Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, September 27, 2021

By now, we’ve all heard about the Pontiac car giveaway promotion stunt on Oprah (that inspired me to give away some Gmail invites — still got some left!). We’ve probably all heard about the downside: Each car recipient is on the hook for a $7,000 tax bill if they keep the car.

While seven grand is a good deal for a brand-new car, paying that lump sum may well be a hardship for some. So the logical solution would be to get rid of the car.

How? I suppose donating it to charity would turn that tax bill into a nice big deduction. However, I’m thinking that these ballyhooed cars must have some collector value to them — a limited run of 276 vehicles that were blessed by Oprah Winfrey.

So I suggest that winners get together and auction off these babies. There are enough Oprah addicts out there who would kill to get their hands on one. Odds are they can get enough money to not only pay off the tax bill, but also to buy a whole other car.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/27/2004 07:37:20 PM
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture
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4 Feedbacks
  1. If it was 10, maybe. But 276? Thats a big run of ‘collector’ vehicles. If they actually had some distinguishing characteristic, say, an oprah plaque on the inside, or a special engine or option package, maybe they would command a big price, but I can’t imagine them going for much more than sticker price.

    Now a 1972 AMC Hornet with a Gucci interior, now that would be worth something!


    Comment by The Belt — 09/27/2004 @ 08:46:14 PM

  2. You’re looking at it from a car enthusiast’s perspective, insteaed of an Oprah enthusiast’s perspective. The Oprah fan doesn’t care if there’s a mouse with a wheel under the hood running the thing. All that matters is this is one of the relatively few cars that were on the Oprah show, and were part of the most memorable marketing/product placement stunt in recent memory. That’s the value to it.

    Does that merit spending $30-40 grand for one? I’ve seen crazier things. I do think they should sell their cars this way quickly, because the novelty will wear off (and some grander stunt, on Oprah or elsewhere, will probably trump this one).

    Comment by CT — 09/28/2004 @ 08:58:13 AM

  3. Im not entirely overlooking the Oprah factor, but is there even anything at all that distinguishes them from a factory stock pontiac G6? A certificate of authenticity? Thats all Im saying. 20 years down the line, when it would ostensibly start reaping the benefit of being collectable, how would you prove that it was, in fact, one of the ‘Oprah’ cars?

    Comment by The Belt — 09/28/2004 @ 08:00:42 PM

  4. Dude — you honestly think an Oprah-head who’s fanatic enough to buy a car from her show is thinking about 20 years down the line?

    Trust me: Anyone who’d want one of these cars intends to brag about how it was one of the Oprah cars, and drive it around for a few years (and probably get in the newspaper or local news over it, too). It’s not a car collectible, it’s a pop culture marker.

    Obviously, this is all academic until/unless someone sells one of these things. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens.

    Comment by CT — 09/28/2004 @ 08:11:05 PM

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