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Here is a link to a table of mean and median [individual] incomes from the IRS with a little bit of explanation of the difference. https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/central.html
Cornu; thanks for the link. Too bad it didn't go back to the sixties. Note that the 'median income' represents the 'average Joe' better than the 'average income' column. The average income includes millionaires and billionaires, which change the numbers enough to misrepresent the average guys income.-------Notice that the median income doubled in the last 25 years. An Acclaim was about $12,000[?] then and a 200 is about $24,000 now. Close.

Going back to 1969, median wage was ~$3.00/hr. so for 6 mo. pay [1000 hours] you would gross $3,000. You could buy a stripper Road Runner or a nice 340 Dart. A comparable [?] car today is a V-6 '200'. Say $ 25,000. So the average Joe in todays world should make that in 6 months, or $50,000 per year to keep up with car inflation. However, that isn't the whole story. The 'cost of necessities' have exceeded wages. Home heating oil was $.15 a gal. now is ~$2.00 a gal. [13 times more]. Gasoline has gone from ~$.25 a gal. to $2.25 a gal. [9 times more]. NOTE that this price ratio is for Obama gas, and may only be temporary. Electricity has increased ~ 11 times. Housing varies greatly due to location. The other big one is food, which I can only guess on.

The other consideration is take home pay. Soc.Sec. percentage was less then. Medicare wasn't taken out or didn't exist yet. State income tax didn't exist in some states or increased in those that had it. But the biggie is health insurance. Many big companies gave their employees free health insurance and charged an hours pay for the wife [per week]. Any hospital, any doctor, no deductible, no co-pay. And prescription medicine was dirt cheap by todays standards.
 

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Soc.Sec. percentage was less then. Medicare wasn't taken out or didn't exist yet. State income tax didn't exist in some states or increased in those that had it. But the biggie is health insurance. Many big companies gave their employees free health insurance and charged an hours pay for the wife [per week]. Any hospital, any doctor, no deductible, no co-pay. And prescription medicine was dirt cheap by todays standards.
Actually, the SS deduction "back then" did include "Medicare". It just wasn't separated out on your pay stub.

And don't get me started on the Affordable Care Act. What a joke. It's worthless unless you suffer a catastrophic health situation. At one point my wife researched it - we'd end up paying $300+/month (after a $500/month credit), but there was a $6,000(?) deductible and the plan only paid 60% after the deductible was reached. Who the heck as $6,000 laying around for catastrophic medical expenses? I'll stop there.
 

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What I love is a person has a car that is paid off and it is getting 20 mpg so they go and buy a new car that gets 35 mpg and are happy at the increase but they forget the payment that they now have. But people do not reason things out when is the increase in gas mileage going to offset the cost of the car. I read that the best car to buy is a 1 or 2 year old car because the previous owner suffered the depreciation.
 

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What I love is a person has a car that is paid off and it is getting 20 mpg so they go and buy a new car that gets 35 mpg and are happy at the increase but they forget the payment that they now have. But people do not reason things out when is the increase in gas mileage going to offset the cost of the car. I read that the best car to buy is a 1 or 2 year old car because the previous owner suffered the depreciation.
Depends on how much you drive. If you drive 25K miles a year, that kind of difference in gas mileage makes for a significant savings.
 

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Depends on how much you drive. If you drive 25K miles a year, that kind of difference in gas mileage makes for a significant savings.
Sure, but now you have to have it smogged at about $50 every other year, and the tags are now $175 a year, and don't forget the insurance, full coverage until the car is paid off, so yeah, that extra mileage takes a heck of a lot longer to pay off, and sure hope there aren't problems that require a shop with a $10,000 scanner to repair, plus parts, at now $100-125 per hour.
 
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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.
Absolutely I think it can be done for much less if you have even a slight inkling what you are doing and/or have a buddy to help with a few things. Even if you farm out some things a little at a time you can do it for much less.
 

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Sure, but now you have to have it smogged at about $50 every other year, and the tags are now $175 a year, and don't forget the insurance, full coverage until the car is paid off, so yeah, that extra mileage takes a heck of a lot longer to pay off, and sure hope there aren't problems that require a shop with a $10,000 scanner to repair, plus parts, at now $100-125 per hour.
Not here. Safety and emissions inspections are annual, and are one price, $35, whether emissions is required or not. So, same cost to me.
Insurance for a new car here is about $650 a year with full collision and optional liability. $500 for my old, old cars.
I buy my cars cash.
New cars have warranties.
Registration is $60 every two years, regardless of age of vehicle.
So none of those are considerations for me.
 

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The average American drives between 12K and 15K a year.
Yup....that's why I said: ......Depends on how far you drive....
I drive 23K miles a year.
 

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Not here. Safety and emissions inspections are annual, and are one price, $35, whether emissions is required or not. So, same cost to me.
Insurance for a new car here is about $650 a year with full collision and optional liability. $500 for my old, old cars.
I buy my cars cash.
New cars have warranties.
Registration is $60 every two years, regardless of age of vehicle.
So none of those are considerations for me.
Yeah, there are variations, SoCal differs from NorCal, AZ is different than Virginia, but needless to say, new over old/rebuilt/restified can be an added several hundred annual costs tacked onto that warranty for the first three years and after that, you are still on your own.
 

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Funny: my 63 Valiant set the parameters of what I find desirable in all the cars I've purchased since buying it 35 years ago: size, simplicity, robust engine, commonality and availability of parts, ease of service and repair for long term ownership.

I've found the Avenger/Sebring/200 a close modern replacement, although it's larger than I'd like, but not by much.

I'd think a 2.o Dart with automatic might fill the bill as well. Patriot too. I'd say the Sonic and Cruze, but I no longer trust GM, Old or New.
 

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Bob, I could also add it would take longer to pay off that gas mileage difference, too. In SoCal, gas is still in the $3.65 a gallon range everywhere, whereas in Phoenix, average is $2.01, whereas I have seen it go all the way down to $1.94 in a couple places, so payoff is all over the place throughout the country.
 

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MPG vs. price per gallon of gas vs. vehicle price: as all of you stated; it depends on each situation. In my case; if I drive more than 8,000 miles a year, that's a lot of loot to put out for a new $$$ vehicle since my roundtrip commute is 4 miles a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
I appreciate the math that was going around there but keep in mind that there are a lot of variables.
One might look at a new car's reliability, convenience, tech, warranty, safety, etc. and the improved MPGs are just a bonus offset for the rest of the upgrades.

That said, I would gladly drive an A-Body every day if it wouldn't rust into a pile of dust in just one winter.
 

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To answer your question my everyday driver is my 2000 tundra, since i can't use my cars to haul materials to various job sites and the courts gave the ex my Dakota R/T in the divorce . So depending on how I'm feeling when I park my truck I might take my 70 340 4speed 3.91 sure grip challenger out to simply drive the heck out of and piss off a few of my neighbors. If the weather is good I will take out my Dart GT Convertible that I put a 440 in and drop the top crank the tunes and enjoy the moment for what it is. Since I have classic insurance on both of cars I drive them as much as I can, however neither are what I call everyday drivers. Ironically both get better gas mileage then my Dakota used to get. On a final note II have a 73 Scamp that I will be giving my daughter on her 16th birthday, which luckily is in 26 months (thank goodness ), because I have alot of work still left to do before I can give her the keys.
As far as the raging debate over wages goes its all relative as to where you live. 60k out here in California and your still below the poverty line while 60k in LA. and your doing well for yourself, we migrate for better wages and a cheaper cost of living for a better life for ourselves and for our children.
 

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I appreciate the math that was going around there but keep in mind that there are a lot of variables.
One might look at a new car's reliability, convenience, tech, warranty, safety, etc. and the improved MPGs are just a bonus offset for the rest of the upgrades.

That said, I would gladly drive an A-Body every day if it wouldn't rust into a pile of dust in just one winter.
I would love to take the dart body and stick it on a brand new chassis, so it would be as reliable as they come and not feel like I have to spend most my free time wrenching to just keep her running from day to day
 
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