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1957 comments
Old 05-14-2006, 04:35 PM   #1
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1957 comments

Comments made in 1957
> ==================
>
> I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are,
> it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20.
>
> Have you seen the new cars coming out next year?
> It won't be long before $2000 will only buy a used one.
>
> If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit.
> A quarter a pack is ridiculous.
>
> Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime
> just to mail a letter?
>
> If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to
> hire outside help at the store.
>
> When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would
> someday cost 29 cents a gallon.
> Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.
>
> Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail hair cuts make it
> impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be
> wearing their hair as long as the girls.
>
> I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since
> they let Clark Gable get by with saying, "damn" in "Gone With The
> Wind," it seems every new movie has either 'hell' or 'damn' in it.
>
> I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to
> put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have
> some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas.
>
> Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract
> for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me
> if someday they'll be making more than the president.
>
> I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would
> be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.
>
> It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few
> married women are having to work to make ends meet.
>
> It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire
> someone to watch their kids so they can both work.
>
> Marriage doesn't mean a thing any more; those Hollywood stars
> seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat.
>
> I'm just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to
> a whole lot of foreign business.
>
> Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government
> takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are
> electing the best people to Parliament.
>
> The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather,
> but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.
>
> There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a
> weekend. It costs nearly $15 a night to stay in a hotel.
>
> No one can afford to be sick any more; $35 a day in the hospital
> is too rich for my blood.
>
> If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it.
>
>
>
>
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Re: 1957 comments
Old 05-14-2006, 06:52 PM   #2
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Re: 1957 comments

Have you seen the new cars coming out next year?
> It won't be long before $2000 will only buy a used one.


Actually, even by 1957 about all $2000 would get you was a used car. About the only thing new you could get by then was a stripper of a Chevy, Ford, Plymouth, or Rambler. And stripper back then was a whole different story from a stripper today. No automatic transmission, no power steering, no power brakes, no radio (not even AM). No heater. An antiquated 6-cyl engine that would take about 18-20 seconds to get you from 0-60.

I spec'ed out my '57 DeSoto Firedome once, using an American Standard catalog, and as equipped, it probably MSRP'ed for about $3800. It had a base price of something like $3085. Now back then, a DeSoto was a pretty uplevel car, but by the time you optioned them equivalently, a Ford, Chevy, or Plymouth was often not that much cheaper. My grandparents bought a new '57 Ford that year, a Fairlane 500 4-door hardtop. It was probably about $2400 base price, but with options was more like $3500.

Just to show how quickly things changed, though, in 1957, $2K could still get you a very basic, full-sized car with no options. By 1969, $2K would only get you a very basic Valiant, Nova, or Falcon compact. Not long after that, it would barely get you a Pinto or Vega!
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Re: 1957 comments
Old 05-14-2006, 07:27 PM   #3
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Re: 1957 comments

Funny that you brought this up as I spent the weekend going through old newspapers with FIL. The grocery store sales from 1974 had bananas for 25 cents/lb, whole fryers for 49 cents/lb, canned Libbys vegetables for 15 cents/can and meat prices that were not much lower than today's sales prices.

Something very interesting was a 10 year old, 3 bdr, 2 bath home, 1400 sqft for $15k.
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Re: 1957 comments
Old 05-14-2006, 09:41 PM   #4
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Re: 1957 comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
Have you seen the new cars coming out next year?
> It won't be long before $2000 will only buy a used one.

As a point of reference, my very first new car was a 1971 VW Super Beetle. I paid exactly $2500 out the door. I recall because the total price was a few dollars and cents over that and I "negotiated" it down to an even $2500.

It was loaded with deluxe features compared to earlier Beetles including a gas gauge and an electric fan in the defroster system. (Is there no end to the decadence?) It was easy to maintain and I got 10 years out of it doing all upkeep myself. The rear engine/rear wheel drive system did surprisingly well traction-wise in Chicago winter conditions. The heater was nonexistent.
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Re: 1957 comments
Old 05-14-2006, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: 1957 comments

It's all beginning to make sense now!!!
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Re: 1957 comments
Old 05-14-2006, 11:02 PM   #6
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Re: 1957 comments

Just for kicks, I ran some numbers from that post through the "CPI calculator" ( http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl ) to see how they would have changed based on the CPI.

A $2000 car would now cost $14,220.
The theoretical $1 minimum wage would now be $7.11.
The 25 cent cigarette pack would now be $1.78

I'd say that prices were pretty good wherever those comments were made, even adjusting for inflation!
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Re: 1957 comments
Old 05-15-2006, 04:27 PM   #7
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Re: 1957 comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
As a point of reference, my very first new car was a 1971 VW Super Beetle. I paid exactly $2500 out the door.
Hey! My first new car was a '73 super beetle. What a great car! Only $2683.00 including one extra, a AM/8 track.

Mike D.
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Re: 1957 comments
Old 05-15-2006, 04:31 PM   #8
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Re: 1957 comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
And stripper back then was a whole different story from a stripper today.
Ain't that the truth.

Sorry, couldn't resist.
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Re: 1957 comments
Old 05-15-2006, 05:43 PM   #9
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Re: 1957 comments

By today's standards, I guess $14,220 wouldn't get you much of a car. My uncle paid something like $15-16K for a new 2003 Toyota Corolla.

A bit further up the line though, things seem a bit better. That $3500 my Granddad paid for his '57 Ford would come out to around $23K today. Once you factor in rebates and such, you could probably get a nicely equipped Impala or Ford 500 for about that. And the $3800 my DeSoto cost would probably be around $26K. Which, after haggling, might get you a nicely equipped V-6 Charger or 300. And I'm sure a V-6 Camry, Accord, or Altima would be in that range, if you don't go TOO overboard on options.

I think my grandparents sold a house in 1958 for something like $5800. It was a small 1-level rambler. I think it may have been one of those old Sears & Roebuck homes that were so popular back in the 20's, a 2-bedroom/1bath style that was about 24x36, with the narrow side oriented towards the road and a 6x24 porch across the front.

It got torn down years ago, to make way for a McMansion orchard. But another one of those Sears homes in my neighborhood was on the market last year for something like $339K. Ouch!
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Re: 1957 comments
Old 05-15-2006, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: 1957 comments

I remember back in...oh around 2006... when cars only cost $30k and they ran on gas priced at only $3.60/gallon.

And you could find a good house for under a million dollars

And taxes only took half your paycheck

Boy if we could go back then...those were the good old days
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