Is this Pontiac Fiero a bargain engineering marvel? | #LowBuckWednesday

By Colin Wood
Mar 15, 2023 | $2000 Challenge, Pontiac, Fiero, Low-Buck Tech, Tire Rack, Low-Buck Racing, #LowBuckWednesday, Pontiac Fiero

Photography Credit: Dave Green

What happens when you gather a group of engineers in one room and ask them to build a race car for less than $2000? This Camaro V6-powered 1986 Pontiac Fiero, apparently.

Calling themselves the Blockbusters, the team of Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge competitors is composed of engineer co-workers from the bearing giant Schaeffler. 2022 proved to be a good year, with a first-, second- and third-place finish in drag racing, concours and autocross, respectively. In the end, those podium finishes added up to a 7th-place overall finish.

When we last saw the Blockbusters in 2022, the Pontiac featured a home-built rear suspension setup, as the parts the team originally sourced from a later 1988 Fiero were only offered for one year and were far too rusted to use.

Other upgrades included removing the sunroof, replacing the stock gas tank with a front-mounted fuel cell, and fitting the 3.4-liter L32 V6 engine from a late-model Camaro with a new camshaft.

Will 2023 be the year the Blockbusters win overall, or will the team prove that it is, in fact, the engineers' fault?

What is the $2000 Challenge? It’s our annual low-buck automotive festival that celebrates autocross, drag racing and ingenuity. It returns to Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida, on a new weekend for 2023: May 27-28.

The real challenge is in the event's name, however, as teams are required to prepare their vehicles for less than $2000. Each of these sub-$2000 cars will compete in autocross and drag racing sessions, followed by concours judging the next day.

Rather see if more money equals more speed? Over-budget builds are also allowed to enter. Need more time to get your build ready? Spectators are welcome, and there will also be a Hagerty Cars & Caffeine, swap meet, model car concours and even a post-event track day at the Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park.

Think your low-buck racer or over-budget car is up to the challenge? Enter your build here, and learn more about the $2000 Challenge at


The Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge is presented by Tire Rack, in association with CRC Industries and Miller Electric, with trophies from ACI Automotive & Performance.

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A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/15/23 9:17 p.m.

This guy's will pound on a Hellcat



Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
3/16/23 8:59 a.m.

In reply to A 401 CJ :

I don't think I even need to watch the video. Just reading "3800 Supercharged Fiero" is all the information I need.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
3/16/23 11:44 a.m.

I wish I'd done more with my supercharged 3800 Fiero...

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