Is the Fiero a collectible car now? Are certain models more valuable? Is it worth storing your Fiero for future financial gain? A collector may feel that owning one of these “rare” cars puts the owner in a class of having something very few others have. Some owners are obsessed with owning a “rare” car, but they miss the whole point of owning a Fiero. This car, no matter the model, is a FUN car, and a mass-produced one at that. Does that mean it is worth a lot of money and will appreciate in value? Will the ’88 GT, ‘88 Formula, or ’84 Indy Pace Car someday be worth more than they are worth today? The typical collector of a low-mileage, pristine Fiero is probably more an enthusiast than a collector hoarding and maintaining their car(s) in the hope that some day they will be worth a great deal more. The bottom line is that some Fieros have started a slow appreciation. Some mint, very low mileage ’88 GTs are in fact selling in the $10,000 to $15,000 price range, depending on options, with asking prices up to $20,000 or more!
What is happening to Fiero values? Since 1993, I have been closely tracking Fiero prices—not just advertised asking prices, but real-world, “what it sold for” prices. These are tracked through internet "cars for sale" sites, eBay, internet newsgroups, car dealers, club member transactions, Pennocks Fiero Forum, Kelley Blue Book pricing, Craig’s List and discussions with Fiero owners throughout the U.S. Most used car guides no longer even list the Fiero due to its age. Each year as I prepare this price guide, I have seen Fiero prices continue to decline. (Remember that we are talking about 31- to 35-year-old cars with shrinking parts availability.) The majority of operating Fieros on the road are approaching or have gone well over 100,000 miles. One benefit of this is that there are still plenty of good Fieros out there that can be purchased inexpensively, especially the 4-cylinder models. As mileage goes up and values go down, the factor of disposability comes into play. At some point, the cost of repairs (for many owners) exceeds the actual value of the car, so it is disposed of. However, I continue to see a slow improvement in Fiero values, mostly in lower mileage examples.
The 2019 Fiero Price Guide dollarvalues are again broken down into three condition levels: Fair, Average and Excellent. However, the one variable that is not easily reduced to a chart is condition. It is easy to evaluate a price from a chart based on the year, model, options, and even an adjustment for mileage; however, the key lies in how the car was maintained and driven, as well as the condition of exterior paint, tires, brakes, interior, upholstery, glass and functioning A/C. These are just a few of the major factors which affect the condition variable. Based on the many cars I have seen, this variable factor alone can translate into price differentials of 25 to 50% from the values shown in this 2019 Fiero Price Guide. An ’88 GT with under 10,000 miles, a mint ‘84 Indy Pace Car, or other mint or low mileage cars are not capable of being charted in this guide. Even considering the used car prices in one region, an ‘Excellent’ condition retail price on an average mileage ’88 GT may vary by as much as $2,500! Also, I do not chart or evaluate values for major custom changes like engines, added body panels, special or non-stock paint, or major interior changes, including rebody or “kit” cars; this in and of itself constitutes a separate Fiero market!
As a guide for choosing between the three condition levels in the 2019 Fiero Price Guide, here is my description for each level:
A “fair” vehicle rating means that the Fiero probably has some mechanical defects but is still in safe, running condition. The paint, body and/or interior need work to be performed by a professional in order to be sold. The tires probably need to be replaced, the A/C may not work and rubber seals around openings are cracked or showing substantial wear. The car may need exhaust work and brake work. There may be some repairable, under-skin rust damage. The value of cars in this category may vary widely. Even after significant reconditioning, this vehicle may not qualify for any Kelley Blue Book suggested retail value. High mileage base Coupes, Sport Coupes and even SEs like this can be regularly found for under $1,000.
An “average” vehicle rating means that the Fiero is free of any major defects. The paint, body and interior have only minor (if any) blemishes, and there are no major mechanical problems. In states where under-skin rust is a problem, this should be very minimal and a price correction should be made. The tires match and have substantial tread life left. Everything works, but the vehicle showing normal wear and tear for the mileage. Possibly the A/C is not working (but intact), there are some seat wear/rips, or the emergency brake is non-functioning. The car may need shocks/struts. An average vehicle may need some reconditioning to be sold at retail; however, any major reconditioning should be deducted from the value. Many Fieros fall into this category.
An “excellent” vehicle rating means that the vehicle looks great, is in excellent mechanical condition, and needs no major reconditioning. The engine compartment should be clean with no fluid leaks. The finish is glossy and the paint, body and interior are free of any abnormal wear or visible defects. Under-skin rust is minimal. The tires are the proper size, match and are newer or nearly new. Everything works, even the A/C, cruise and emergency brake. Good, documented maintenance records are available. You can tell the owner (and possibly previous owners) took great care in maintaining the vehicle. Any condition level above “excellent” tends to be a car that is extraordinarily maintained, low mileage, not regularly driven, kept in seasonal storage and in many cases driven only to car shows.
The consensus among Fiero enthusiasts continues to be the same as in past years. The ’88 GT, ‘88 Formula and ’86 to’87 GTs continue to be at the top of buyers’ "most wanted" lists. While several car price guides reduce value for a manual transmission by about 8 to 10%, the real market price for manuals is about the same as for automatics. Suspension modifications to ’85 to ‘87 V6s may make these cars very desirable; pricing differentials between ‘88s and ’85 to ‘87 Fieros may make it worthwhile to add suspension and brake components to the ’85 to ’87, typically lower-priced cars. In addition, since 33,540 GTs were produced in the ’86 to ‘87 model years, there are a lot more opportunities to find a well maintained ’86 to ’87 GT than finding one of the 6,848 ’88 GTs made.
Remember, use the chart as a guide. It is intended only as a starting point when selling or buying a Fiero.
©2019 Paul Vargyas, Northern Illinois Fiero Enthusiasts, Inc.
6 North Tower Rd, Oak Brook, IL 60523