Three Burt Reynolds Movie Cars Sell for $330K in Vegas
The last three cars belonging to the late Burt Reynolds were auctioned off by Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas in late September, raising $330,000 for the Burt Reynolds Institute in the process. Of the three cars, two were 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams, while the other was a 1987 Chevrolet R30 pickup truck. All three vehicles belonged to Reynolds’ car collection, and all of them were personally autographed by the recently deceased Hollywood legend.
The sad demise of Pontiac is a true American tragedy, not just because the brand is associated with everything that is American, but because it could’ve been salvaged if it’s parent company, General Motors, was in a strong financial position.
Unfortunately, the economic crisis laid waste to the auto industry and obviously, there were some casualties, with Pontiac being one of them. It’s a pity because the brand was on the verge of coming out with a number of vehicles that could’ve easily been successful if there was just enough support given to them. One of the vehicles that Pontiac launched amid much fanfare was the G8 Sports Truck, which was unveiled at the 2008 New York Auto Show.
Pontiac had stirred up excitement with a marketing program that asked consumers to name the future the Americanized version of the popular Holden Ute from GM Australia. The doomed automaker had a few fun offerings in the works, but just couldn’t get them into showrooms fast enough. What could have been had General Motors had more time and financial resources?
Continued after the jump.
The car industry is becoming like playing Russian roulette with five chambers loaded. A lot of cars are winners (dead) with very few losers (survivors). The latest confirmed car to get the big bang is Pontiac’s G8 ST (the El Camino.)
Although disappointed, we are not surprised. The car was too late in the game to be effective. Had it arrived a few years earlier, when everyone had the credit to buy whatever car they wanted, a unique V8 powered truck/car would have netted a handsome sum. But then gas prices and unemployment rates went up. The public is not buying cars, especially novelty ones. General Motors went scrambling to find a place for its new El Camino, but importing the Holden-based car from Australia was looking too costly. Rumors swirled that the car would be a V6 only; then back to a V8; then the car would be delayed; now finally, BANG it’s dead.
The Pontiac G8 ST (Sport Truck) unveiled at the New York Auto Show will go into production in July 2009, and the first G8 STs are expected to go on sale here in the fall of 2009. Pricing for the G8 ST (V8 version) will start in the low $30k.
GM will build the rear-wheel-drive G8 ST in Australia, where it also manufactures the Pontiac G8 sedan and Holden VE Ute and VE Commodore sedan. According to Hopson, it will take about two months to ship the car-based pickups to the U.S., with the first G8 STs arriving as early as next September but likely in October 2009.
The sport truck draws its strength from the same powerful 6.0L V-8 engine used in the G8 GT. It puts out 361 hp and 385 lb.-ft. of torque. The G8 ST will debut with a six-speed automatic transmission.
After 18,000 people wrote to GM during the “Tame the Name” promotion, GM has finally chosen a production name for the Pontiac G8 ST, and the winner is...G8 ST. GM decided to scrap all the entrants ideas and stick with the initial decision, with ST standing for ’Sport Truck’. "’G8 ST’ was one of the most popular suggestions, plus we noticed a far broader trend toward simple, easy-to-remember names," said Craig Bierley, GM’s BPG product marketing director for cars and cars and crossovers.
GM even toyed with the idea of naming it after the infamous El Camino. “We actually thought very long about El Camino,” said Bierley. “In the end, we felt it was more appropriate to honor the El Camino’s unique place as part of Chevy’s heritage and not use that nameplate on a Pontiac.”
The G8 ST will fill a niche that GM hopes U.S. consumers will embrace: a truck that handles, drives and looks like a sports sedan. Pontiac is still sticking with the 361 hp V-8 as the only engine, sending the G8 ST from 0-60 mph in 5.4 sec. Not too bad for a truck offering a 73.9-in. cargo bed with 42.7 cu ft of cargo space. The tradeoff is the G8 ST’s small 1000 pound payload and 3500 lb towing capacity. That isn’t exactly Silverado territory, but then again no Silverado besides the hybrid comes close to the V-8 G8 sedan’s estimated 15/24 mpg city/highway.
Pontiac unveiled at the New York Auto Show the G8 sport truck. Back then the company announced that the production version will be powered by the same 361-hp 6.0L V8 power plant that is found in the Pontiac G8 GT.
But since then gas price went crazy! And a V8 engine might not be the best choice. So, Pontiac decided to put a V6 engine under the hood of the future G8 ST (or El Camino, or what ever the name will be!).
This would be the same 3.6L 256-hp V6 found in the G8 V6 sedan, and would have the same 17/25 mpg fuel economy as the V6 sedan.
Amid the hoopla of the New York Auto Show and GM’s preview of the upcoming Pontiac version of the Holden ute produced in Australia – what we’d call the El Camino of today – comes a dissenting opinion, presented by one Peter M. DeLorenzo, the voice of AutoExtremist.com.
DeLorenzo thinks the things going to bomb.
DeLorenzo’s opinions are never equivocal, though his crystal ball sometimes needs Windex. After all, it was Lorenzo who said that the next Corvette was a sure thing for 2012 and would be mid-engine.
On the ute, his point is that the sport truck doesn’t fit into either the Pontiac line-up or the professed image of Pontiac for, as Bob Lutz put it in New York, “seductive performance.”
In fact, DeLorenzo doesn’t believe there’s any market for such a truck, under any nameplate. And then he asks why Pontiac doesn’t, instead, seek to exploit those of its model names that still have meaning, such as GTO and Trans-Am.
(more after the jump)
At the New York Auto Show, next to the G8 GXP, Pontiac will also display the sport truck version of the G8. Based on the all-new Pontiac G8 performance sedan, the newest member of the G8 family has a longer wheelbase and a cargo bed suitable for either work or recreation. The G8 sport truck significantly stretches Pontiac’s commitment to style and performance and is expected to arrive in dealers’ showrooms in late 2009.
The sport truck draws its strength from the same powerful 6.0L V-8 engine used in the G8 GT. It puts out 361 hp and 385 lb.-ft. of torque. The combination of a six-speed automatic transmission and Active Fuel Management technology provides both car-like fuel economy and an unexpected 0-to-60 time of 5.4 seconds.
The G8 sport truck is based on the same rear-wheel-drive architecture as the G8 performance sedan. However, the sport truck’s body structure was reinforced in key areas to support its cargo and towing duties. More than 60 new components were added to strengthen the structure. Compared to the sedan, the 118.5-inch (3,009 mm) wheelbase is approximately four inches longer and the overall length is six inches longer.
Check out the pre-release video from pickuptruck.com
Press release after the jump.