On June 1st I bought my G8 GT. I had been toying with buying a G8 since February when GM started its various deals but I finally decided to buy one when I realized it was a "now or never" type of situation and the number of G8 GT's, especially in "Arrest Me Red"/"Liquid Red", was dwindling fast.
So, on the day GM proclaimed bankruptcy I bought myself a new car. It's the first new car I've purchased in nearly a decade. I've leased, for the most part, the past 2 decades. But I wanted this for my own and so bought it outright.
And how has it been? Fantastic. The best car I've ever driven. It's just a sheer joy. Even more so after the recalls were taken care of. Why? Well, I don't know what had to be reset but I know they reprogrammed the automatic and it just is so much crisper now. It just somehow feels more planted, though I think that's because the transmission doesn't seem to hunt as much as it did before. I'm duly impressed.
Other than the recalls, I've not had to visit the dealer at all. Well, not at all. I had to pop by to pick up a cheque for $1000 from GM as a loyalty bonus. It seems I fell between the cracks of when it was offered and when the dealer was notified that it was available (they were notified post June 1st) so I got an extra $1000 off the car! Most excellent. That means I paid less than $38,000cdn for the car, on the road. Unbelievable. It was nice of GM to ensure I got that incentive. They didn't have to do that and I'd have been none the wiser. But it was especially nice that they took care of it and ensured I got that one last incentive. They even contacted me the other day to ensure that I'd gone in to pick up the cheque. I dealt with the same person at GM the entire way through as they ensured the paperwork was done. Seems "after the fact" reimbursement is a special process in GM, but it works. Even the dealer has rarely had to do it, and my salesman never has. New to both of us but it was very professionally handled.
I now have 3000km on the clock, exactly. And for someone who telecommutes that's an impressive amount of mileage in less than three months. It just shows you how often I just like going out for a drive. I've not had that feeling nor desire in years. I seem to find excuses to go out. And my wife says she's not seen me happier in years. She says the car has done wonders for me. I guess I was getting a bit more curmudgeonly than normal so this has been good for the overall atmosphere around me .
And the reception the car gets from people is phenomenal. I've had people give me thumbs up more than once. I've had people ask what it was and shake their head in disbelieve when told it's a Pontiac. I've had people chase after me to get a better look. And, twice now, I've watched as a Porsche driver nearly drove his car into a tree; rather humourous. The uniqueness of the car is wonderful and it brings smiles to many drivers' faces. One middle aged guy in a Toyota nearly broke his finger on his windshield attempting to get his wife's attention as I drove by. It was funny. I felt sorry for the guy, driving around in a Camry. He obviously would have preferred the G8.
And then, down in Kingston a short while back, a tourist started taking pictures of it out of tour bus. She was grinning ear to ear. I didn't get a chance to stop her as she was on a tour bus but she gave my wife and I a big thumbs up and a wave. I wonder if she just knows what the car is or perhaps she's from GM or Holden or Australia and is, in some way, associated with its manufacture. No matter, it was an interesting experience. It seemed to have made her day as she was elbowing her partner as we drove by. Funny.
On the road the car is a simple and utter dream. Solid. No rattles. Nothing. And for long trips it is extremely comfortable. I'd rather drive this than any car I've driven lately, and that includes a number of BMWs. It handles superbly without inducing kidney damage.
One thing I have discovered is that the various shift modes truly change the character of the car. In "Normal Shift" it shifts aggressively if punched and is very fast off the line, yet it's very civilized. Flip it to "Sport Shift" and it's downright brutal. In "Manual Shift" mode you can do some interesting things and it seems to just want to be driven like a standard. GM's done a wonderful job with this transmission. I tend to drive in "Normal" but every now and again I drop it into "Sport" and it just lights me up -- and the tires. I figure the first "maintenance" on this car may well be tires.
I really never thought I'd be so happy with a car again. But this car is just that sweet. It's a total pity that GM isn't making them anymore. I do so hope that GM will bring over the next iteration in some way.
I've even been thinking about how they can do that. Perhaps GM could simply bring in speciality runs of certain famous names such as Cutlass, GTO, etc. via a "GM Custom Coaches" type of endeavor. These could be sold via the Cadillac or Buick dealerships so they're associated with prestige and luxury and so purchasers are coddled a bit, too. GM could bring out limited runs and demand premium prices for these custom coach designs. Imagine seeing an Olds Cutlass or an REO Speedwagon or a GTO based on the forthcoming Alpha or next-iteration Zeta (assuming it exists)! Fans of these cars who appreciate what the names mean would be interested in buying the cars, especially if they realized they were limited runs. Have them built in Australia since those Aussies definitely know how to build a kickass RWD vehicle! I could see GM selling 40k - 50k a year in North America, which would be gravy for Holden.
Unlikely though that is to, I will continue to enjoy my 4-door Corvette. It's just a heap of fun. And after talking to folks I know who claim they'd never even consider a GM again, they've admitted that the G8 has changed their mind. Just too bad they can't buy one. Hell, even my dad went out to buy one only to find they're all gone. He waited too long and now he regrets waiting. I'm sure he's not alone.
Anyone who's interested in buying a G8 GT I'd recommend heading out and getting one before they're gone (in Canada, they're sold out ). Those willing to wait a few years to buy a used one won't be disappointed, assuming current owners are willing to part with the cars. I doubt I'll be letting this one go.
For those with a disdain for any thread without pictures, here's one of the car from when I got it. It's been raining here of late so it's hard to take an outdoor shot that's not washed out, literally. But it's not like it's changed in less than three months . Enjoy.