Author Topic: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows  (Read 1270 times)

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Offline jlgarfield

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The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« on: December 03, 2020, 04:02:16 PM »
I was going to make this Price is Right-centric, but this could apply to ANY game show that offered cars as a prize.

What do you think are some of the worst car model(s) offered on ANY game show? Me, the Cadillac Cimmaron and Catera; those two were just lousy. The former for it being just a glorified Cavalier, and the latter..... had too many reliability issues.

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2020, 04:21:58 PM »
There's a Cullen episode of Price that gave a BMW Isetta as a prize. It was truly a WTF of a BMW. They so had American Motors' Rambler line--our family had one, and the only thing holding it together was the paint.
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Offline bigblue999

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2020, 04:24:26 PM »
Right here.

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Offline jlgarfield

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2020, 04:34:57 PM »
There's a Cullen episode of Price that gave a BMW Isetta as a prize. It was truly a WTF of a BMW. They so had American Motors' Rambler line--our family had one, and the only thing holding it together was the paint.

Reportedly, the Isetta was categorized as a motorcycle.

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2020, 05:21:15 PM »
Ford Pinto comes to mind Price wise, as does another I can't recall....I think it was an early 70's car, but can't think of name. As to Non-Price cars.....the Kia's Wheel used to offer in recent years in the main game come to mind pretty quick.

Offline Briguy

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2020, 05:31:06 PM »
I'm surprised no one is thinking of the car that won Motor Trend's Car of the Year honor in 1971 and game shows from "Hollywood Squares," the 1970s "Name That Tune," "Let's Make a Deal," possibly early "Wheel Of Fortune" (there is a YouTube clip of a 1975 episode of "Jeopardy!" that advertised it as a prize) and, of course, TPiR gave away by the thousands.

The car had incredible promise in its first year or two but then the reliability issues started coming and they definitely didn't get much better until the mid-1970s. It took replacing the engine itself with a reliable cast-iron four-cylinder engine to make the car at least somewhat reliable, but by then it was too late.

Of course, I'm speaking of the Chevrolet Vega.

Probably second on the list was a car given away not nearly so much except maybe very early in its history, but was also rife with serious engineering and reliability issues: the Chevrolet Citation. (Its General Motor siblings, including the Buick Skylark and Pontiac Phoenix, weren't nearly as hard hit but also didn't exactly escape recalls.)

Some might also categorize the 1976 Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare, which also had serious recall issues early in their lives, to the point where former Chrysler customers were abandoning ship and the company teetered on closure if fixes didn't happen. A couple of 1976 LMaD shows had this car as a prize.

I'd not be surprised if LMaD offered the 1969 Subaru 360 as a prize. Consumer Reports magazine once emblazoned its "Not Acceptable" mark of shame on the car for overall being inadequate (most notably being grossly underpowered and its crashworthiness). CR also gave the dubious distinction to the Suzuki Samuari (in 1988, due to handling issues that made it a serious rollover danger), a car that both "Card Sharks" and "Classic Concentration" offered as prizes.

Those are a few that come to mind.

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2020, 05:36:59 PM »
How about the Chevettes the syndicated Concentration gave away? Those egg beater engines made it of dubious quality (I owned one--I should know).
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Offline GameShowFan9001

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2020, 06:21:17 PM »
Far from the worst car period, but I'd nominate the Mitsubishi Mirage, that penalty box that we're probably all VERY familiar with via Price offering like a million of them, as the worst car offered in the modern era, especially the pre-facelift model (though I imagine the ones we see now are probably slightly better than this one, but not by much, and almost certainly still the worst new car you can get, especially with the improvements other subcompacts have made):
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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2020, 06:24:00 PM »
I'm surprised no one is thinking of the car that won Motor Trend's Car of the Year honor in 1971 and game shows from "Hollywood Squares," the 1970s "Name That Tune," "Let's Make a Deal," possibly early "Wheel Of Fortune" (there is a YouTube clip of a 1975 episode of "Jeopardy!" that advertised it as a prize) and, of course, TPiR gave away by the thousands.

The car had incredible promise in its first year or two but then the reliability issues started coming and they definitely didn't get much better until the mid-1970s. It took replacing the engine itself with a reliable cast-iron four-cylinder engine to make the car at least somewhat reliable, but by then it was too late.

Of course, I'm speaking of the Chevrolet Vega.

THANK YOU! THAT'S the other car I was trying to think of! I KNEW there was another one!

Offline Alfonzo

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2020, 07:22:27 PM »
I remember seeing Renault's Le Car being given away on TPiR and, man, those things were horrible! Not only did they have their tacky logo stamped on their doors in large print, but they were junk. My music teacher in grade school had one and at the end of it's life the thing couldn't drive faster than seven miles an hour!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 08:18:47 PM by Alfonzo »
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Offline Roadgeek Adam

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2020, 07:55:09 PM »
Right here.

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Offline jlgarfield

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2020, 08:02:46 PM »
Are there any TPiR eps online that had a Catera or Cimmaron offered? I'd love to see those. :D

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2020, 07:09:24 AM »
Funny you should ask...an episode with Golden Road played for a Cimarron is circulating on Pluto today! (It was $14,000 then and would probably be in the mid to high $30,000s today; to look at, it really is hard to distinguish from any of the everyday cars they offer on the show.
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Offline JayC

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2020, 02:16:56 PM »
I recall Geo/Chevrolet Metros being offered with some regularity on Price in the 90s and early 2000s. They were just barely over $10,000, very cheap for the time. Wheel of Fortune also offered Kia Rios under or just barely over $10,000 in the early days of the Mystery round.

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Re: The Worst Car(s) Ever Offered As Prizes on Game Shows
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2020, 02:23:04 PM »
I recall Geo/Chevrolet Metros being offered with some regularity on Price in the 90s and early 2000s. They were just barely over $10,000, very cheap for the time. Wheel of Fortune also offered Kia Rios under or just barely over $10,000 in the early days of the Mystery round.

Weren't Kias offered at least as Showcase prizes too? I remember the Geos and Metros some, also in Showcases.