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Thread: Speed/performance and money or value?

  1. #1

    Speed/performance and money or value?

    I had an epithany the other day.

    Bare with me, background info is necessary...

    Less than a year ago I bought a 2002 Vette, Millenium Yellow, 6 Speed. Why spend 50K on a car? Well, the rationale went like this: I could hop up an f-body, have owned numerous of these, and get the same straight-line performance or better, for less money.

    but it isn't a Vette

    Also wont handle like one or turn heads like one either.

    And although my dream car would have been a 355 (real one),
    a) didnt have the cash and b) it can't hang with the new vettes, especially the Z06.

    And after test driving one I was hooked... biggest mistake I ever made, ruined me. For the performance level, you can't beat it price wise, and if I had it to do over I'd go find a barely used one. (Hate depreciation) But the financing was right after Sept 11th, 0%. And by the time you calulate interest on a used one, it is close to a wash, if you go full term. Lots of high tech toys, head up display, active handling, great brakes (stops faster than a real Ferrari). My best time 0-60 is 4.3, 4.2 is what the car is advertised at, and I have managed a 13.11 in the 1/4, stock with K&N and Z06 airbox lid.

    I sold an 88 Formula a while back that I drove for a year and a half, because I wanted a GT. I loved that car, most fun for the money. Was rough when I bought it but I brought it back to life. Had stock motor with 108,000 miles, new brakes, shocks, 5 speed etc. I also have an F40 Replica I am currently working on, trying to stretch it and rework the fiberglass to get the deminsion closer to the actual F40. (Kit is too long in the front and to short in the rear). A couple of weeks ago I flew to New Hampshire to get an 88 Gt I found on ebay, 61,000 miles and needing work, drove it back to Alabama, with out air, very little brakes, and no shocks. It was a challenge. Anyway, fixing it up now.

    So here I am driving this $2700 car, which needs some help still, taking it to get paint matched and to buy parts for this that and the other, and I realize something...

    I love this car! It's not a vette, but it is still a great, fun car.

    It is fun to drive, don't have to worry about it being new, nothing can go wrong with it that I can not fix or that is not an excuse for an upgrade (Koni's going on this week). Any repair on a Fiero can not exceed one car payment on the Vette. No stress about parking it next to anyone.
    Having a new vette is a real pain, it's hard to enjoy something when you are overly paranoid about keeping it new, and the vette mentality, or that of any high priced high-end car takes the fun out of owning one. (wonder if I would have ever had the courage to actually drive a Ferrari around town) I have done tons of research on upgrades to the C5, even have the factory service manuals, as I do for anycar I own (money well spent). All upgrades to a C5 cost an arm and a leg... Titanium exhaust $1800! Head work $3000, unless you do it yourself. LS1 edit is about $500 but who wouldnt want to be able to reprogram from a PC while driving?

    I have also spent an exhaustive amount of time researching Fiero performance ever since my first one 10 years ago or so.
    And with a new toy, and the urge to make it faster, I am doing it again, which incidently led me to this site.

    So there I was, crusing in the little Gt, Running up the RPM's, zipping around in traffic, parking where I pleased, and even turning a few heads, not Many Fieros on the roads. And boom it hits me! I am enjoying this car more than my vette.

    Go figure!

    Exception is doing 150+ in the vette or eating up esses. There isn't a person alive with any soul that wouldnt crack a smile at that level of performance. Really. But now if I could only get the Fiero into the ballpark in acceleration, handling (easy to do) and braking (Bit harder with out lots of reworking).

    The F40 has an L98 vette motor sitting on a stand, and a V8 swap kit, and I am really leaning towards a V6 now. I can mimick the performacne with out the install hassle or added weight. I had an interest in the LS1 or LS6 for the fiero, but after seeing all that it takes to do that, I have doubts. The LS1 is light, revs up quick... 0-154 and all you have time to do is shift and steer... Jesus that engine is quick! But realistically, one can get a turbo V6, stock looking 3.4 into 350hp range for about what it takes to shoe horn and LS1/6 in there, not to mention the price of the engine $7K, $5800 complete if bought on line. If I get enough room in the F40 stretch, I will go LS6 and transaxle longitudinal... If... , but if not, then probably just an ol v6, or 3800SC.

    So now, if you were able to read between the lines here (because a real detailed descript of the whys that flashed through my mind would take pages-funny how seconds in your mind translates into paragraphs, chapters, and volumes) you will get why we love Fieros, why we love kits, why I'd rather, even if I had the money to buy a 355, drive a replica... Less worries, less money, more practical, better value, bang for the buck... and for me in particular, the satisfaction of knowing I made it happen. Nothing like looking at something you built and being able to tell the world, as they drool on your fender that "I built this".

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Re: Speed/performance and money or value?

    I hear ya!

    I own a Lotus Esprit Turbo and drive the Fiero more too. i have a ton of fun in BOTH cars, but the worry of Driving the Lotus "with the rest of the world" gets to me sometimes. Like you said, the fiero is a GO ANYWHERE car that you don't really stress about.

    As far as your personaly conclusions to building a kit and enjying the process as well as the finished project... I completely agree.

    See my build diary for my own personal explanation

    My personal recommendation for a high HP, high revving, ferrari worthy motor is the 3.4L TDC/DOHC V6 motor. That's where I ended up and am in the process of getting 450+ HP out of it with the eventual goal of 550+ HP.

    Currently, I'm at 322.87 normally aspirated crank HP. After the Turbo gets installed and running only half the boost, the bench says 450+HP, but if I crank it up to full boost, 550 should be possible. Reliably possible? Probably not 450 Reliable HP, I'm pretty sure!

    Here's my site...

    Enjoy the process!

    DKOV -

  3. #3

    Re: Speed/performance and money or value?

    Nice story!!

    This shit inspires me!!

  4. #4

    Re: Speed/performance and money or value?

    oh yea definately!!!

    Just the other week i met a few car guys at my local coffee time gatherings, and i all of a sudden popped up with my cousin and his 1987 GT. Almost every single hot shot there came over and started asking questions like what the heck is that?? can that thing do 0-60 in a weekend !?!? (HeHe this is where it really begins to get funny) my cousin pops the hood. They all gasp, where the hell is the f#$%ing motor ?!?! how did you get here with no motor !?!?! my cousin tells my buddy vince to pop the so called "trunk" everyone walks over, they are gasping and drooling all over the place. My cousin has a V8archie master V8 conversion kit with a 1992 Cheverolet Camaro IROZ-C motor complete with edelbrock intake and, hooker headers, port and polished heads, and the list goes on they all went nuts!!! literaly !!! they couldn't beileve that this "S!$T" box had a fully blown V8 that could smoke any dinky little honda there. This just proves on what an under dog type status the fiero really has. After wards my cousin briefly explained my 6.0 diablo conversion, and next thing i know i had a bunch of guys writing me down their numbers and stuff to see and check out my progress (even got some girls numbers too ) so like GodAlex said before :

    Would you spend about $70,000 CAD for a vette Z0-6?

    or get some thing truly extraordinary for not even $40-$50 k CAD and not worry about getting it dinged up and keyed all the time ?

  5. #5

    Re: Speed/performance and money or value?

    Still laughing, Racing_trends... too funny. When I first started the F-40 I had a business, mobile elctronics, audio, performace, etc. Even though the kit was unfinished it brought me more walk in traffic... it was cool. And when I was having a mechanic bleed the brakes on the way back from buying the 88 GT, he had to ask which end the master cylinder was on... struck my funny. There are a lot of people who don't realize the fiero is mid-engine... and that makes them just plain cool.

    Here is a tech note for ya... believe it or not, the cerv III vette prototype was to be midengine, and the idea for Pontiac came first to Chevrolet, for the Vette, they were seriously, including Zora Duntov the father of the vette, looking at doing a midengine V8 and then later a V6. The choice of v-6 was due to the fact that the corvette budget was tight and the v-6 was already in use in front wheel drive cars, so all they had to do was move it to the rear, like they did in the Fiero. See Pontiac copied the idea from the Corvette design Team, so if things had been a bit different, and Zora had the budget, the Fiero would never have been, it Would have been called the C-4 Corvette. Aint that a kick in the head? If I find the article again I'll post it.

  6. #6

    Re: Speed/performance and money or value?

    Oh! BTW DKOV,

    I had a copy of an internal memo from GM powertrain on the DOHC motor somewhere...

    The DOHC was originally 275 HP Net, but because the torque was a good bit higher than the rating on the Tranny they were going to use, and powertrain was having trouble putting out a trans that could handle the power and torque, they were finally forced to "detune" the motor to accomidate the trans. Go figure??? Now what I have never be able to confirm is what "detune" means. Most likely they altered the PCM program, or maybe, used a different cam. But if it is PCM programing, then it would be possible to use a similar product to LS1 edit and program on the fly enabling the rest of the HP. What did you do to get yours up so high in HP? Have you dynoed it yet? Very interested. I need to be able to pull 0-60 in 5 ish or less if posible, which means about 350 HP and 375 ft lbs. The vette does it in 4.2, but the fiero is also 300-450 pounds lighter. The six speed has closer ratios.

  7. #7
    Junior Member 88-DOHC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Re: Speed/performance and money or value?

    Currently, I'm at 322.87 normally aspirated crank HP. *After the Turbo gets installed and running only half the boost, the bench says 450+HP, but if I crank it up to full boost, 550 should be possible. *Reliably possible? *Probably not *450 Reliable HP, I'm pretty sure! *

    Here's my site...

    Enjoy the process!

    DKOV -
    Someday, I need DKOV to write down exactly everything he has done to the engine prior to his decision to install the turbo.

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