How Much Did Popular Cars Cost Every Year Since 1950? (in 2020 dollars)
Have you ever wondered how much a new car cost in 1970, when the sporty Datsun 240-Z zipped onto the roads? Or perhaps you’re curious about how much a new car cost in 1993, when the Toyota Camry was gaining traction as one of the world’s most reliable cars. With the average new car price reaching an astronomical $47,000 in early 2022, the team at TitleMax.com explored the cost of popular cars throughout history going all the way back to 1950 (with an honorable mention of the legendary Ford Model T). To help put that value into perspective, here is a master list of how much a new car cost by year:
How Much Did the First Car Cost?
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen, built in 1886, is considered to have been the world’s first automobile (a vehicle designed to be driven by an internal combustion engine). The original cost was $1,000, which is the equivalent of a staggering $29,909.36 in today’s dollars! About 25 Patent-Motorwagens were constructed between 1886 and 1893.
How Much Did the Model T Cost?
The Model T was the earliest effort to deliver a sturdy, reliable vehicle that most people could actually afford. It succeeded in this mission; the Model T became so popular that the majority of Americans owned one, and it played a crucial role in uniting rural Americans with the rest of the country. It even contributed to the creation of the numbered highway system. When the Ford Model T was first introduced in 1908, it cost $825. During this time, Henry Ford was in the process of streamlining the production process, and only 10,666 Model T’s were built that first year. How much did a Model T cost in today’s money? Adjusted for inflation, a Ford Model T would have cost around $24,835. Within the next few years, Ford’s legendary assembly-line production methods reduced the speed of manufacturing one Model T from 12.5 hours to 93 minutes by 1914. This enabled Ford to reduce the price to $440, which is about $11,368 in today’s currency. By 1925, the Model T production numbers reached around 10,000 cars a day, or 2 million annually, at a price of $260 ($3,837 today). Total Model T production remained unsurpassed until it was overtaken by the Volkswagen Beetle on Feb. 17, 1972.
How much is a Model T worth today? According to Classic.com, original Model T vehicles that were been produced from 1909 to 1927 have sold for up to $110,000, but the average Ford Model T price over the past five years has been $16,147. How many Model T’s are left? Motorious.com estimates that there are 60,000 Ford Model T’s surviving today, with 50,000 of those still in roadworthy condition. In fact, you can test-drive a restored Model T at the Henry Ford museum!
How Much Did Popular Cars Cost Every Year Since 1950?
|Year||Car||Price in 2020 Dollars|
|1918||Ford Model T||$24,835.00|
|1951||Kaiser-Frazer Henry J||$13,832.00|
|1955||Chevy Bel Air||$23,592.00|
|1971||Chrysler New Yorker||$35,498.00|
|1973||Chevy Monte Carlo||$19,906.00|
|1977||Pontiac Trans Am||$23,301.00|
|1979||Toyota Celica ST||$21,136.00|
|1987||Nissan Stanza XE||$23,887.00|
|1996||Subaru Legacy Wagon||$25,060.00|
|1997||Chrysler Town & Country||$50,738.00|
|2003||Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution||$28,987.00|
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