Under the Radar 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP

If the devils in the details, then this GXP is hell on wheels. 

Catch a glimpse of Kurt Thorson’s 2009 G8 GXP flying by, and you might have enough time to take a mental note of its clean Panther Black Metallic paint and aggressive stance over matte gunmetal wheels.

However, if given the chance to really dig into the fine details, you’ll quickly realize there’s so much more in store. 

Retired, But Not Tired

As the original owner of his G8, Kurt knows every nook and cranny and has never shied away from being hands-on with his long-term project. Initially purchased as a daily driver, it’s since been retired from everyday duty and reserved for those nice weather occurrences, but don’t assume his car has been pampered over the last 12 years.

It’s been used for competitive top speed dashes, pushed through the turns of road course and SCCA events, and even scooted down the 1320, and Kurt proudly adds, “It gets driven to these events…not trailered.”  

With a desire to see what his car could do in a controlled environment, Kurt took part in the Mojave standing mile. Armed with a set of headers, cold-air intake, exhaust, lowering springs, and a tune, he was disappointed with his 149mph effort. Down but not out, he added Livernois’ 2C cam upgrade and called for a rematch with the desert. He adds, “I went back to Mojave for the second event of 2011 and went 165 mph, which I was extremely pleased with.

On board fire extinguishers were one of the requirements for participating, so I developed a billet aluminum bracket that bolts to the front seats to hold a fire extinguisher.” As a retired tool and mold maker with over 43 years under his belt, Kurt didn’t just throw something together – he designed something that looked and worked so well that his friends were asking if he could replicate it for their cars. Just like that those Fire Extinguisher brackets are now sold here on Maverick Man Carbon!  

Handle With Care 

Content with the car’s top speed ability, he would turn his attention to lowering the car a bit further and after trying out a set of coilovers that he couldn’t wait to remove due to their ride quality and handling, Koni shocks and King springs were swapped in. “The car handles amazing now and is totally predictable,” he notes. The lower stance places the arches over TSW Nurburgring in 20x8.5 up front, and 20x10 in the rear.

Those larger rears are actually 8.5 spec wheels that Kurt had widened to 10-inches and now carry a +62 offset, which allows for a set of 295 Falken FK510 to fit comfortably without the need to roll the rear fenders. Taking the personalization further, he also machined a center cap for the TSWs for a more complete look. 

Pop the hood and you’ll notice the plastic engine cover is history and if you look a little closer, you can spot some more of Kurt’s handiwork.

The wiring you’re used to seeing run to the injectors and coil packs is hidden by a slick billet aluminum cover that he designed and machined.

Let your eyes work their way around the rest of the bay and you might notice the shock tower covers complete with damper adjustment knobs perched on either side – another of his custom touches.

Before you shut the hood, don’t miss those custom heater hoses that took a year of development and eventual tooling to create, and serve as Kurt’s take on a Heater Hose Relocation Kit that he felt was a better solution to what was already on the market and is also available here on Maverick Man Carbon. 

Take a peek under this GXP and Kurt's work follows underneath this beauty!  The 2-1/2 inch, 304 stainless and Tig-Welded piping is exclusively Kurt's work! 

Including a homemade pressure wave termination box that essentially tricks your engine into thinking you have an open exhaust system. Kurt did his research on this box per some circle track theories that is used in Nascar and the over all results was a gain of 3hp and 5tq with this bad boy!  Following the pressure wave termination box Kurt added two stainless works glass pack resonators and ending it with Maganflow Mufflers and per Kurt causes no drone whatsoever! 

Counting Carbs 

Speaking of that hood, if the lightweight structure didn’t clue you in, a kiss of sunlight reveals the Maverick Man hood’s carbon fiber weave that virtually ties into the car’s paintwork, along with the front grill surrounds.

The same goes for the rear of the G8 where a Maverick Man carbon fiber trunk with integrated spoiler and Wickerbill.

and those ever popular exclusive LED Sequential taillights from Maverick Man Carbon were added and go a long way in evening out both ends. 

Though the car carries its original paint code, it was in fact resprayed at one point by the experts at Coachcraft Autobody Inc. in Revo, Nevada. Falling victim to a gravel windstorm that Kurt says, “completely destroyed the exterior of my car,” you would never know it, based on the quality of the work. That level of quality only makes sense given the fact that this G8 carries itself with tasteful upgrades that have obviously been well thought-out, rather than driving the car through a shop and seeing what sticks. The mix of proven off-the-shelf parts and Kurt’s own hands-on design and machine work make for the perfect combo. 


Kurt Thorson’s 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP


Engine Livernois 2C cam (Intake duration 224 @ .050, exhaust duration 236 @ .050, Intake and exhaust lift .612 LSA 117), dual spring kit, 5/16 diameter pushrods, tune; Roto-Fab cold-air intake, radiator cover; Kooks 1-7/8 super stree headers, catted connection pipes; custom 304 stainless steel exhaust w/pressure wave termination box for exhaust scavenging; Stainless Works mid-mufflers; Magnaflow rear mullfers; Holley valve covers; home-machined billet aluminum injector covers, strut tower covers w/adjustment knobs for shock dampening; Elite Engineering catch can;  Billet mounting bracket and heater hose relocation kit 


Drivetrain TR6060 transmission; Monster LT1-S twin disc clutch, 24lbs. billet steel flywheel; VooDoo Chicken carrier bearing; MGW short throw shifter 


Suspension Koni adjustable shocks; King springs; BMR bushings, rear toe rods, trailing arms, differential bushings, cradle bushings; custom modified rear LCAs, front and rear swaybars; SuperPro bushings, front radius rods, lower control arms, strut tops w/bearings; Whiteline sway bar links 


Wheels & Tires TSW Nurburgring 20x8.5 +43 front, 20x10 +62 rear; custom machined center caps; Falken Azenis FK510 255/35 front, 295/30 rear 


Exterior Repainted original Panther Black Metallic; Maverick Man carbon fiber hood, trunk lid w/integrated spoiler and wickerbill, front grillsexclusive Maverick Man Carbon LED Sequential taillights ; clear front markers; factory badges deleted 


Interior Fire extinguisher seat bracket; Holden OEM 3G sport gauges 


Thank you to my wife for allowing me the time and money for all my car addictions. Thanks to Coachcraft Autobody, Inc. in Reno, Nevada for painting my car to better than factory paint standards after I was in a gravel windstorm that completely destroyed the exterior of my car. Thanks to Maverick Man for all the cool carbon fiber pieces.


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Author -> Staff 

Photographer -> Staff

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Pontiac g8 gxp




Very nice….I have a GXP with only 2700 miles inspected and ready for sale.Black sunroof automatic

Jason Amici

Jason Amici

I read all that and no Horsepower was printed at all.



My Abs is flashing .. computer says front right wheel hub is the problem.. how do you confirm that ???

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