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Drawing Winner Will Preserve Last Fiero

August 13, 1988

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) _ Mike Kelley won the employee drawing for one of the last two Pontiac Fieros that will roll off the assembly line Tuesday, but he said he won’t be driving the car home.

Instead, Kelley said he will hook a tow truck to the $14,319 red Fiero GT when it leaves the line so the jaunty two-seater can be enshrined in mint condition, its odometer forever on zero.

″You just can’t drive the last car off the line. That would be a sin,″ he said. ″Too many memories have gone into that car. It’s a dream car and should stay that way.″

Kelley, 37, is a veteran of 19 years with General Motors Corp. He was laid off Aug. 5 as a truck driver for the Fiero plant.

Pontiac is shutting down the plant because of sagging sales of the two- seat, plastic-bodied, rear-engined sports car.

GM officials declined to release the name of the second employee who won a Fiero because they had not received permission to do so.

Kelley said he was thrilled that his name was pulled from a drum filled with the names of plant employees on Thursday, but upset that the Fiero is being discontinued.

″I would like to see them keep making the car,″ he said. ″We had a heck of a work force. I’ve worked all over Pontiac and that plant really came together. We had some say so and before that they never listened to you.″

Kelley said he saw the first Fiero come off the line at the plant in Pontiac, about 20 miles northwest of Detroit. He said he will watch the last one make its three-hour assembly trip.

Kelly said he planned to find a museum in which he could store the Fiero. He said he has no doubts about his decision to keep the last Fiero untouched by the realities of roads, rains and rush hours, though his whole family does not share that wish.

″My 17-year-old son was really bummed out. He was thinking of all the girls he could pick up with the car,″ Kelley said.

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