Junkyard Find: 2009 Pontiac G3 Wave
The years 2008 and 2009 were interesting times for GM, with the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 1, 2009 and the Pontiac Division clearly on the ropes (despite the Bondo applied over Pontiac’s rusty image by the Solstice).
Thus was the G3 born. Available for only the 2009 model year, the G3 didn’t get much chance to cannibalize Aveo sales prior to the demise of Pontiac early in the 2010 model year.
It appears that the Canadian-market “G3 Wave” name was used on some U.S.-market GM promotional materials as the final choppers left the roof of the Pontiac Embassy, so I’m including it in the headline just to annoy… well, nobody. About a dozen people seem to know the G3 even existed, which makes it one of the rarest Pontiacs ever made.
For this reason, I’ve been trying to find a discarded G3 for years. Finally, this kicky, excitement-packed red hatchback showed up in one of my favorite Denver yards. Next on my junkyard shopping list of obscure GM machines is the all-but-nonexistent Saab 9-4X.
Like its Aveo5 sibling, the G3 depreciated quickly. Recognizing the disposable nature of this car, its final owner applied an assortment of dank decals all over the dash.
Several of the stickers refer to Denver cannabis-apparel company Chiefton Supply. Perhaps the car was owned by one of Chiefton’s employees.
Sharpie graffiti on a car’s interior reduces resale value, but that’s not much of a concern with a G3. This car appears to have some affiliation with the Denver musicians of The Floating Generation; I looked for this G3 in some of TFG’s videos (after I found The Rellies’ Toyota TownAce in a San Jose yard, I always chase down such leads) but came up blank.
The cheap hood pins coupled with old front-end damage indicate that a fender-bender broke the factory hood latch and a cheap repair ensued. At that point, the countdown to junkyardization began.
You know those ads for used cars that brag about nonsmoker former owners? When you have a G3, worries about tobacco smell become irrelevant, so you might as well fire up the rankest gas-station stogies you can find.
The Pontiac brand disappeared soon after this car left the showrooms, and its Aveo sibling moved aside for its Sonic replacement for 2012. I’ll see if I can track down a defunct 2010 G6 for a future Junkyard Find.
By the time the G3 appeared in American Pontiac dealerships, nobody at GM felt like spending money on glitzy TV commercials for it. For that reason, we’ll watch this action-packed South Korean-market Daewoo Kalos ad, which is set in the United States. This commercial came out around the same time as the cell doors clanged shut on Daewoo Group founder Kim Woo Choong.
You can still buy the sedan version of the G3 to this day, if you live in a region in which the Uzbekistan-built Ravon Nexia R3 is sold.
АвтоЗАЗ builds a Ukrainian-market version called the Vida, too.
For links to 2,000+ additional Junkyard Finds, visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
Maymar on Jul 06, 2020
As a few others have noted, these were pretty common in Canada, as we got them much earlier. I think since the Cobalt/G5 Pursuit wasn't the absolute loss leader that the Cavalier/Sunfire was, dealers wanted something cheap to get cheap buyers in to door (certainly rather than losing them to the Chevy dealer across the road). That said, at this point, I think I might be more likely to see Sunfires than G3/Waves out in the wild.
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