhead. When it comes to cars I can't go on about superchargers or the superiority of specialized suspension kits in comparison to their factory counterparts. My knowledge is basic. I know where the gas goes, and have a vague understanding of how to change my oil. In an emergency I might be able to change a flat tire, but the odds are probably fifty-fifty. Lately, however, I have been picturing my dream car.

The car I envision speeding down a leaf strewn country road in is not a classic muscle car like a Ford Mustang. I don't picture myself taking the turns in a chopped up Chevrolet Chevelle or Dodge Charger. No, my dream car is a Pontiac Fiero; a silly half-breed of sports car and sub-compact with all the styling the late 80s had to offer.

I am aware of the Fiero's drawbacks. For one, there is no backseat. The interior is a little cramped which is obvious by the way the stereo speakers have been mounted in the headrest of the driver's seat rather than in the dash. It's also not that powerful for a sports car, and due to the fact it doesn't weigh very much when compared to other sports cars it tends to be more than iffy when driven above seventy-five. The Pontiac Fiero though does have it advantages.

The first advantage is that it's cheap. Fiero's on ebay range from three hundred to around two thousand dollars. This is due in large part to the fact that most have hundred of thousands of miles logged on them by this point, and have long since been marked by cigarette burns and the occasional spilled beverage. It's important to lust after the achievable. Life is easier that way.

Another advantage to the Fiero is that I can appreciate its awkward charm. It looks like a suped-up go-cart which hopes to be a real sports car one day. It has potential which has never been fully realized. It just needs a chance- a fresh start.

Lastly, how many Fiero do you see on the road today? Camry's are as ubiquitous as SUVs. Mini-Coopers and Impalas make me yawn. If I had a Fiero and drove it with pride and vigor I can imagine my neighbors watching me pull into my driving with awe and confusion. Maybe they would approach me with a smile and say, "Are you driving a Fiero now?" I would nod and lean against the hood with a toothpick in my teeth.

So my dream car might not stun showroom crowds in Detroit or pace laps at the Indy 500, but for three hundred dollars I can imagine the American highway would be a little fiercer. I can see myself driving into the sunset in a little firecracker that never found its footing, past its prime, taking another shot at being a true sports car.

1 comment:

The Green Panther said...

Hey there -- I am SO SORRY to never have gotten back to you on those short stories. I can't find my hard copies ... do you remember if you emailed them to me? If so I will go back and look for the email.

Anyway ... I'm a loser ... but I'll try to make it up to you. Good to read your blog!

Beth