Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • A Metamorphosis is Coming

    Posted on May 29th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    The G8 is going through a metamorphosis…
    What once was a nymph will soon be a beast of a machine…

  • Mt. Hamilton Cruise

    Posted on May 14th, 2010 tcorzett 1 comment

    Having spent the last few weeks on the East Coast for work, I was really excited to get back to the Bay Area and the G8. To take advantage of this trip home I hooked-up with a few GTO owners today for a spirited drive up to Mt. Hamilton near San Jose, Ca.

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    I have been wanting to make this drive for some time, but have always been a little leery of doing it on a weekend. This is a road that the crazy cyclists come to test their muscle, and it can be quite busy when the weather is good. Fortunately, Friday turned-out to be a perfect day to make the drive… there were zero cyclists on the road!

    The group met-up in San Jose and headed up towards Mt. Hamilton. I lead the cruise, not like anyone could have become lost, and it turned-out to be a good thing… the road conditions were less than ideal and having the car with the most tire sidewall up front paid-off. To the best of my ability I tried to radio back when I hit a big bump, but I don’t think it was enough sometimes… there were several occasions where the GTOs had to slow down to avoid the rough roads.

    As we made the climb up Mt. Hamilton we came-up on a Toyota 4-Runner, which normally would have been holding us back, but it turned out he was a local who likes to drive! At the top of Mt. Hamilton is the Lick Observatory. The driver of the 4-Runner was heading to the observatory and had obviously driven the road quite a few times… he was actually giving me a run for my money up the mountain!

    At the top of Mt. Hamilton we stopped at the Lick Observatory for some photographs and sightseeing. I had never been to the observatory, so being able to walk around and look at some of the memorabilia was very cool. They even have an original seismograph from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake! Before leaving we had to take advantage of the scenery and take a few photographs.

    Rather than just driving back down the road we had just driven, we decided to head out towards the Central Valley and drive on San Antonio Valley Rd. and then out on Del Puerto Canyon Rd.

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    The descent from the Lick Observatory down San Antonio Valley Rd. was just spectacular! This is a smooth section of road that through a series of switchbacks drops almost 2000′ in less than 4 miles (at up to a -11% grade). If this road wasn’t in the middle of nowhere I’d drive it every day. What better way to explain… than a video!

    The G8 really handled this stretch of the drive well, no matter how hard I tried to push it. The driver of the GTO behind me commented that he could smell my brakes as he was going through the corners! There were several times where I was locking-up a wheel or two… and I know if I had not been using the transmission to help slow down into corners I wouldn’t have been able to be as quick. I can only imagine how this road will be after I do my suspension upgrades!

    After the wonderful descent from Mt. Hamilton we headed out into the middle of nowhere. The only thing you’ll find out here are some farms and the occasional cow, but it does lend to some nice “relaxing” driving roads. San Antonio Valley Rd. leads out to the crossing point for three roads at “The Junction”. Mines Rd. leads to Livermore, Del Puerto Canyon Rd. heads out towards the Central Valley, and San Antonio Valley Rd. to the Lick Observatory and San Jose. The Junction is also the home of a little bar, named “The Junction” (big surprise huh?). We stopped there to catch our breath, and after spending some time with the locals we headed back out to finish-up the drive.

    The day turned-out to be a great outing. I had hoped to have a few more cars, but I think it worked out better than we only had the four of us… it allowed us to push things a bit harder. I wished I’d been able to spend more time with the G8, but it was great to get out and romp around while I had the chance!