Tracy Powell's 1984 Pontiac Fiero With A Blown V-8
(from Volume 22, Issue 263)


Tracy Powell’s love for cars began around the age of 7. He would help his dad, Richard, change the shock absorbers and rebuild the Quadrajet carburetor on a 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS. When he was 8 years old, his Uncle Buford and his father took Tracy for a ride in Buford’s 1970 Dodge Challenger TA. The power of the car sealed his love for speed. The bond between Tracy, his father, Richard, and his Uncle Buford has only deepened over the years. The three of them continue to go to swap meets, car shows and always work on cars. Recently, his Uncle Buford’s car, a beautiful ‘55 Chevrolet was featured on the cover of Mike Kelly’s Cruise News. Tracy’s other role models were the older kids in the neighborhood who were building V-8 Vegas and Pintos. During that time, the cartoon art series Rat Fink by Ed Roth was also popular. All of these influences, combined with Tracy’s imagination and skills, were the beginning of his desire to rebuild cars.

Tracy purchased the 1984 Fiero in 1989 for his then wife. He would joke with her about the car’s potential to look like the cars in the Rat Fink series, but she didn’t want it changed. She drove the car for five years and when the marriage ended, the car needed a lot of repair. It was then that he decided to act on his childhood dream and transform the car.

Tracy began the transformation of his Fiero by removing the trunk area. It had to be sacrificed to make room for the 455 Olds motor and transaxle, rebuilt unibody, and modified 1971 Tornado sub-frame to replace original Fiero sub-frame (which had to be narrowed 9-inches to fit in a smaller car). He then built the 455 Olds motor to 461 cubic inches with a single 4 barrel carburetor, and moved the battery to the front compartment. A set of Boyd Coddington custom wheels were also made to complete the new look.

After a few years of use, it was time to continue the transformation. Tracy then removed the motor and transaxle assembly, and moved the motor forward 3-inches. At that time he also built custom headers, installed a blower camshaft, roller rockers, 6-71 supercharger, inner cooler system, and electronic fuel injection. To keep it all cool Tracy built custom subframe connectors that the coolant flows thru to dual radiators, which utilize 10 electric fans. Other items include a 360 amp alternator, Turbo-Hydramatic 425 transaxle with veriable pitch torque converter, 3.55:1 gears, and a posi unit built by Tim Moye Transmissions. While tuning the car for the first time, he blew the head gaskets. The car’s heads were removed and bigger valves were installed by studding and using Cometic gaskets. The Fiero also received a roll cage, leather upholstery, and a modified firewall using a 3/8-inch thick Lexan cover plate over blower drive....which is visible from inside the passenger’s compartment between the seats. To complete the hot rod look the car was painted by Dave and Gary at The Fiero Farm in bright orange. Tracy built the front air dam splitter in the front from 1/4-inch aluminum, and combined with the wheelie bars out back help further the Fiero’s fierce looks.

Others have also enjoyed Tracy’s transformation of the Fiero. He is always being asked about the car, and he watches as his little car puts a smile on many faces. Tracy has entered his 1984 Fiero into car shows and has been rewarded for the transformation he conceived, and made into reality. Tracy’s ultimate award was when the Fiero received Best Of Show at the Fiero 30th Anniversary Show in Indianapolis, Indiana. The car has also been recognized with other awards, which include two Engineering Awards by original Fiero engineers/designers of GM, and he has also received the Comp Cams Thumper Award at NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Tampa.

The rebuilding of the Fiero has provided a lot of family and friend time. Tracy is thankful for the help he received from his father Richard, his Uncle Buford, friends Lynn Mill and Paul Genko. The next time you are enjoying a car show, look for Tracy and his 1984 Fiero. He plans to enter his car and hopes it makes you smile. CN