The Case For Replicas: 1987 Fiero-Ferrari

Replicas are the Rodney Dangerfield of the auto world: they don't get any respect. But I like them. In fact, I think in some cases they make more sense than owning the original.

Take Ferrari replicas. Real Ferraris are expensive to start with. Then there's the cost of parts, repairs, worrying about getting a scratch in it, heck, even an oil change on some models requires the engine to come out of the bay! It's not for the faint of heart, or wallet.

However, a replica gives you that classic Pininfarina styling without all the headaches of the real thing. The best Ferrari replicas were either the Corvette-based McBurnie Daytona or the Pontiac Fiero-based 308/328. This is a Fiero-based 328. Pontiac actually liked the idea of a replica so much they allowed dealers to sell a 308 body as an option called the Mera. This was quickly shutdown after threats of lawsuits, but it got enough gears turning for people to be interested.

The Mera was based on the 308. I've never seen a 328 replica, although it could be easily done since the basic body is the same as the 308. It looks pretty good, especially with the post-'86 lights.

The seller confirms this is indeed based on a Fiero. Unfortunately, it will not have Ferrari-like performance, as it's a 4-cylinder version, a shame since the 6-cylinders are readily available. They also say it has an auto transmission. On the upside, they list the mileage as 69k and say the seats are leather.

This is a mostly show-and-no-go car, but the details and spirit are in the right place.  I would remove the Corvette side mirrors and rear spoiler and then just have a good laugh driving around. Also, if I were a b-movie director I'd totally want one of my characters to drive one and not worry if they crash it in a chase.

Available here on craigslist for $9,999.

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