pontiac fiero gtp red 1985 ppg pace car

Pontiac Fiero GTP (Red) – 1985 PPG Pace Car

The only one of six 1985 Fieros on the PPG Pace Car Team with a turbo – this one lives!


The 1985 Fieros served in the 1986 and 87 CART Indy Car seasons. This car is the most important car of the six GTP cars. It was the first car built originally intended to be part of the PPG Pace Car Fleet. After it was completed, there was a PPG Corporate decision to have five more built. Once retired, 5 of the 6 were donated to automotive tech schools, as PPG Pace Cars sometimes were after their mission had been fulfilled. This particular Fiero was used by a vocational school in Cleveland until 2010, when an interested buyer (and owner of other surviving PPG Fieros) received a call that the car was available.


The Fieros received custom made body panels including a restyled front bumper, wider fenders, longer sail panels which allude to the 1986+ Fiero’s styling, ground effects that wrapped all the way around the vehicle, as well as filler panels on the lower doors to match. An integrated spoiler hangs over the slanted rear lights. The redesigned body panels not only made the car look aggressive, but also were designed to add stability at high speeds. The rear side windows were redesigned and moved further back to make way for air scoops.

Wider 16×7 and 16×8 Remotec wheels wore Goodyear Eagle 205/55VR16 and 225/50VR16 tires.

The 1985 Fieros started as GT’s with the 2.8L V6. That 2.8 was punched out to 3.0L and fitted with a custom cam, higher compression pistons, beefier rods, enlarged oil galleys, and a larger oil pan. A free-flowing exhaust also increased power output, although the exact horsepower is unknown. A fuel cell was placed in the front storage compartment.  This car was special because it was the only turbocharged Fiero in the team, making 200 HP at 11 psi of boost. When the cars were displayed, this car would be the one that was opened up and shown to the public. It also was used primarily for VIP rides and other promotional activities. It would perform with the other five when it was running, but did not attend all of the venues that the other five did. The car had a reliablity issue with the turbo and engine management system. A short budget and schedule did not allow for full development of the turbo.

Adjustable Koni shocks, stiffer springs, upgraded sway bars, crossmember, control arms, and bushings brought the suspension up to spec for track use. The axles, knuckles and entire brake assembly were upgraded with parts from the larger Pontiac 6000 STE.

The interior received the usual Pace Car upgrades including custom leather accents, racing seats, harnesses, and a fire suppression system.

Current Status

When received from the vocational school, the car was mostly complete, but had been re-painted multiple times over a number of years by students. Currently owned by a Fiero enthusiast. There’s a thread on that explains how he got the car: One of the reasons that the school contacted me was that they felt most confident that I would give the car a proper home and restoration. I have stayed in contact with the school over the years and the auto body director became aware that I had a strong commitment to the PPG cars as I had sent him pictures each time a new one came along. At first I was told that the car would never leave the premises for any reason including denial to attend Fierorama 2005 and the 25th Anniversary Show. Goes to show how times change. My thoughts right now are to restore this car first being that it is not in original condition versus restoring the yellow first that presents itself well in unrestored original condition. Many of the photos and descriptions are from that thread, created by the owner.

Pontiac Fiero GTP (Red) - 1985 PPG Pace Car

Pontiac Fiero GTP (Red) - 1985 PPG Pace Car

Pontiac Fiero GTP (Red) - 1985 PPG Pace Car

pontiac fiero gtp red 1985 ppg pace car

pontiac fiero gtp red 1985 ppg pace car

The trunk contains dual batteries & fire suppression system.

One of the differences in this car versus the other five is that there is no small quarter window.

What is decieving to the eye is that the rear quarter buttresses are cast as part of the rear clip and painted to look like there are quarter windows like on a stock Fiero.

Mitsubishi TD-05 turbo

Engine Bay

Front compartment

The intercooler is tucked under the left engine grate supplied by a blower fan which in turn is fed by functional quarter window ducting.

The air cleaner in the trunk ducted to the side of the trunk where the original V-6 blower assembly was.


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