Bark's Bites: Please Stop Ruining Your G8

Mark "Bark M." Baruth
by Mark "Bark M." Baruth

I have a fond spot in my heart for the Pontiac G8. I was once the proud owner of a White Hot G8 GT. I bought it new in March of 2009 and somewhat regrettably traded it in June of 2012, putting nearly eighty thousand loving miles on it along the way—you can see a picture of mine from the day I brought it home at the top of this page. Sure, I endured the occasional broken crankshaft, and yes, the interior would have been better suited to a $15K Cobalt or G3 rather than a halo car, but what a machine! It combined 361 horsepower derived from a massive 6.0 liter V8 engine with all the interior and trunk space anyone could ever need. Of course, there was also the much-less-desirable-but-still-decent V6 variant, well as the unicornish GXP, which was avaiable with a 6MT and shared the Camaro SS’ 6.2 liter LS3, generating a diff-crunching 412 horsepower.

Unfortunately, the untimely demise of Pontiac led to a very small production run for the G8—fewer than forty thousand of them were made in total. Therefore, on the rare occasion that I see one on the road (I actually saw my old car on the road recently), I can’t help but smile.

Lately, however, when I see one, I’m more likely to cringe than smile.

The sticker price on my G8 in 2009 was roughly $34k—that was for a G8 GT Premium Sport package with every available option checked, including leather, roof, 19″ rims, leather-wrapped steering wheel, etc. In 2014 dollars, that’s a little more than $38k. Not a huge amount of money, but it was enough to ensure that most G8s were purchased by middle-class consumers who likely had little to no interest in doing severe cosmetic modifications to their cars.

However, as G8 transaction prices continue to dip well under $20k, I’m starting to see a lot more of them that look like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or, God forbid, this:


The G8 was an aggressively styled car, to be sure, but it had an air of class about it. People who didn’t know exactly what it was often confused it with the car against which it was specifically benchmarked—the E60 BMW 5 series. It was a car that an executive could have driven and not looked out of place.

It was never meant for the Fast and Furious set. Unfortunately, as the cars become more affordable, the owners are trending younger, dumber, and less tasteful. As a result, most G8 forums have turned into a place where the Signal to Noise ratio is about 1:100. You’re much more likely to see a video of somebody laying waste to a V6 Mustang at a stoplight than anything else.

Normally, these sorts of rolling atrocities, when done to something like a Civic, don’t particularly bother me—it’s your car, your money, do what you want. But there were less than forty thousand G8s made. That means that every time you decide to put neon on a G8, or lower one to where it hits the bumpstops, or put Plasti-Dipped TR Motorsports wheels on one, you are doing the automotive equivalent of putting a Mickey Mantle rookie card in the spokes of your bicycle wheel. No, I don’t think that G8s will ever be worth any money as a collector’s car, but for those who want one there just aren’t going to be that many of them available on the used market. Couldn’t you just take your $18K and go ruin a WRX or Eclipse instead? Here, I’ll help you find an E36 on AutoTrader. Or if you really want an American (sorta) V8-powered sedan, buy a Charger R/T and go nuts with tasteless mods ( like every other Charger owner ever). Just leave the G8s alone!

It wouldn’t be so bad if travesties like the ones pictured were somewhat of an occasional transgression, but the G8 pages and boards are full of them. I fear the day is coming soon when finding an unmodified G8 GT will become impossible, much like finding a Sentra SE-R with an virgin SR20DE. Listen, if you simply must modify a G8, keep it simple—buy some Kooks headers. Get a set of nice Koni Yellows. I don’t dig the total de-badged look, but, hey, there are worse things you could do (LIKE PUT NEON ON IT).

So, please, keep your G8 stock. If you won’t do it for me, do it for the kids. Or the whales. Or the epileptic dogs. Thanks, and Lutz bless you.

Mark "Bark M." Baruth
Mark "Bark M." Baruth

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  • Spartan Spartan on Oct 14, 2014

    Say what you want, the 2010+ Taurus SHO was a better buy in the long run. Cars of this size don't do well on road courses so the whole RWD is better on track argument is useless. If you wanted straight line power and a great highway cruiser, the Taurus SHO's interior is better, the tech is better, and the aftermarket potential is a lot better.

    • See 3 previous
    • PonchoIndian PonchoIndian on Oct 14, 2014

      @sportyaccordy Weight distribution isn't an issue? With all due respect...really? I suppose that's why BMW and Mercedes work to get their big cars close to 50/50? Sure, you can try to compensate for a nose heavy distribution, but in the end it will never feel as good to drive or be as balanced as a RWD car, even during normal driving.

  • Tedward Tedward on Oct 14, 2014

    I don't know man...your brother showed his preservationist tendencies on that RWB article, but then he was talking about air-cooled Porsches. I didn't agree with it but at least I understood where he was coming from. This Pontiac though? It's essentially a body-kitted Australian sedan in the first place, with drivetrain tech that is widely available in both crate and rolling car form. I agree that the mods you are talking about are tasteless, but I feel the same way about them occurring here as I would if they happened on the hypothetical Challenger you threw under the bus. Then again, I made my peace sharing a vehicle brand with the stance crowd so maybe I've just been beaten into submission on this topic.

    • Tedward Tedward on Oct 14, 2014

      awesome car though, don't get me wrong. Not my intent to dog on your ride, I just don't see it as some sort of sacred cow.

  • Dave Has to be Indy 500. Many more leaders and front passes than NASCAR, and Monaco is unwatchable with the inability to pass on that circuit.
  • Jeff How did the discussion get from an article about a 56 billion dollar pay package for Elon Musk to a proposal to charge a per mile tax on EVs in California or paying increase registration on vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenue? I thought such a discussion would better fit Matt's Gas Wars series.
  • Master Baiter Both people who bought ID.4s will be interested in this post.
  • Urlik Not a single memorable thing happened in the big three races this weekend IMHO.
  • Ajla If Goodyear makes rain tires that allow NASCAR to race in damp conditions at longer ovals (other that at Daytona and Talladega) then I promise to purchase at least four new sets of Goodyear tires in my remaining life.