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What does an A-Body guy drive in 2015/2016?

Discussion in 'A Body: Duster, Valiant, Dart, etc' started by MRGTX, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    I didn't say that wages match price increases. I said that you made an outstanding salary back then, and so it was much easier to afford a car on that pay.

    As was said, there are no basic-optioned cars anymore, and people are not building or buying basic homes like they were 40-50 years ago. We had 5 people in a 3-bed, 1-bath 1100 sq ft ranch.
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    That is how I grew up too - now everybody has to have their own room and own bathroom.
    Again, you've got to adjust for inflation. $18k in 1965 is $136k today and there are houses that can be bought for that kind of money. Maybe not the newest, fanciest or popular neighborhoods but in most of the USA you can find a house for $136K.

    Everybody wants the prices of yesterday on the wage levels of today. You've got to adjust for inflation (even if the inflation calculations may be a bit flawed) to make valid comparisons. Yes, wages have often lagged inflation - I've already mentioned that point.
    That $1.98 per hour back on 1960 is the same as about $16 per hour today. well above minimum wage.
     
  3. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    Started in 1962 for $1.00/hour with no benefits. two years later was at $1.15 no benefits and was working 6-12 hours/week.
     
  4. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Four people in a two bedroom apartment, here ;) One air conditioner. One TV. One radio. And my father was a professional with a good salary — he drove a low end Plymouth intermediate. (318/automatic.)

    I started working when the minimum wage had just started to stagnate at $3.35 per hour, which it stayed at for years and years and years through the 1980s. I had hours and hours of hard work and when I was done, I got a pittance. No benefits. My minimum wage job in 1982 would be $8.26 now; the federal minimum wage is $7.25.

    An $8,000 car, which would be a pretty darned good car in 1982, would be $19,717 now. So cars are actually cheaper all things considered.

    My 1974 Valiant has about the same space as a new Dart — less width, more trunk space. My Valiant has a/c but no power locks or windows, no alarm, no power mirrors, no stereo, no cell, awful gas mileage, incredibly wind noise, almost 100 hp, a three-speed automatic, no ABS, poorly tuned brakes, no power brakes, terrible seat belts, no child seat attachments, almost unusable trunk, no rear shoulder belts. The money that car cost would be $15,437.76 today. Think about what that would buy and keep in mind that almost nobody today would buy a car like that.
     
    Citation84 likes this.
  5. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    Your not allowed to buy the equivalent to a 1974 Valiant. The government has protected you from hurting yourself that way. Even the ability to work on it yourself has been greatly diminished by pollution requirements.
     
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  6. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    You can get a Impala limited with 18,000 miles still under warrenty with GMs 300 horse and 6 speed automatic with seating for 6 for $15,000.
     
  7. geraldg

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    Tell me about your new dart in 40 years like your old one it takes a licking and keeps on ticking .
     
  8. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Most 49 year old Darts, even the "good, old" ones have already been scrapped. Yes, they were simple and easy to work on. Because they needed worked on. Yearly tuneups were the norm with points ignition. I love the old cars but I love the new ones to. I've never had an older Mopar that felts as solid at 150k miles as my 99 Dakota or even the Neons I had. Even at 200k miles the Neons were still tight.
     
  9. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Agree. My Dad was working for IBM in those days and a top level engineer drew a salary of about $15K. Dad was a little lower at around $11K-$12K. I remember Dad getting an offer of $15K or more from another firm and that was considered real good money.
     
  10. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Along with their own car, TV, tablet, computer, cell phone. etc

    Ironic that I earn almost 5 times what my Dad did at IBM in the '60's and I feel like we still struggle to make ends meet. Of course, he didn't have a $1200/month mtg payment, $400/month car payment, cell phone(s), satelite TV........to pay for. Honestly, I am about ready to drop the satelite TV and just get an antenna. $120/month x 12 months x 10 years starts to add up to some real money......
     
  11. KOG

    KOG KOG

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    When I bought my last new A body (73 Valiant) I was getting $11,000 a year at IBM, paid $3200 for car with A/C. P/S, disc brakes, /6, automatic. Still got the car, parked it 5 years ago with 408,000 miles. Total of 6 A bodies over the years, still got four of them. Had an 82 Aries wagon, then started with Caravans in 87. Total of 9 minivans, still got four of them including the first one, 87 LE V6. Daily drivers now are 92 G voyager LE (248K) and 09 T&C Limited (103K). K cars were a suitable A body replacement at the time with similar room and performance. Minivans are similarly inexpensive to run, more room, better performance.
     
  12. Cornupenuria

    Cornupenuria Well-Known Member

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    Since 1965 automobile prices have increased, on average, 5.6 percent to 5.8 percent per year. The median wage [half get more, half get less] has increased, on average, 4.0 percent per year. When those rates are compounded for 50 years we can see that new cars cost 2.5 to 3.0 times as much, in wage earner dollars, as they did in 1965.
     
  13. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    The data seems to dispute that. In 1965, median household income was $5,968. Cars were typically about half of that, or less. In 2012, median household income was $48,874, also about double of an average car. The difference is that fewer people are buying basic cars. They go for all the options, whether coerced by dealer inventory or by their own choice. But it is absolutely false that new cars cost 2.5 to 3x as much as back then, compared to income.

    http://www.davemanuel.com/median-household-income.php
     
  14. geraldg

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    Of course you forgot to mention all the other things that have gone up in price like in 1965 my house cost $18400 now the same house cost $150000 what does that do to your figures ????? Also you have a lot more taxes and if you make more they tax more, now they have state income and city income taxes. so include the whole picture and answer why is it they use to finance a car of 36 months and now it is 60 and 72 months ???. My car payment then was $65 a month now it is $250 and more. And as the income media most people I know are not making that much, figures can be misleading. In 1968 I bought a sport fury for $3200 and in 1972 I bought a fury III fairly loaded for $4000 and these where out the door prices.
     
    #34 geraldg, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  15. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    The balance of what income goes to what items has certainly changed. However, mostly it has gone to things that are not absolute necessities. Example:

    In 1965, television was free. Land lines were $10 per month for basic local service, and a la carte for toll calls and long-distance.
    In 2015, our TV/Internet costs $143 per month. Even with VOIP, the fact that we have two cell phones adds another $97 per month to that. So that's $240 a month now vs $10 then. Most people spend a lot more, and do so electively. Lifestyle changes have had a greater impact than housing cost alone.
     
  16. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Inflation alone makes that 1694 $18,400 house cost $139k. So at $150k now it's only gone up slightly more than inflation.
    And you can buy a new car for around $14k these days, about what an inflation adjusted basic car price from the 1960's would have been.
    But $14k is less than half the median price of the average new car. People are buying much fancier cars than the basics. That is the real reason payments have been extended. People want more than a basic new car.
    Plus a Bob mentions - there is a lot more competition for money these days. Pay TV, computers, cell phones, all kinds of stuff.
     
  17. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    $3200 in 1968 is the same as $22k today.
    $4000 in 1974 is the same as $20K totday.

    You can buy a lot of car for $20k or $22k out the door today. I don't get why you ignore inflation in your posts. Do you want yesterday's car and house prices on your current income?

    A $65/month car payment in (I'm guessing) 1974 is the same as a $314.month car payment today due to inflation alone.
     
  18. Cornupenuria

    Cornupenuria Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I left out one word "individual" household income increased faster than individual wage earner income because the number of wage earners per household increased significantly. I was going by median wage, not median household income.
     
  19. dana44

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    So the point of all the inflations and cost of living adjustments considered, $15-20K to rebuild suspension, engine, transmission, better brakes, body work/paint and interior is pretty reasonable as far as I am concerned, and one still ends up with a lot more fun car to drive in my book than a lot of the newer cars. One could even go with some upgrades (swap a newer engine and trans) and still maintain a car that will be worth more than that new car, with rare exception. I think the only thing that is missing in the safety category is the lack of air bags, but even that could be done with a little ingenuity of the newer steering column/steering wheel, or better yet, there are multi-point rollbars that can be installed and intress/egress are still easy. Of course, a lot of this has to do with the ability to do most of the work yourself, sure, but I haven't seen too many new cars in the less than $18K range worth saying you can have 6 people in them.
     
  20. geraldg

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    believe me I can redo a car for a lot less money you just have to shop around. I have a 87 new Yorker 2.2 turbo that I could fit 6 people into, I never understood the need for a console in a car.
     
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