I’ve seen a fair number of car-themed tatts inked into the flesh of single-interest car fanatics over the years, including the usual Super Bees, Corvette logos, and Alfa snakes, but this gentleman raises the car-tattoo bar to unheard-of heights by opting to make an impressively high percentage of his body’s surface area an homage to GM’s mid-engined two-seater. This man is now King of the Fieros.
I met him at last weekend’s Capitol Offense 24 Hours of LeMons at Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia. LeMons was sharing the venue with Hyperfest, which meant there were plenty of Evo-drifting rednecks with pit bulls and lurid GReddy tattoos strutting about the premises. I must assume that the Hyperfest guys felt like total posers once they caught a glimpse of The Fiero King’s mural.
El Rey de los Fieros was there as part of Rusty Tear Racing, the team that got ripped off by Car & Driver Technical Editor Mike Austin, who sold them the ’85 Fiero made famous in Eddie Alterman’s New York Times article; this car, known as the “five lap Fiero” for its performance at one of the early California LeMons races (for which Austin made his sister tow the car out from Detroit in a blizzard), has been breaking the spirits of racers since the very beginning of LeMons racing.
This time, the Rusty Tear Fiero did pretty well, doing 263 laps and taking 59th place out of 102 starters. The Fiero hasn’t been the worst LeMons car of all time (that honor goes to the Mitsubishi Starion, with the Talon/Eclipse a close second), but the reliability just hasn’t been there. The Fiero King has a plan to turn the Fiero into a LeMons-dominating machine: install a Cadillac 4900 engine in place of the factory 2.8 V6.
He’s got a 4.9 street Fiero right now, complete with shaker hood (this is the car depicted in the scene on his back), and he feels confident that such a setup in a race car would work very well. There will be no problem convincing me that such a car could be built for under 500 bucks, given that beater Fieros aren’t even worth scrap value and 4.9 Cadillac engines can be found in any number of wrecked $200 cars. What could possibly go wrong?
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