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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Come on down: 7 cars that made The Price is Right showcase sparkle

To say that The Price Is Right is an American institution is rather obvious, as the long-running TV game show has roots in the 1950s and racked up more than 9000 episodes since the first airing in 1972.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/entertainment/come-on-down-7-cars-that-made-the-price-is-right-showcas...
63 REPLIES 63
ConfuciusRacing
Detailer

Wow, that was fun...I was injured from a racing accident and got hooked on "The Price is Right" during recovery in the early 90's, I really liked that show because people won stuff and they were so g.d. happy ! This article is a fantastic walk down automotive memory lane. Nice Job Hagerty.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Glad you enjoyed it!  It was a fun trip down memory lane for me, too. 

1986olds442
New Driver

Wow. That brought back a lot of memories. I actually owned a 1987 Lincoln continental Givenchy series Thanks for posting.
JohnU71
Pit Crew

I loved watching The Price is Right as a kid in the 70s/80s. I had the misfortune of being in the studio audience on the day that Drew Carey took over. He was so rude and ignorant during question period. Bob would have never acted so terribly towards the audience!

SteveShay
Pit Crew

I'm not surprised. I met Drew Carey while I was taking a break from photographing the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade he appeared in, about 1989 before he was a household name. I introduced myself and asked his name and he gave me the whole, "Don't you realize who I am?" routine. He was really mad. A-hole.
JohnU71
Pit Crew

A group of ladies stood up and said they all worked together at Starbucks. He looked at them and said "Get me a latte, b1tch!"
True story
MustangJim
Detailer

Wow, doesn't sound like a very nice man. Hope someone told him what he could / should do with himself ( hopefully that was ok to say)
sclin10
Detailer

On a similar but different note, I had a friend who won a new washer and dryer on TPIR, then went to a VW dealer and traded them in for a Karmann-Ghia.
Tim
Instructor

"A new car!" I can hear Johnny belting out that phrase as the curtains open. Cut to the contestant giddy with excitement. 😁 This list shows (and plenty of other cars on the show) that some people definitely got the better end of the stick. I think the perfect follow-up to this would be 7 of PiR's biggest dud cars. 😄
KevinJames77
Pit Crew

The 1984 Corvette was a prize on the episode that aired January 10, 1984. Production of the 1984 model year started in March 1983 , but the manual transmission wasn't available until January 1984, so over half of 1984 models were built when the automatic was the only choice, and only 12.5% of 1984 models came with a manual transmission. The car in the episode and the episode itself were produced before the manual was available. You don't want a 1984 with a manual transmission anyway, because they have the Dana 36 rear end. This was upgraded to the Dana 44 in 1985 due to reliability issues. Never mind the reliability of the early Doug Nash 4+3....
JSievers
Advanced Driver

Agreed. The 700R4 automatic was a much better option.
MattK
Detailer

The 700R4....BulletProof.
Wile
Pit Crew

Agreed!! Have an ‘86  Z28 drove off the show room in the garage and rocks you when she shifts all stock.

BMD4800
Instructor

I’m going to disagree.

While it eventually became quite robust by the end of the run in 4L65 and 4L70 form, the early ones, especially pre-87, are certainly not bullet proof.
BPatLeMays
Intermediate Driver

That Eagle is a car I would want to restomod/Hot rod. Two door, a full size spare in the trunk, and 4 wheel drive powered by a small block! Fix the production defects and that could be a fun car!
WillieG12
Pit Crew

Don't do any of that if you want to make money on the car. Keep/make it pure stock.

If you want to turn it into a resto mod, do it for yourself not for resale value.

Here's a (sort of) good example - in the late 60's -early 70s lots of Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers etc were tricked out in one way or another. Most that remained stock simply rotted our or were traded in. Mustangs in particular had a tendency to rust making repairs economically foolhardy.

If you had a few bucks extra you might but a Mercury Cougar XR7. I have one now - a '68 - and had a '67 in college. My '68 is mint and 100% pure stock. Never been in an accident. Just replaced the ORIGINAL A/C compressor and carburetor, car has 107k and is driven frequently and never resides in above the Mason Dixon line.

I had 20 offers to buy the car last year from folks on the road and 3 from dealers. Each dealer offered way off top book BECAUSE it was 100% stock. It is extremely difficult to find a 68 Cougar XR7 that has not be modified in some way or another. My car looks exactly the way the car looked if you bought it from you Lincoln Mercury dealer in 1968. That is what makes it worth more than others with larger engines, customized suspensions, transmissions, and paint colors never available on the car.

Just for kicks see if you can find a 1968 Cougar XR7, 302V8, A/C, Power Steering, Discs, vinyl roof in an original Ford color that needs NO work of any kind. You can't. So by not putting any customized add ons my car is worth way over book value and dealers have offered me way over book at least 10 times in the last few years. Car is not for sale and I intend to die while owning the car.

Now look at Cougars that have been customized. Tons of them out there. Some go to 140k which is often near or about the price spent on customizing the vehicle. Most Cougars sell for 9 -20k and they ALL need work. I have been offered many times that and the car is rented for movies and TV shows because it is "period correct".

I have nothing against anybody making resto mods or hot rods - typically for their own enjoyment. In contrast, next week I will be looking at a Corvair convertible made in its fnal year. Pure stock, mint condition. No modifications. The price would cause sticker shock to most buyers until they look for a pure stock, perfect condition Corvair convertible made in its final years that doesn't even need a car wash.
WillieG12
Pit Crew

Just did a quick look as per my above email. The cheaper 68 Cougar (not an XR7) with cheaper interior was redone with a brand new 351 V8, (not stock) minor body changes made. New paint job - not Ford color. Immaculate. asking price 26k. (Can be had for less). Interior is in average condition and not nearly as luxurious as the XR7 upgrade. I have been offered for my pure stock car with 107k and the original 302 engine, transmission, upholstery etc MUCH more money than for this beautiful modified Cougar with a brand new engine and new nicely done paint job.
KevinJames77
Pit Crew

If you want to make money on a car, you're probably kidding yourself.  I'm not naïve enough to think I'll ever get my money back out of any car that I've worked on, so I just do whatever I want with them to make them better to drive.  There are plenty of "collectible" cars out there that aren't even worth the price of a good paint job and upholstery, so restoring them to mint condition is pointless from a financial standpoint.  Unless you're the shop charging $120 per hour to work on a car, about the only way to make money on a car is to buy a rare mint condition future collectible during the timeframe when it's just another used car and hope that not everybody else recognizes that it's a future collectible.  Take all of the relatively worthless low-mileage "Anniversary Edition", "Collector's Edition", and "Indianapolis 500 Pace Car" Corvettes as examples of what not to buy.

MATTMERICA
Instructor
TonyT
Instructor

I seem to recall that the show gave away more than one Yugo...
Huntwt
Pit Crew

I remember when the local Cadillac dealer had a deal where they gave a free Yugo with a new Caddie.
Air_and_Water
Detailer

Back in the days of the Subaru 360 there was a contest where first prize was a 360, and second prize was TWO Subaru 360s! 😄
gfviperman
Detailer

The Dodge Shelby brings back great memories. Chrysler was ahead of the times with turbo charged 4 cylinder engines.

Had a Turbo New Yorker ... ran great, super seats ...
MustangJim
Detailer

Gm used turbo charged engines in 1962 in corvair and f85
DRKDGLR
Pit Crew

The Shelby Chargers were not turbocharged until 1985, the one in this article is not.
OCULUSNY
Intermediate Driver

As embarrassing as some of those models' designs are, the one thing that unites them is the horrible govenrment mandates, resultant engineering and pitiful construction and worse quality control that pervaded the entire US market at the time. They wouldn't start, run, shut off or even rest comfortably in a rainstorm. And most would recognize that the emphasis on emissions was at the root of all evil. All that engineering, California plumbing and fuel consumption would put a serious dent in American cars forever, allowing the rise of cheaper, more clever and economical Asian brands that have never retreated.

And here we go again with California Air Resources Board diktats for at least 13 states and a numb federal government.
autbone
Pit Crew

But now America is getting its revenge on Japan: After years of the Japanese makers creating the most efficient internal combustion engines, we will soon be mandating battery electric vehicles. The Japanese are being dragged kicking and screaming to what is, essentially, a way to push them and their darn high-mpg vehicles out of the market. Take THAT Japan!
BMD4800
Instructor

Cutting off our nose, to spite our face.

Japan maybe the only source for ICE if things continue.
BMD4800
Instructor

Absolutely. Vacuum emissions controls, ridiculously lame timing curves, highway gears that lugged the vehicle in citing driving.
2.41 gears and low output engines made driving the early 80s GM cars a nightmare.
Once the 2.41s were replaced by 3.08s, the Pontiac was way more enjoyable.
KevinJames77
Pit Crew

2.41 gears?  That's what the V6 cars got.  The V8 cars usually got 2.14 or 2.29 gears.  The only way you got 2.41, 2.56, or 2.73 gears with a V8 is if you got an overdrive transmission.

jorge1958
New Driver

Good article. You should do one on the 60s and 70s cars they gave away on."lets make a deal".
OhioScott
New Driver

The photos can't be seen without going to Instagram separately for each one
merlebalke
Detailer

At least the giveaway vehicles on The Price is Right were usable prizes. So many of the prizes are worthless garbage.
autbone
Pit Crew

Correction: I must point out that, as the owner of a 1985 Shelby Charger, it first year for the Shelby Charger to have a turbo. The 1983 and 1984 models did not have the turbo or the power bulge in the hood that came with it. Also, Turbo models had five lug nuts per wheel, not four.
mhealy1
Detailer

I never had the privilege of driving a turbocharged Shelby Charger but I did drive an Omni GLHS, the turbo four-door variant. Holy (excrement)! Shelby named the non-turbo version the GLH, for “Goes like he!!” The added “S” on the turbo model must have stood for the expletive uttered by the driver experiencing its torque steer for the first time.
Time to check the net for a nice one for sale…
cigarmerchant
Pit Crew

Statute of Limitations apply...
In the mid-80s I sold a small business I had and went to work for a Dodge dealer. Took a brand new Shelby out for lunch and decided to go by the old store and lay some rubber. When I got back to work I noticed the front wheels were torqued (pigeon toed) so I took the keys back in and hung them on the board.
autbone
Pit Crew

Yeah, American and Quality Control were not used in the same sentence in the 80's without also including the words "has no." My 85 Charger had several ridiculously poor construction defects. The engine finally died at just over 50,000 miles. What a shame for a car that cost the equivalent of $25000 today.

autbone
Pit Crew

The "S" was for Supercharged. I also had an 86 Omni GLH Turbo, but the next year there was a special edition with more power. Also in 87 was a Shelby Charger GLHS. What I remember off the top of my head is that the turbo 2.2 liter four cylinder made 146 horsepower. The GLHS version of the engine was 175 horsepower. It is piddling, compared to modern cars, but at the time it was torque-steer fun!  Tose little Omni GLH cars were fabulous autocross stars, too. I miss mine even more, now.

JagSV8
New Driver

Actually the "S" stood for Some More. The N/A Dodge Charger Shelby had a 110 HP aspirated motor with a A525 with a wide ratio transmission and a Cam, The Turbocharged version put out 146HP and was a 2.2 Turbo I and has a close ratio A525. The 87 Shelby Charger GLHS put out 175 HP as was a 2.2 Turbo II and used the same close ratio A525. Shelby bought 1500 Chargers and had them shipped to Whittier, CA to modify them pulling the head assembly (Head, Intake, Exhaust, and Turbo) and replaced the intake, and Modified the exhaust manifold to fit the new (Blow through) turbocharger. an then reassembled them added graphics, wheels, speedometer overlay, and Number badge. Then sent them to dealers.

Direct connection had a 2.2 supercharger kit but none of the factory Chrysler or Shelby product ever shipped with one. There may be a few "Mules" out there but I have never heard of any.
Timbo
Intermediate Driver

Most of those vehicles could never be "cool" as the title stated.
WillieG12
Pit Crew

The AMC Eagle was way ahead of its time. A credible argument can be made that it is the father of the millions of ubiquitous SUVs in America today. 4 wheel drive, elevated road height in a "station wagon" body.

The Saburu Outback was/is for all intents and purposes a modernized top tier Eagle. When Chrysler bought AMC it did so primarily to get Jeep. I had no money for the Eagle, Javelin or AMX and let the AMC car division starve. Iacocca (in part) replaced the Eagle for a vehicle more desirable to a larger demographic - the mini van.

Nothing wrong with the practical, worth every dime of its price, AMC Eagle. I had several AMC cars and was a mechanic. Never had an "unusual issue" with an Eagle - ever. It offered options typical of the era many of which were only available in more expensive cars. Wholly stock, unmodified Eagles bring decent prices in the market. Most of them left on the road were customized in one way or another making most of these creative projects worthless.

See if you get any posts from disgruntled actual owners of Eagles purchased new.
SteveShay
Pit Crew

Great article! Next you should do an article on "Let's Make a Deal" and review all those donkeys and carts the losers won instead of cars when they picked the wrong door.
Hulkster
New Driver

My friend Mary, a lifelong fan of the show, went to her first and only taping years ago. She was the first contestant picked, one a trip to the stage on the first question, then won EVERY prize, including a dinette set, a grandfather clock, and a Yellow Dodge Viper. At the time, it was the most expensive haul in any one show in the show's daytime history. I looked for the footage online, but couldn't find it.
Maestro1
Instructor

That's a lot of fun. Thank you for it. I was never a fan of the show so I ignored it but the cars range from great to funky.
MattK
Detailer

Oh boy it really does bring back memories of these cars especially since I have experience with three of them. I worked for Budget rent a car back in 1983. I got to drive the Firebird, boy the looks that car got, what fun. Also we had the Fox bodied Lincoln, I liked it, Still do, along with the Fox Mercury Marquis, of the time. Wow talk about a cushy ride and seats of the Lincoln, but man did it wallow in turns with the tires squealing when you weren't even going that fast, lucky for the Velour seats that held you fast, lol. Lastly later in life I owned an 1984 Corvette, same color as the one pictured except two toned. Really a great car for the times. I would take any of them.
Corvettebaggs
Intermediate Driver

Corvettebaggs, you are the new proud owner of a 1977 Dodge Andromeda van!!!
🤣😂👍🙋🏻‍♂️✊🏻🤟🏻
ShamrockRally
New Driver

Promos & Giveaway Cars could be a good follow up article. Used to see the mail in offers to win a car that was pimped to the hilt for whichever company was doing the promotion.

The Coca-Cola/Levi's "Denimachine" comes to mind. About 10 years ago a neighbor down the street had one parked in their driveway.
SS195
Pit Crew

What??? No Citation X11? Wish I still had mine. No real trophy but very rare today!
rjfscorpio
New Driver

Neat list. I always enjoyed the show. I remember a Jaguar XJ6 in the big showcase one time. As for the list. Between the Balzer, Custom Van and maybe the Corvette you can keep the rest.