In Donnie Brasco, and undercover cop goes in so deep, he almost loses himself in his alter ego. Today's NIce Price or Crack Pipe Zimmer really a Fiero in disguise, but will its price make you say fuggedaboutit?
ROTARY POWER on the tailgate as well as under the hood was enough to spur 61% of you to give yesterday's 1974 REPU a Nice Price send off as it headed to the gas station to whet its whistle. Fuel economy was not one of that little truck's strong points, although the blocky fender flares, quad round tail lights and pugnacious face ensured style was in its favor.
Today's contender goes a a step further and puts style ahead of every other attribute, and its combination of mid engine sleekness and Motorama chrominess make for a juxtaposition of attributes that can be seen as either discordantly jarring or contrastingly brilliant. Zimmer had been making Van conversions for creepy junior high school trollers who appreciated their comfort as well as their R.Kelly. Seeing other makes such as Excalibur enjoying success at building nostalgia cars they thought they'd get in on the garish gold mine, and released the Golden Spirit. Following up on that Ford-based ode to ill proportioned retro-styling was not, as you might expect, the even more extravagant Golden Shower, but a 180-degree turn that ended up being the Quicksilver. Based on the Pontiac Fiero, the Quicksilver clothed that car so completely that the Pontiac could have been serving in the witness protection program. Long, low, and looking like Octomom's 'companion,' the car was penned by Don Johnson (the GM designer, not Nash Bridges), and entered limited production in 1987. That production extended to a total of 170 cars, and of those only three were sprayed in silver, or so the seller of this 1987 example, so hued doeth claim.
With just 24,800 miles on its clock this is one of the nicest looking Quicksilvers on the market today. Of course taste being subjective, saying it's the nicest ZImmer is like saying your cat has the puckeriest butt- some may find that of interest, while others will profess to being dog people. As I noted, the Fiero underpinnings of the Quicksilver are so heavily disguised it's almost impossible to recognize the donor unless you pop your head inside and catch a glimpse of the hip-to-be-square dash. The Fiero, as you will recall, was designed as a compact two-seat runabout with short overhangs. Zimmer rectified that awkward styling attribute with long overhangs capped in Buck Rogers-esque chrome bumpers at both ends and a buck-toothed vertical bar grille at the front. This car's chrome has so much shine to it you would be forgiven from muttering redrum under your breath whenever coming close to it. The over-all look, especially in the silver paint, is evocative of the Olds Toronado, with the only really out of place aspect being the wheels which scream Pep Boys rather than Park Avenue.
You can mask the Fiero's styling, but not the performance of its 140-bhp 2.8-litre V6, or the sluggishness of its 3-speed automatic gearbox. Zimmer built the Quicksliver out of brand new Fiero cars, but unfortunately not out of any that sported a stick. The fiberglass body doesn't add eggregious weight here, and the Quicksilver still comes in, surprisingly, at under a ton and a half, so while performance isn't face-peeling, neither is it so slow you would need David Attenborough to describe it. While enjoyng that leasurely pace, you could also marvel at how unmarred the interior of this car is. Many of the Quicksilvers were apparently purchased by smokers who also had trouble getting in and out of the car without ripping the seat's side bolster a new one, so this car's non-stained and intact leather and wood cabin is a plus.
Plus could also be a word used to describe this Quicksilver's price. At $18,900 asking, it's in the upper regions of the Zimmer stratosphere. That being said, aside from the douchetastic wheels, this is about one of the nicest examples of Quicksilver you might find to buy on the market today.
And why would you buy it? Well, what other Fiero re-body is so convincingly complete in its transformation? What other hand-built one-off has an American heritage and would unquestionably get the primo valet spot at the Olive Garden every Friday night? Al Pacino's character in Donnie Brasco - Lefty - railed on the Lincoln's benefits over a caddy, but here, in the Quicksilver, is a car that you know he, or any other made man would pick in a heartbeat over either of those land yachts.
But what about you, what's your take on $18,900 for an American legend? Is that a price that should easily put this Quicksilver in someone's garage? Or, is that too much, even if it comes with the white shoes and matching belt, and
a promise of indemnity for your testimony a guarantee not to see another any time soon?
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