First off, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mera is NOT a kit car, as these could be ordered from a Pontiac dealer as a turnkey. This one is described as being the first Mera, the prototype for the 247 that would follow. The question is, will its price turn that number one into number two?
Yesterday’s 1989 Saleen SSC may have been a horse of a different color, but no matter how nice it was, one color that 82% of you didn’t think would go with it was green. It’s way-low miles couldn’t overcome a way-high price and that ‘Stang fell in a Crack Pipe loss.
Steve Saleen tried to turn the Mustang into something unique and, well, as different as he could make it without its losing its innate Mustang-ness underneath. In contrast to that, today we’re looking at what’s best described as a witness protection program of a car modification.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of
flatulence flattery, and if that’s the case thenthis 1986 Pontiac Fiero Mera should have had Maranello blushing at the compliment. Instead Ferrari sued the car’s maker, Corporate Concepts.
I think I’m getting a little ahead of myself however. Let’s do this right.
When Pontiac was first developing the Fiero it scared the fiberglass pants off the Corvette team over at Chevy. They saw the mid-engine two-seater as a threat to their sovereignty as GM’s sports car maker of choice.
That led the corporate overlords (picture monastic hoods and Gucci shoes) at GM to issue the edict that the Fiero would be positioned as an economic commuter car, and not something that could be cross-shopped with Chevy’s venerable rabble rouser. Hence the car was introduced to the world with the pitiful Shakey’s Pizza of an engine—the Iron Puke four cylinder—as its only option.
That only lasted a year however, as in 1985 Pontiac managed to release a Fiero with a proper motivating factor, a 140-bhp 2.8-litre V6 from of all siblings, Chevy. Take that bow tie boys!
Around the same time the Fiero found its proper balls, a guy named Bob Bracey, owner and president of Capac Michigan-based Corporate Concepts, got the idea that the Fiero’s new V6 and its innovative space frame and RIM plastic bodywork would make it ripe for re-bodying in something a little more fancy.
The Ferrari 308 was chosen as the model and in 1987 the Mera was born as a full body massage option on the Fiero when ordered at the dealer. Neither GM nor Ferrari sanctioned the car and in fact Corporate Concepts was sued by Ferrari for copying their design. The case was settled out of court and as part of the settlement Corporate Concepts agreed to consign the Mera to history.
That short history includes this unique car which is described as being the first Mera, #6001. Sporting a silver over black color scheme and Mera badging instead of the traditional owner-applied Ferrari emblems, the car appears to be in excellent shape. The ad notes a respray at some point in time and that seems to have held up since without sign of issue. Ferrari-like five spoke wheels underpin, a diversion from the first production Meras that used the stock Fiero basketweave alloys.
Likewise, the interior appears to be in tip-top shape, with Ferrari-esque seats standing in jarring contrast to the rest of the interior which is incredibly rectangular and proudly Pontiac .
There’s some mechanical interest to this car too. The seller claims that the 2.8-litre six is backed up by a Muncie four-speed, a unique feature. By the time the Mera’s went into (very limited) production in 1987, Pontiac had made the Getrag five-speed available with the V6.
There’s less than 60K on the clock and the seller says the car is in good driving condition (#3 if you speak Hagerty). This is an opportunity to own an obscure piece of American auto industry history and sort of a Ferrari if you don’t mind the Uncanny Valley look the Mera exudes.
To do that, you’d need to come up with $25,000, which is high for Meras, but dirt cheap when it comes to 308s. This one being the first holds special provenance which would give you bragging rights at every Fiero fling, but little more than that, I fear.
What’s your take on this claimed first-ever Mera and that $25,000 price? Does that seem like a deal to play dress up? Or, would the seller getting that much prove to be a Mera-cle?
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