Hit sport present “The Price is Right” is celebrating its fiftieth birthday in 2022, and an Instagram account has began documenting the vehicles given away over the previous 5 a long time. Some fashions have develop into classics, whereas others have fully disappeared from American roads.
Noticed by Grassroots Motorsports, the account known as tpircars. It has 174 posts as of writing and so they all observe the identical fundamental format: Each features a screenshot of a selected automobile and features from the present announcer’s description. For instance, the primary automobile provided as a prize on the present was a Chevrolet Vega — a Kammback mannequin, no much less. It was provided in September 1972 and described by Johnny Olson as having “bucket seats, energy steering, entrance disc brakes, an AM radio, and white-striped tires.” He added that it “handles like a little bit sports activities automobile.”
Whereas the Vega Kammback was little bit of an oddity, it isn’t essentially the most eccentric automobile given away on “The Price is Right.” Have you ever ever heard of an Opel Isuzu? No? Effectively, the one who gained one in March 1977 in all probability hadn’t, both. The present did not draw back from oddball imports. It gave away a Mazda 808 sedan with “a four-speed syncromesh ground shift” in 1972, a Renault LeCar in 1979, and never one however two examples of the Fiat Strada (referred to as the Ritmo in Italy) in 1982. Each have been introduced as combining “superior dealing with and efficiency with nice gas financial system,” although no point out was made from superior susceptibility to rust. (Please do not ship me offended emails; I personal a 51-year-old Fiat).
Nicer vehicles have been provided as prizes, too. I wager the one who gained a Mercedes-Benz 280E (W123) in 1978 went house smiling, and the one who gained a Porsche 944 in 1989 in all probability went house very, in a short time. In a means, some contestants gained a second house: The prize on January 30, 1984, was a Ford-based, 19-foot motorhome with a range, fridge, rest room, bathe and CB radio, amongst different tools.
It is troublesome to inform exactly what occurred to those vehicles with out figuring out the VIN. Some probably depreciated into nothingness; what was a 1982 Pontiac J2000 station wagon value in 2002? Sport present provenance in all probability wasn’t sufficient to put it aside. Did the infamously Kenosha-built 1985 Renault Alliance stay to have a good time its tenth birthday, or had it already metamorphosed into some sort of building materials?
Finally, loads of the vehicles provided as a prize by “The Price is Right” over the previous 5 a long time have been comparatively mundane. They’re attention-grabbing now as a result of we predict, “Holy moly, you by no means see these anymore!” however they have been pretty frequent and unremarkable (which doesn’t imply that they have been dangerous) after they have been new. Profitable a Ford Bronco II in 1984 should have been like profitable a Bronco Sport in 2022. It is thrilling since you simply gained a brand new automobile on nationwide tv, but it surely’s not like Bob Barker or Drew Carey handed you the keys to a vibrant pink Porsche 911 GT3.
And but, a few of the prizes have appreciated at a charge that even the shrewdest contestant could not predict. Take the pink and white 1975 Volkswagen Bus, the 1984 Toyota Pickup with off-road lights and an oh-so-Nineteen Eighties paint job, or the 1977 Chevrolet Blazer with a detachable gentle prime. These have develop into moderately sought-after classics which can be value extra in 2022 than after they have been new.