By on May 21, 2020

Multiple dam failures brought on by prolonged and intense rain in central Michigan saw a record surge of water sent down the Tittabawassee River last night. Following the breach of the Edenville and Sanford dams, water levels peaked at 35 feet in downstream Midland, MI, breaking the previous record by more than a foot.

In the affected area, the dam failures left uprooted trees and lives, unmoored buildings, a lake drained nearly dry, and a catastrophe of the automotive kind. 

One of the businesses hit by the wall of water was Fieros Forever, a retailer, repair shop, and museum near the banks of the Titabawassee in the village of Sanford, just downstream from the Sanford dam.

The aftermath can be seen in these photos published by The Detroit News. Journalist Jim Roberts brought the Fiero carnage to our attention last night.

It looks like more than a handful. The destruction of Fieros Forever left numerous mid-engined 1980s GM products littered through the small village. Past media reports about the business, created by Fiero enthusiast Tim Evans in 2006, claim it housed up to three dozen of the vehicles, with the most recent Google Streetview image showing a yard of Fieros of varying condition residing next to the shop/showroom.

Also going by that Streetview image, it seems the building seen attempting to swallow Fieros Forever in the post-disaster photos was not adjacent to the shop before the flood hit. That’s a collision you’re seeing.

The business was hit with a smaller flood in 2017, as a crop of flood-damaged Fieros reportedly appeared at auction in the area around that time. Sadly, it seems that, just before the cataclysmic flood hit, Fieros Forever was in transition. A one-day online auction announced on April 20th and set for July 22 was to see upwards of a dozen Fieros hit the block. The listing claims “Fieros Forever has decided to discontinue their dealership,” with the business tapping the online auction house to unload rolling stock, spare parts, engines, and shop tools.

[Image: Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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51 Comments on “Pontiac Fiero Collection Swept Away in Michigan Flood...”


  • avatar
    Mojo_Mike

    Given the Fiero’s propensity to catch fire, getting washed away in a flood is a fitting end.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    For every disaster there’s a silver lining.
    Crush them all.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    There’s got to be *dozens* of dollars of losses there. A shame.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    David Tracy will give these cars a new home.

  • avatar
    eCurmudgeon

    This “Collection” wasn’t intended as a warning to future generations by any chance?

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    It’s still a loss. GM had pretty much fixed the Fiero’s problems by the time they gave up on it. That someone could make a living out of them says that they do have fans. It’s the same with Corvairs which GM abandoned even earlier.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Everyone called him stupid for collecting Fiero’s, his wife even left him for his financial folly. Who is laughing now as he submits his insurance claim following the destruction of his “priceless” collection of rare, highly sought after Fieros.

    I saw sign in the background on a news report and laughed out loud a little. Seriously though, hopefully this poor misguided soul has insurance that covers the loss. I have a soft spot for dreamers.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I knew a women who had a gold & black Fiero in showroom condition. It was actually a very sharp looking car, thus I could see the appeal. For every brand / model there is always a handful of die-hard fans that regard them, despite their flaws or non-acceptance in the market, as the best thing ever. While you may not agree with their choice you gotta love their passion. Bummer they lost what looked like a valuable resource.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    I guess I have a soft spot for Fieros because I owned two of them. I never had an serious issues with them, and for their time, the 4-banger got excellent fuel economy and the V6 was pretty quick. Only real downsides were the notchy manual trannies and small fuel tank. I’d love to get a pristine 1988 with a Quad-4 conversion.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I remember when comments on TTAC were of the intelligent variety by people that were somewhat actually…informed…on the issues that they were commenting about.

    It was a quaint time. Ed was the editor and not writing GOP speeches. The ranks of writers included respected auto journos and Bertel, despite bowing shamelessly at the altar of Toyota (and apparently was a bit too cozy with the brand), had valuable insights on the Chinese automotive market (beyond his monthly, this is the month GM sales collapse in China story).

    It was before “troll polls” the end of car reviews that actually had some meaning. It was a time of Vellum Venom, Piston Slap, and commenters like Crab Spirits were more engaging than some of the authors. It was before ads as stories, let’s turn my girlfriend into a writer because, well I can, and before everything, and I mean everything became politicized. Which is saying a lot given this site was born out of political roots.

    There was a time TTAC not only mocked Jalopnik, but this was almost an island in the automotive community of mostly rational thought and great discussion.

    Now.

    Wasteland.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I think it’s sad to have your dream washed away in a flood :(

    I’m also going to bet that he wasn’t adequately insured especially after a previous flood 3 years ago

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “Never trust the dam authorities.”

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Oh no! That is a dam shame.

    Make mine an 88.5 blue GT.

    • 0 avatar

      My uncle had a blue ’87 GT when I was a kid, which is what gave me the Fiero bug and led to me eventually owning an ’88 GT until just recently. Blue was only available in ’87, though.
      Here’s mine:
      https://photos.app.goo.gl/9HkktaD6GSGiZG8R6

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Fear not, citizens. There’s still the Fiero Factory near Huntsville, AL.

    Actually, based on their website their prospects look about as grim as Fieros Forever

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Looks like those Fieros got doused out.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The problem wasn’t so much the car, except it was marketed as a genuine sports car, when it was really just a cute Chevette/Citation mashup that could zig.

    It was priced equal to the Camaro or Mustang, with the Fiero SE at Z/28 and GT prices.

    Even though its performance entering and mid-corner was impressive for its day (by default), it soon became clear what you really got for your money. Hosed.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      That was GM politics. It had to be an economy car lest it step on the precious Corvette that was frankly pretty lackluster in the Fiero’s day. I’d rather have an 88GT than most C4’s save the ZR1.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Back in the day, when these were still around, I saw two of them (at different times) on the side of the highway, caught on fire. Same stretch of road too!

    In high school there was a snooty rich girl who drove one, bought by her divorced mom. This girl was always trying to be rebellious and wanting to fit in with the punk rock crowd I hung out with. The Fiero – iron duke edition – was a perfect car for her.

    • 0 avatar
      DemandSider

      Yeah, sure you did. And I saw 4 Hyundais and 2 Nissans in flames within 10 minutes on the SAME stretch of road! Mathematically, my scenario is much more likely than yours.

  • avatar

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/fieros-forever-flood-relief

    Tim Evans Fieros Forever was devastated on May 19, 2020, when heavy rainfall caused the Edenville Dam in central Michigan to fail. This put a tremendous load downriver on the Sanford Dam, which failed two hours later. Tim opened this business in 2006 as both a tribute to the cars and as a way for other Fiero lovers to buy cars, find replacement parts, and come together to celebrate the “common man’s sports car” or “nearly perfect car” .

    His daughter has set up a GoFundMe where you can see the pictures of this catatrophic loss. Please help if you can. Funds will go directly to Tim and Linda Evans to cover expenses related to flood relief and clean up of Fieros Forever. We thank you for your concern and assistance. Tim especially appreciates comments and greetings from fellow Fiero enthusiasts!

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/fieros-forever-flood-relief

  • avatar

    The classic example of what GM can do, and usually does, before it is killed. I spent time with an early version, a GF’s car, and it was pretty but mechanically, just sucked. Sad, actually.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    I am somewhat surprised that they don’t float.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Even with the flood damage, these are nicer than the one that kid on YouTube started with. I’d dry one out and clean it up. It’s an 80s Pontiac…not a Hurrican. Shouldn’t be too hard to save.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      “that kid on YouTube” [Raising hand because I’ve watched those videos too; they’re good fun, and I like the kid’s self-deprecating style.]

      The Ate Up With Motor article on the Fiero is a good one and provides some insight beyond the usual “They caught on fire!” and “GM canceled it just when they got it right.”

      ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/pontiac-fiero/

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I remember when it first came out and it was a “commuter” car. They even had a segment on them at one of the NASCAR races, back when I actually watched NASCAR.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Yeah, and they had the bad luck of appearing at the same time as Honda’s CRX, which was a way better commuter by any metric, and a better sports car.*

      *I’ll concede the 2nd-gen V6 Fiero GT may be an exception.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Well that’s a bummer.

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