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When Is A Kit Ferrari Better Than The Real Deal? This Fiero-turned-F355 Has Us Intrigued…

When Is A Kit Ferrari Better Than The Real Deal? This Fiero-turned-F355 Has Us Intrigued…

Supercars have their place in the world, and normally, that place is far away from us. We don’t have money falling out of random body parts, we don’t wear Hawaiian shirts that have traces of *ahem* baby powder on them, and we don’t speak fluent Italian. What does appeal to us about supercars are their performance. They are meant to haul ass in a manner that is supposedly far and above what a normal plebian is ever supposed to know, while making sounds that could legitimately turn on a gearhead in the process. We don’t think about Lamborghinis and Ferraris every day, but if you think we’d shut down the chance to hot-lap one in anger…well, once we make sure that we wouldn’t be on the hook for costs, you bet that we’d be rowing gears in anger.

Except, there is that cost thing. Take a Ferrari F355, one of the most desirable Ferraris of the last twenty-five years. It’s 375-horsepower, five-valve-per cylinder 3.5L V8 is a screamer, it still ran a legit manual transaxle, and it looks pretty good. There is just one problem: it’s expensive as hell to maintain…even by Ferrari standards. Every three to five years, the engine comes out for a timing belt. If the stock headers are still on, you might want to blow a few grand for upgraded pieces, and pray that the valve guides don’t fail on that engine in the meantime. Spending a lot of money on supercar upkeep shouldn’t be a shock, but when supercar owners are wincing…that’s when you should back away.


But we’ve seen the answer for this before, and we think we are looking at one again: a high-quality kit car with potential. We don’t know where this kit is sourced from, but we do know the underpinnings of the car – it’s a stretched 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT, which is a great find. The suspension in the rear is the tri-link setup instead of the junk that General Motors raided from the Citation’s parts bin, and the chassis was stretched properly, even so far as to get inspected for safety. On the surface, with the exception of the missing Ferrari airbag steering wheel, it’s a very convincing fake. In fact, there is only one thing wrong: the factory V6 that came with the Fiero was retained. How hard would it be to locate a six-speed transaxle that would bolt up to an LS4?

eBay Link: 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT converted into Ferrari F355 replica


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5 thoughts on “When Is A Kit Ferrari Better Than The Real Deal? This Fiero-turned-F355 Has Us Intrigued…

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    If you think that this pile of shit looks anything like a Ferrari of any description then you either need your eyes testing or need to lay off the drugs before writing your articles!

  2. Matt Cramer

    Apparently a few of the Pontiac G6s came with a 6 speed that works for this; a Getrag 5 speed is a bit easier to find. This wouldn’t be a bad starting point for trying to see if a kit car can be modded to keep up with real exotics.

  3. MorePSI

    An F40 6 speed can be fitted to an LS4 with some machine work, there’s been a couple write ups on it on LS1Tech and GMLS4

  4. Dabidoh Sambone

    Looks like an Amida G1 dash has been installed, fixing the weakest point of any ’88 Fiero: it’s amazingly dated eyesore of a dashboard.

    Overall this looks brilliant, a great use of a stout Fiero chassis.

  5. cap\\\'n fast

    the real engineering/design challenge for this class of car is auditory.
    how do we make this car sound like a wounded Fiat four banger with loose cam chains when it is sitting next to some one at idle at a red light????
    that is the difference between the fake and real Ferrari. fake sounds better. actual F355s sound like a wounded Fiat at idle. not manly/very sad.needs a seven liter v-8. the open roof is a good thing to have. to complete the effect of fake Ferrari ownership, it would allow the driver to throw a wad of cash into the air as the car leaves the red lights. that way no one notices that the car doesn\’t sound right and is as slow as molasses in January. but, nicely done.

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