A NOTEABLE AUTOMOBILE AND STANDOUT PONTIAC One of the more unique partnerships to be formed in the automotive industry took place in 1937 when the Australian company of Holden became a subsidiary of General Motors Corporation. The ensuing years produced some fine examples of the automotive art, with the culmination of that art in 2008 resulting in the Pontiac G8 series. Unfortunately the forced bankruptcy of GM ended the production of these fine examples of affordable performance vehicles almost before they began – about two and a half years. Based on the Holden Commodore model, the G8 series was already a performance oriented vehicle with driver and passenger comfort features of more expensive vehicles in the performance market. I am the second owner of one of the most unique of those vehicles - a 2008 G8 GT in the second rarest color – Ignition Orange Metallic. The story behind my car: In February of 2008 by the ordering of the first owner, the car was put into production. It was produced according to the original build sheet that I have in the documentation that came with the car, along with some other unique items most people did not acquire. But, thankfully, the first owner was a 'fanatic' about requiring documentation of practically every car he's ever owned. The original window sticker shows that the car was produced with every option available (except the Smoker's Package). A copy of the window sticker attests to this fact. In addition to the available packages, some other items were also obtained: special floormats with the embroidered Pontiac logo; a molded trunk liner; a full size spare wheel and tire; and a jack and lug wrench. As an enhancement to the already uniqueness of the car, 35% window tinting was added. The first owner kept meticulous maintenance records of all the gas used, mileage driven each month, had maintenance performed that was not required, such as transmission oil change, brake fluid flush and change and all recall items by GM. At this time the car drives and handles like brand new. I take it to car shows and cruise-ins and get many positive comments and a trophy now and then. But the real trophy is owning and driving it! Of all the Pontiacs I have owned since 1962, this one stands out as one of, if not the best, I have ever owned. I also own another fine Pontiac- a 2009 Solstice GXP roadster and my wife has an additional 2009 G8 GT in Panther Black Metallic.
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My Story about the cars I've owned over the last 65 years. When I was twelve my introduction to mechanics and cars started with helping my dad work on the family car, a 1940 Cadillac Lasalle 4 door sedan. My dad was a professional mechanic who, during WWII in 1943-44, had worked on the Mustang fighter planes that were brought back to the US for engine replacements at the Newark New Jersey airport. He was rebuilding the engine in the LaSalle. A problem was encountered in removing the connecting rod caps which required using a thin-walled 7/16 socket to remove the nuts which were in a counterbore on the cap. Several sockets ended up being broken before finally removing them all. The job was finally completed and the car was back on the road for another 5 years. When I turned 17 I obtained my driver's license, having learned to drive in that old LaSalle. Big steering wheel, no power steering, no power brakes and "3 on the tree." Parallel parking was a requirement and it was a chore, to say the least. Passed the driving test with flying colors. My first car was then secured - a 1940 LaSalle - black 4 door sedan just like the blue family car. My love affair with cars began. There's more to the story of the LaSalle, but for another time. Over the next 65 years (I was 17 in 1954) I went on to own quite a few cars up to the present day. However, I want to go back to 1962 when my real love affair began with my first Pontiac. My wife and I owned a 1955 T-Bird (another story) which I traded in on a black 1961 Pontiac Ventura 2 door hardtop with tri-color blue interior, tri-power, 348hp 425A engine and Borg Warner 4 speed stick and limited-slip differential, power steering and power brakes. I was hooked on Pontiacs from then on. Oh, I had other makes from time to time, but the Pontiacs were the favorites. I will list them in order of ownership: the '61, then a 1958 Catallina convertible, new 1967 GTO hardtop with 4 speed, power disc brakes (front only then), posi rear; new 1971 GTO, 455HO, 4 speed, PWR brakes and steering, honeycomb wheels. Kept both those cars about 4 years each. A considerable interim ensued before I owned more Pontiacs for various reasons. No Pontiacs between 1975 and 1996. Just about ready to retire and in 1996 I came across a 1967 Firebird 400 coupe with 3 speed stick that I just had to have. Shortly after that purchase I acquired a '66 tri-power setup that I rebuilt and installed on the 'Bird to make it fly a little faster. Over the successive years I rebuilt a lot of carbs for myself and other people who came to know me as 'the Pontiac man'. After the 'Bird I acquired the following in order of listing: 1961 Bonneville, for which I built a 455 engine from a 400 GTO engine. This was done by using a modified 455 crankshaft that had the mains modified to work in the 400 block. This reduced the weight by about 7 pounds. So I had a stock dimensioned 455 out of a 400 since a .030 over bore brought the 400 to exactly 455 specs. Installed an Offenhauser single plane intake with 2 Carter AFBs and a built 200-4R trans with lockup convertor. More to that story, but, moving on. Next I acquired a 1962 Grand Prix with 4 speed and found an SD 542991 dual quad intake and set of SD Carter AFB carbs, the real deals that used the Buick bowls and the Chevy 409 tops. This car was a runner. I also had a tripower setup for this car. Next came a 1964 Grand Prix with tripower and all the trimmings that I actually traded in on a new 2005 GTO w/6 speed stick, etc., kept it almost 3 years then traded for a 2007 Solstice GXP w/5 speed stick. Traded the Solstice on a 2009 Pontiac G8GT, then bought a 1965 GTO tripower hardtop which was an original survivor with 67k miles - 4 years later sold it back to the gentleman I purchased it from. I next bought a 2009 Solstice GXP, and finally a 2008 Pontiac G8GT- this one is the most documented car I've ever owned with all the available paperwork from the time it was special ordered up through the time I purchased it from the original owner. This car was ordered with every option available along with other GM accessories in Ignition Orange Metallic which was used only in 2008 on 927 total cars of which a little over half that number were GTs. This car looks and drives like brand new. It is my favorite of all the Pontiacs I've ever owned. Sadly, GM saw fit to shut down the Holden subsidiary, where the G8s were built, which they had owned since 1937. In 2000-2001 my son and I built a 1970 GTO hardtop to 'correct' specifications, frame-off (not numbers matching), with a 455HO engine, 4 speed, PWR disc brakes, PWR steering, and A/C. I only still own the last three Pontiacs - the 2 G8GTs and the Solstice GXP. No other purchases are comtemplated, but who knows?
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