aside postWould you like Oates on your Fiero?

1984 Pontiac Fiero Oates Ad banner


I hope the image of the oats didn’t mislead you because, clearly, I was referring to John Oates. You know, of Daryl Hall & John Oates, the pop-music duo that hit their stride in the early 1980s.

Daryl Hall & John Oates

This picture of Hall (left) and Oates (right) comes from the cover of The Very Best of Daryl Hall & John Oates, released in 2001. Their appearance, however, indicates this photo was taken a while prior. Probably safe to assume sometime in the early 1980s.

Music culture has never been an area of interest for me. Oh sure, like TV and movies, I take in a bit but have little to no interest for digging into the lifestyles of the artists or even understanding their motivations. Completely opposite, as you might know, is my proclivity to sift through the mundane for a clue as to what it was a designer wanted to convey with a body crease, on a car built 35 years ago. So, in that way, I relate to musical fandom and fanaticism, and the allure of celebrity.

The reason I’ve brought all this up is because of the image below.

Hall & Oates Fiero ad

See? I told you, a Fiero topped with Oates. Boy, am I glad it wasn’t Daryl that was on the hood. I would have been hard pressed for a theme.

As it turns out, Pontiac, or more accurately Fiero, teamed with Hall & Oates for the promotion of their then newest album, Big Bam Boom. Starting in November 1984, the 2M4 was branded with the band as sponsor of the Live Thru ’85 tour.

Hall & Oates Fiero ad

The car used for the shot was a Fiero 2M4 (two-seat, mid-engine, four-cylinder). For those of you that didn’t live through the period, the mustache is a slice of the ’80s.

The group continued the tour, into 1985, appearing with Fiero banners and signs above their main stage. The shows also featured actual Fieros on display. Pontiac’s promotional phase intended to directly drive music-loving perspective customers into their showrooms was achieved via dealer ticket giveaways.

1984 Pontiac Fiero

This is a 1984 Pontiac Fiero 2M4. The inline four-cylinder displaced 2.5 liters, able to produce 92 hp and 134 lb.ft. of torque. It sold for as little as $7,999.

While it might be easy to imagine our subject pop musicians to have been slightly prissy (have you seen the cover for their 1975 album Daryl Hall & John Oates?), impressions can be deceiving. Would you believe that, with Pontiac’s permission, John Oates actually raced in the IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) GTU series—in a Fiero?

Having also raced in Porsches and Audis, Oates was a natural for the Huffaker Engineering-designed and -built Fiero GTU that had been developed alongside the production version. Oates would occasionally fill in for Clay Young who was the team’s primary driver.

John Oates race car driver

Yes, that is John Oates behind the wheel of one of Pontiac’s factory IMSA Fiero GTU race cars, in a Camel GT pro race. Though, Pontiac fans, he showed no loyalty, having raced other, European, brands too.

Like the ol’ saying goes, never judge an artist by his 1975, rouge-wearing, glamour-shot album cover.

For anyone interested, the Pontiac-sponsored album, titled, Pontiac Fiero presents Daryl Hall & John Oates, included the following 12 songs:

    Side A

  1. Adult Education
  2. I Can’t Go For That
  3. Maneater
  4. One On One
  5. Wait For Me (live version)

    Side B

  1. Say It Isn’t So
  2. Sara Smile
  3. She’s Gone
  4. Rich Girl
  5. Kiss On My List
  6. You Make My Dreams
  7. Eyes

For those with an even greater curiosity, the two are still around, having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 2014. In fact, they’re still actively performing and recording, including a Christmas album, in 2006. Since I don’t want to venture too far into unfamiliar territory, you can find out more about the pair that Billboard magazine ranked the No. 1 duo artists of all time, at their official website.