Sign in to follow this  
JamesR

Old magazine classifieds

Recommended Posts

I have several old Motor Trends and other magazines from the 1950's and 60's. I bought them cheap at an antique store several years ago. The coolest thing to me about these mags are the old classified ads, because the cars are so cheap. Here are a couple from the July '59 issue of MT. Wonder what that Maybach is worth today? If you have any classifieds or display ads from old mags you'd like to post, please do.

IMG_0536.JPG

IMG_0535.JPG

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, JamesR said:

Here's the cover. If you notice, they have a TV in the car so you can watch The Jetsons. Also, right by the pretty brunette is a dashboard logo you don't see on many Mopars (I presume that's a Mopar.)

 

IMG_0532.JPG

 

It says Bel Air so it's a Chevy. Pretty sure it's a '55....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Lebowski said:

 

It says Bel Air so it's a Chevy. Pretty sure it's a '55....

 

 

Yes, I just edited my post. I first thought it was a Mopar because of the swiveling seats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, John S. said:

1956 Chevrolet convertible customized by Joe Balion.

 

I'm impressed! How on earth did you know that?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JamesR, i grew up on those magazines. The car was later painted opposite colors Gold with a white insert. I have the Rod and Custom issue with the 56 on the cover. John

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is one boxy looking console that seems to me would be in the way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JACK M said:

That is one boxy looking console that seems to me would be in the way.

 

 

I agree, and that brings up a good point. We generally tend to remember 1950's custom car styling cues (like the chopped and channeled Mercury and tuck and roll) as iconic, but there were many customized cars and features in the '50's that were frankly pretty ugly. One of the few other photo classified ads in this magazine was for a radically altered early '50's Ford that was hideous beyond belief. I guess there was a lot of trial and error before people came up with good ideas like the chopped Merc.

 

I more or less like the general effect of this MT cover car, though, once you take out the console, TV and poorly placed carpet. That would tone it down enough to maybe keep it from looking tacky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha ! that fuzzy carpet makes my feet all cozy from here.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the late Fifties into the early Sixties, if customs were built strictly as show cars,  it wasn't unusual to see  major modifications with customs from year to year. Cars became more outrageous, to win trophies and, hopefully, a cover feature in a National magazine like , Rod & Custom, or Hot Rod. T.V.'s, phones , fur interiors, were the norm.  Serious show car owners would have their cars painted different colors yearly to keep up with what was the new trend.  Candies,  pearls, fades,  metal flake, scallops, etc, were done to update the car. They were very serious. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These inflation calculators give a pretty good idea of out of pock costs when looking back at old ads or your own purchases:

https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

 

I bought my '64 Riviera for $2500 in 1978. In 2019 dollars that would be just under $10,000 in after tax money. Combined taxes on my paycheck were about 35%. I had to earn the equivalent of $13,000 today for the same deal. The old cars look cheap, but in 1959 that was a good chunk of discretionary money.

 

Ten years earlier service buddies from WWII were chipping in together to buy a $50 antique car. A few bottom feeders make exceptions, but the good cars were costly.

I have seen repair receipts from the 1950's for Rolls-Royce cars that were equal to the cost of a new Chevy.

 

There is a lot of disdain for 15 and 20 year old cars today. It was the same back then. I remember my Dad saying "What do you want that big ark for".

 

Bernie

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally get what you're saying, but that running Pierce Arrow for $400.... Even if $400 back then was $5,000 in today's money, that may not be a bad deal. One of these old magazines I have has an ad for a Duesenberg of some type - running condition - for $2500.

 

Quote

There is a lot of disdain for 15 and 20 year old cars today. It was the same back then.

 

So true. It seems the most hated thing in America is often "twenty years ago," whether you're talking about cars, music or fashion. Older than that it starts getting vintage or back in style. Newer than that and it's still somewhat acceptable.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This should come in under the title, "read 'em and weep department".

 

Rog

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the very early 1960's { 1962 I believe } when I was a pre- school tyke and my sister a toddler , my father decided to spring for a new hunting rifle. I remember him later telling me the $235.00 was a real concern.  It amounted to  a whole winter and spring of all the overtime he could fit in. For a young family man even a couple of hundred $ was a serious amount of non- essential spending .

Greg in Canada.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a kid I remember seeing an advt for a Duesy for $600 and a 300SL gullwing for $6,000 (back then a new 3 bedroom development house was $5k). Paid $1500 for a four year old XK-150s roadster and seven years later, $1k for a fuelie split window "tanker". Grand was a lot of money then but had mustering out pay & finally old enough for an SCCA license.

 

ps have to remember that in the '50s, Americans were smaller.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

In the very early 1960's { 1962 I believe } when I was a pre- school tyke and my sister a toddler , my father decided to spring for a new hunting rifle. I remember him later telling me the $235.00 was a real concern.  It amounted to  a whole winter and spring of all the overtime he could fit in. For a young family man even a couple of hundred $ was a serious amount of non- essential spending .

Greg in Canada.

 

 

Oh, yes. Even in the very early '80's I wanted a Smith and Wesson model 10 revolver that was being sold new at Montgomery Wards for $189. I ended up buying a lesser quality .38 for $130 (which I regretted) because the $59 price difference was huge. That $239 gun of your dad's was a nice unit. If you sprung for top quality back in the 50's and 60's, however, and hung on to it, you ended up ahead of the game in the long run. People who paid $500 for a Gibson Les Paul guitar back in the late '50's ended up with something literally worth a small fortune after a half century.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, padgett said:

 Paid $1500 for a four year old XK-150s roadster and seven years later, $1k for a fuelie split window "tanker". Grand was a lot of money then but had mustering out pay & finally old enough for an SCCA license.

 

Oh man! Lucky you, padgett! I'm glad you were able to own those awesome vehicles when they were near new.

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About two weeks before High School graduation in 1966 I bought this '60 Invicta from our local Buick dealer for $600. I was 17 and kept it through my four years in the Navy.

1960Buick-1.jpg.6dd0e0055f7e3fa077d7bad2e1668df2.jpg

 

Upon "mustering out I bought this 3 year old Riviera for $1600.

002.thumb.jpg.217a6e92a8de788a726917e1f3ebaad0.jpg

 

Taken out of the context of the times they look cheap, but they were a good stretch at the time. That first job out of the Navy was paying $4.25 in 1971 dollars.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Point is back then they were just used cars (got into Jags because I could not afford a TR3b (synchro gearbox) but could afford an XK. Then I found out why. 40 psi at 3000 rpm became a mantra). Was fortunate in growing up in a target-rich environment (south Florida). Was also an era before central AC became common and a "Florida room" was on the second floor & open on three sides for sleeping. Used to take a cold (well tepid) shower at night and go to bed wet.

 

The 'vette because in my circumstances was the cheapest car I could race and have a bit of squirrel in my makeup. Marshals at autocrosses became annoyed if I crossed the finish line travelling backwards.

 

Did have a wheel gun for a while, a Ruger Super Blackhawk SA in 44 mag. Keep in mind I was just back from SEA and stopping power was important. M1911 was introed because the standard issue 38 would just make some spear chuckers mad but had issues with mud. Wheel gun could just drop the cyl and clean out the barrel. Today a scatter gun is more my style.

 

When I think about it it is just incredibly how life has changed just in my lifetime, never used a "hello central" phone but ran a switchboard for a while. Started out with four digit phone numbers, then five, exchanges (TEmple-2 and TEmple-4), and finally area codes. Long distance was expensive (but information was free). In-state long distance was more expensive than out-of-state.  Used to think about movies (7 Days in May, Cudjo) that would not work with cell phones. Then they broke up the seven sisters and life changed. One thing that always set the US apart from other countries was the idea of "unlimited phone service" which carried over to the early home Internet (bbs).

 

Came to work at Martin in 1984 wheeling a luggable (my Columbia VP1600 was 32 lbs) and people said "what's that". Now my cell phone has more power. (second thing I ran into was that only managers were authorized computers, not engineers). Of course the joke was that I always had better equipment at home than the company did but is a whole 'nother story though the car related part was that John McAfee had a Winnebago to do anti-virus work. I used a Fiero. Another lifetime.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back around '62 my grandfather paid $2,000 for our '29 Pierce Arrow.

That was a significant chunk of change back then, almost the price of a new car.

Around the same time my father paid $500 for the Rickenbacker.

When he got it home and began driving around a bit he discovered it had a cracked head.

He wrote the seller asking if he knew where to get another head for the car.

The seller apologized that he could not help with finding another cylinder head and sent a check for $50 for not knowing about the cracked head before he sold it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this