Ascent 62 – First American Car

For my first today, I’m going to share about the first car I had when I came to the United States in 1984. Here I was, 22 years old, fresh in the country from England. My company set me up with a rental car for a couple of weeks and I needed find something more permanent. I was totally unfamiliar with American cars at that time. I’d watched the General Lee tear across Hazzard County a few thousand times before I left England. I didn’t have much luck finding a dealership that sold that model of car.

To be honest, I wasn’t really that much of a car person as I had ridden motorcycles most of my adult life.

There was a Pontiac dealership just down the road from my hotel, so I took a stroll and checked out what they had. And, there it was – love at first sight: 1984 Pontiac Fiero M4.


It was reminiscent of the classic British 2 seat sports cars. Was compact, stylish and a lot of fun to drive. I was living in Michigan at the time and it even did very well in the snow. Thanksgiving that year, I was invited to dinner in Bemidji, Minnesota – about 350 miles away. Some folks cringe at the idea of being in a low sports car for that long a drive. I absolutely loved it. The car was imply a blast to drive and was awesome over long distances. It was a pretty stripped down model with no AC, no power options and basic radio. To this day, I still like my cars and technology on the simple side.

In 1985, I had shiny object syndrome and traded it in for something else. Ah, my impetuous days. It will still always be my first car.

In 2004, I acquired a 1986 GT with the intention of stripping it down to the frame and rebuilding it and transforming it into a Ford GT40 replica. I didn’t get the opportunity to conclude that project and I let that car go a few years later. Perhaps the Fiero and I were just not meant to be long term partners.


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