The dealership gave five contestants the chance to own the Dart. All five sat in the car together and whoever lived in it the longest, while following certain rules, won the car.
The mandates included a diet of fast food, with the trash remaining in the car. No electronics were allowed and talking to anyone outside the vehicle was forbidden. Contestants got 10-minute breaks for bathroom visits every three hours.
Occasionally, they were given a challenge. One involved changing seats every hour, while another involved reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
The first three contestants lasted less than 18 hours, Tate Branch Advertising Coordinator Isaac Gonzalez told Edmunds.
The final two, Randy Willig, of Dexter, New Mexico, and Barbara Whitehead, of Hobbs, New Mexico, were expected to last five days. Instead, they sat in the Dart for 18 days. Eventually, Willig, a school district employee, threw in the towel, making Whitehead, a waitress, the winner.
"I got the idea for this from a radio station overseas," Gonzalez said. "We have gotten quite a bit of attention from it. Before the contest ended, we decided we're going to do this giveaway again."
The car was detailed to remove the fast-food smells before giving it to Whitehead, Gonzalez admitted.
Edmunds says: Ingenuity in a contest gets people talking about a dealership.