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Changing a Fiero Headlight

Coming home from my buddy's house in Grayslake Saturday night, a cop stopped me and told me my passengers' side headlight was burned out. (High beam, fine, low beam not working.) Fortunately, the Wal-Mart in Gurnee is open 24 hours a day, and I was able to buy one before I drove back to Chicago. I replaced the old one Sunday afternoon. All those sounds you hear are people leaving the 10:45am service at the church down the street and arriving for the 12:45 service. Noisy, aren't they? :D Changing a Fiero headlight is a little more difficult than changing the usual sealed-beam headlight unit, since the Fiero has retractable headlights, but only because the arm between the headlight motor and the headlight assembly can trap your hand if you don't follow the directions in the owner's manual. But it's no more difficult that changing one on Firebirds and Corvettes of that era, or any other car with hidden headlights, for that matter. You people who have cars made since about 1986 and only have to replace a halogen bulb can recuse yourselves. But you do have to worry about not getting oils from your fingers on the bulb; it shortens the life of it. And there is that little matter of water condensation inside the lens. And yellowing and dulling that can only be gotten rid of by buffing compound and elbow grease. The job on the Fiero takes about 20 minutes, during which time I found that the retaining spring that keeps the headlight unit from flopping around had rusted and fallen off. It can wait until I have another order from the Fiero Store;) Factoid: The first car sold in the U.S. since 1939 to have non-sealed-beam headlights was the 1984 Lincoln Mark VII, which was all-new that year. The law lifting the ban on non-sealed-beams was passed by Congress in 1984, but because of engineering lead-times, they did not start appearing on other cars sold here, (including other Lincolns), until 1986. It cost Lincoln a pile of money, but they had two Mark VII headlight systems ready to go for the '84 model year, depending on how Congress' vote went, simply because they wanted the publicity value of being first out the gate.


 


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1988 Pontiac Fiero Mera
This 1988 Pontiac Fiero Mera is for sale in Chicago, IL. The Mera was an Option availible on Fiero GTs in 1987 and 1988 built by Corporate Concepts in Michigan before Ferrari forced them out of business . 247 Meras were built over this time and this is Mera #8042 (The 42nd built in 1988). Options include; A/C, AM/FM radio, cruise control, power brakes, tilt wheel, cloth interio, and aluminum/alloy wheels. The idea of the MERA was born when the Fiero was first introduced with the V-6 engine" says Bob Bracey, owner of Corporate Concepts in Capac, Michigan (USA) and creator of the Mera. It was obvious to Bob that the space frame of the Fiero would make an excellent platform for a rebody. Bob and some of his employees began looking at several cars which they thought would be good candidates. They ultimately decided that the 308 Ferrari was the best choice. Magnum PI was popular at the time and the 308 was very recognizable and alluring to the public. After almost 2 years of clay work and design work, the MERA was born in 1987. For 1987 about 88 Fiero GTs were converted into 1987 Meras. With the introduction of the 1988 Fiero, the MERA utilized the 1988 Formula because it was a better value. About 159 were made on the Formula chassis, bringing the total MERAs produced to 247. A big change for the 1988 MERA was the addition of the replica aluminum rims specially cast by Cromadora of Italy for the MERA conversion, who at one time cast rims for Ferarri. The MERAs built on the 1987 GT used the original Fiero rim which was repainted to match the body color of the car. The MERA was sold through Pontiac dealers only as a new car. No kits were ever sold, and only new Fieros were used for the conversions. The MERA was not endorsed by GM but was a Pontiac dealer option similar to that of ordering a conversion van. 1988 MERAs sold for (depending on options -- MERA and Pontiac) for about $24,000 to $28,000. At the time this price range was not much less than a Corvette. This 1988 Pontiac Fiero Mera is located in our Chicago Showroom and can be seen at www.gatewayclassiccars.com or call 708-444-4488 for additional information.





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