The United States military has been using fast cars to chase its U-2 spy planes down the runway for decades. Because visibility from the cockpit is so bad, occupants in the car follow the plane and relay information such as altitude and wing position to the pilots—usually at over 100 mph—to ensure safe takeoffs and landings. This 2009 Pontiac G8 GT was one of the cars used to perform this epic task. Now, it's for sale.
This G8, listed on government surplus auction site GovDeals.com, has just 39,789 miles on the clock and looks to be in good condition. There are no modifications present, and everything on the car is said to work as it should. Cars that need to chase spy planes down runways need to have some grunt, and we think the 6.0-liter V-8 under the hood of this G8 fits the bill nicely, rated at 355 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque when new. It's also been treated to new tires, brake pads, and rotors, as well as a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission from GM.
The car is currently located in Wisconsin and up for bidding on GovDeals' site with a high bid of $16,900 and five days remaining on the auction. Though this car doesn't stand out in any way in pictures, we bet it'll go for a bit more than your average G8 considering its provenance.
The Air Force has been chasing down U-2s since the aircraft's launch in 1955, using period Ford station wagons before eventually switching to El Caminos in the Sixties. In the mid-Eighties, the job was taken over by California Highway Patrol-spec Ford Mustangs. Once the late Nineties rolled around, the task fell to F-body Camaro Z28s before they eventually were replaced by the Australian-built Pontiac GTOs and G8s of the mid- to late-2000s. Nowadays, the job goes to Tesla Model Ss.