My passion for Pontiacs started when I purchased my first car back in 1972. It was my dad’s ’70 LeMans 350 coupe. He was interested in getting a new ’73 Catalina and asked if I wanted to buy his car. I kept it for two years.
Next up for me was a leftover ’73 still-new Grand Am. (I traded in the LeMans.) Believe it or not, the car came with a 400 with a two-barrel carb, and it was still fast and fun to drive.
After owning various Pontiacs—Bonnevilles, Grand Prix, Grand Ams, 6000s (one was an STE), a Trans Sport MPV, the list goes on—I became very interested in the new-generation GTO. The problem was there were no discounts on them. Disappointed, I settled for an ’06 G6 GTP in Emerald Green Metallic. It served me well until my lease ran out in 2009.
By then, the rear-wheel-drive G8 was out for a year already, and it was looking pretty good to me. With GM in dire straits, Pontiac dealers were discounting their inventory. That allowed me to purchase a fully loaded ’09 G8 GT—Maverick Silver Metallic exterior, Onyx/Red interior, and the optional 19-inch-wheel package with the summer-only tires. I’ve never owned a silver car, but after seeing it in that color, nothing else looked as good.
The G8 is a blast to drive. Having the L76 6.0L engine easily makes it the quickest Pontiac that I’ve owned to date. I’m surprised how tight the Australian-built Holden-based sedan is considering the long trip halfway across this world it took to get here.
Here’s a list of its mods. I painted the brake calipers and engine cover red, installed red custom emblems onto the fenders, and even fabricated my own radiator cover. An AFE cold-air induction and Magnaflow axle-back exhaust complete the look.
I enjoy cruising the G8 to the local car shows during warmer weather. Bear Mountain State Park near me has a car and bike show every Wednesday night, sponsored by a local car club, from May through September. On a good night you can see up to 1,000 cars on display. That’s not bad for upstate New York.
When people look at my car, they ask if it’s a GTO or can’t believe it has a Corvette-derived motor in it. I like to call it a four-door GTO.
Even though Pontiac may be gone, my passion for Pontiacs will live on for a long time. Reading High Performance Pontiac also helps to keep the flame burning bright.
P.S. I collect Pontiac memorabilia too, and have a complete collection of Pontiac new-car brochures dating from 1970 thru 2009.
In My Words spotlights reader experiences with their own Pontiacs in their own words. To be considered for publication, submit several high-quality color photos (if digital, each photo must be larger than 1 megabyte in JPG format—no other formats, please), your own Pontiac story (typed, approximately 500 words), your name, address, and telephone number to:
High Performance Pontiac Magazine
In My Words
c/o Christopher Phillip
9036 Brittany Way
Tampa, FL 33619
Please note: HPP pays $50 if your story is printed. A contract release and W-9 with your social security number will be required.