If I can sneak back into myself and be who I really am, the most interesting article in the New York Times this morning is a man in New Jersey who, for want of a Ferrari, has a Fiero.
Two actually, one red with a T-top which he keeps in perfect stock condition, the other one he fools with, changes engines and such.
A certified technician at a local Mercedes-Benz dealership, his home garage is a shop for working on those two sports cars, and his daily driver is an Oldsmobile Intrigue.
The Olds Intrigue sounds a note because, remember I’m hiding inside myself this morning, one of my relaxations is browsing my car dealer’s website for creampuffs. In fact, I did it earlier -- browsing online is faster, more complete and in some ways better than wandering around their used car lot, where inevitably a salesman comes charging hopefully out whether it’s late evening or even Sunday morning. Sometimes there are no creampuffs, but this morning they have a passel of ‘em, several SUVs, a couple of covetable pickup trucks, and any number of sedans including a low mileage Buick LeSabre and yes an Olds Intrigue.
I’m not in the market for a car, at my age may never be again, but I’m an inveterate if not addicted and somewhat crazed shopper all the anyhow. And I love creampuffs even more than new cars. In fact, my daily driver is a 1999 Buick Century, a creampuff that I bought from Cramer's.
Where was I? Oh, the Fiero.
A mid-engine sports car, it was offered by Pontiac for several years in the middle 1980s
1984 to 1988 and could have succeeded had GM done a good job with it to begin with instead of letting the Chevy division jealously force it off the road with cheapo suspension and mechanics.
I wanted one at the time, but never went there because -- it was a two-seater and there were three of us at home; and remembering small American cars of the 70s as disastrous junk I was leery; and while it looked like the perfect car for whipping around Apalachicola and back and forth to pastoral hospital calls in Panama City and Tallahassee,
I was concerned about what I might look like if a semi hit it; and for dang sure I’d never have let Tass ride in, much less drive, such a little car;
and finally, everywhere we’ve lived I’ve made a friend of one local car dealer and in Apalachicola it was the Ford-Mercury dealer. So a Fiero never made my list.
But they were really cool cars. And today I’d be willing to drive one the same as I drive my Buick Century -- back and forth between home and Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, that’s it, seventeen-hundred, count them, 1,700 miles a year.
If I were looking for a creampuff this morning, they have several at Bill Cramer GM. I might go for the Buick LeSabre, or the Olds Intrigue. They do have a low mileage Corvette, but it's too pricey and I would be tempted to floorboard it. A Fiero would be nice, though.