More than 100 Australian-built Pontiac G8 sport sedans -- some from both U.S. coasts and Canada -- are expected at the first-ever Pontiac G8 Nationals meet, August 20-22 in Bettendorf, Iowa, part of the Quad Cities on the Mississippi River between Chicago and Des Moines.

"We'll have drag races at a local track Friday night, a car show and cruise Saturday, awards Sunday morning and other activities too," says Joe Morgan of Middleton, WI, who organized the event on owner's forums at and  "I'm excited!"

The mid-range G8 GT model, with a 6.0 liter V8 producing 361 horsepower, won universal praise among automotive journalists at Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Automobile and Consumer Reports after its introduction in March 2008.  (Editors:  See links below)

Commended for its compliant but track-capable suspension, similar to a BMW 550i but at half the price, the G8 also won acclaim for a roomy, comfortable interior and sleek styling.  The family performance sedan doubles as a daily driver and hobby car for many owners.

The base G8 model comes with a 256 hp V6, while the premium G8 GXP features a 6.2 liter V8 producing 415 hp.  Some 38,000 units were produced, mostly mid-range G8 GTs.

The G8 GT is virtually identical to the Commodore VE model produced by Holden, GM's subsidiary in Australia.  Holden reportedly spent a billion dollars developing the car and Commodores still are being produced for sale in countries outside North America.  Some in Australia now feature the handsome Pontiac fascia (minus the logo) for a premium price.

Last year the G8 became a source of debate when GM product guru Bob Lutz argued it was a great car that could be continued as a Buick or Chevrolet, but GM's then-CEO Fritz Henderson and management decided against the idea.  Lutz, who is 78, retired May 1.  Henderson was replaced by current CEO Ed Whitacre Jr.

Registration for the G8 Nationals is free, although donations are welcomed to help cover insurance and other costs.  All Pontiac owners are invited.  The Isle of Capri casino and hotel in Bettendorf is the host hotel for the meet.  Interested parties can sign up at