Huffpost Detroit

Kathryn DiMaria, Teen, Restoring Pontiac Fiero For Sixteenth Birthday (PHOTOS)

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Kathryn DiMaria will be getting a car for her sixteenth birthday. But unlike most teens her age, she'll be building it herself.

The 14-year-old first approached her parents about purchasing a Pontiac Fiero when she was 12, Jalopnik reports. She told them she'd buy the car with some babysitting money and restore the vehicle in time for her sixteenth birthday.

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Kathryn got the green light for the project and soon purchased a 1986 Pontiac Fiero SE 2.8.

The Michigan teen and her dad, Jerry, have been updating readers on the project through posts and photos on Pennock's Fiero Forum for about a year.

Jerry said the pair never imagined getting such an overwhelming response to the restoration.

"[It was] not what we expected when we set out to have some fun with a daughter/daddy project," Jerry told The Huffington Post in an email.

Kathryn's excited about her new wheels, but between school and soccer practice, she admits finding time to work on the car and post progress updates has been a challenge.

But at least one supporter, forum user Gixxer Quad, assured the teen her determination is admirable:

We all think it's cool as hell that you're doing what you're doing (and you're already far past what i would comfortably do with my own fiero), so just update when you can, and don't worry about saying sorry.

Kathryn, who thoroughly enjoyed working on the car's interior, said the restoration project has brought her closer to her family and friends, and she's not planning on doing away with the finished product once it's completed.

"At first it was just a project and something cool to do, but now it is a part of my past and who I am. So it's staying with me as long as possible," she told HuffPost.

Kathryn's car might very well be the envy of town once it's up to par, but could the teen's future ride rival one Floridian's handmade Bugatti replica?

In 2011, 25-year-old Mike Duff transformed a 2002 Mercury Cougar coupe into a "detailed Doppelganger" of the supercar," albeit without its performance, Yahoo! News reports.

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