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Mustang prices - 1964-1/2 to 2021


Gary_Ash
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When the first Mustangs came out in 1964, they were small, affordable cars ($2368), peppy but not wildly overpowered.  This morning, I took a car in for service at my local Ford dealer, spotted a new Mustang on the floor.  It was a black Shelby 500 version, supercharged, maybe 750 hp, 7-speed manual transmission .  It had a price tag on it of just a few bucks short of $80,000, less title, tags, etc.  So, this is the top of the line version, but how did a Mustang reach the $80K level?  The inflation-adjusted price from 1964 for a standard Mustang would be about $20,000.  A base 4-cylinder 2021 Mustang lists for about $27,000.  I guess the $7,000 difference is due to safety standards, emissions equipment, fuel injection, power everything, etc. I don't think there are any U.S.-built cars under $20,000.  We're a long way from Henry Ford's Model T prices.  Maybe the answer to getting a new car is to pick a good, comfortable late 1950s-early 1960s car and just restore it every 10 years - as long as we can still buy gasoline.

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750 HP.

I remember when 375 was a big deal,

400 was to radical for street driving.

My newest pick up is an 03, but I drive the 1964 most of the time. (slant six, four forward speeds). It don't get much better than that.

I think its 145 HP and will run at 60 mph right along side of that Mustang.

s-l200.jpg

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I think the pricing is more a reflection of how devalued our dollar has become.

Every vintage Mustang I see listed for sale is priced like it's a rare Duesenberg, which I cannot get a grip on as they made more than a million of them in the first two years of production (my folks were part of the frenzy and bought a new one in '66).

They are nice but they will never be rare.

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2 hours ago, Gary_Ash said:

When the first Mustangs came out in 1964, they were small, affordable cars ($2368), peppy but not wildly overpowered.  This morning, I took a car in for service at my local Ford dealer, spotted a new Mustang on the floor.  It was a black Shelby 500 version, supercharged, maybe 750 hp, 7-speed manual transmission .  It had a price tag on it of just a few bucks short of $80,000, less title, tags, etc.  So, this is the top of the line version, but how did a Mustang reach the $80K level?  The inflation-adjusted price from 1964 for a standard Mustang would be about $20,000.  A base 4-cylinder 2021 Mustang lists for about $27,000.  I guess the $7,000 difference is due to safety standards, emissions equipment, fuel injection, power everything, etc. I don't think there are any U.S.-built cars under $20,000.  We're a long way from Henry Ford's Model T prices.  Maybe the answer to getting a new car is to pick a good, comfortable late 1950s-early 1960s car and just restore it every 10 years - as long as we can still buy gasoline.

 

That base price Mustang comes standard with a bazillion airbags, power windows, air conditioning, limited slip independent rear axle, four wheel disc brakes, rear window defroster, dual outside mirrors, remote keyless entry, and security system. None of that was included in the base price of a 64 Mustang. The new car also includes crashworthiness, emissions, and economy technology that didn't exist in 1964. Factor that in and the price comparison to a comparably equipped 64 is surprisingly close. As for the $80K Shelby, don't assume that sale price is in any way related to cost at that end of the spectrum. A car like that is like high-end perfume. Price it too cheaply and people think it's not that high-end. In 1967, the list price of a Shelby GT500 was nearly twice the base price of a plebian Mustang coupe. The new car is 2.5X, but the performance difference between the top-end Mustang and the base car is likely much greater than between the 67 GT500 and the base six cylinder coupe of that year.

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37 minutes ago, GregLaR said:

I think the pricing is more a reflection of how devalued our dollar has become.

 

Inflation adjusted prices already reflect that. The pricing of cars at auction has nothing to do with value. That's all about people with more money than brains who have to "win". Barrett Jackson is not the real world.

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I currently drive a 97 GMC Sonoma with a 195 hp V6 and it is doing just fine for me. Chances are it will be repaired/rebuilt until parts are not to be had or made. With current prices for new vehicles, if I ever get a NEW vehicle again I am sure it will be a low end import and be viewed as disposable.  If I were to spend the big bucks it would be for a classic I liked from 50+ years ago.....  Just sayin...

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Good Point Gary. I graduated High School in 1982. The following spring 1983, I bought a brand new Pontiac Firebird. It was an '82 left over model, I couldnt afford the Trans Am. It was a loaded car for being a base model. Power windows, auto trans, deluxe stereo, hard top no t tops, didnt want them. Price was $9200. I was working construction made a decent wage but far from rich. I was living at home so it was the only bill I had. I doubled and sometimes tripled up on payments and had it paid for well ahead of the 4 year note I had on it. 

 

My point is, I doubt a kid less than a year out of graduation can afford a brand new Camaro/Mustang today. Heck, I cant afford one now myself!!!

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1 hour ago, TAKerry said:

Good Point Gary. I graduated High School in 1982. The following spring 1983, I bought a brand new Pontiac Firebird. It was an '82 left over model, I couldnt afford the Trans Am. It was a loaded car for being a base model. Power windows, auto trans, deluxe stereo, hard top no t tops, didnt want them. Price was $9200. I was working construction made a decent wage but far from rich. I was living at home so it was the only bill I had. I doubled and sometimes tripled up on payments and had it paid for well ahead of the 4 year note I had on it. 

 

My point is, I doubt a kid less than a year out of graduation can afford a brand new Camaro/Mustang today. Heck, I cant afford one now myself!!!

I bought a new Camaro Z-28 in 1983, 305 with 5 speed, red color.  Looked at the TA too but didn’t want to become a Knight Rider look-alike which seemed to help sell the TA back then.

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I would like to own a 1965 - 66 Mustang like I owned back in high School. [ 1975 } But at todays prices ? Not going to happen . I paid $650.00  for a OK , but not anywhere near mint, C code ,  2 +2. From what I see these days that's a $25,000.00 pretty average car. Over $35,000. 00 by the time I get it home. Exchange on my crap $ and all the usual fleecing's at the border. Way better things to spend that sort of money on. At least I still have the memories. 

 

Greg

 

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Funny you mention that Greg.

I remember in high school my girlfriend used to babysit for her next door neighbor.  I was car shopping at the time and she mentioned that they had a Mustang they wanted to sell so I went over to take a look.   It was a 1966 fastback, red with the parchment interior.  289 4 speed with the full center console.  They had bought the car new and other than a little paint fading it was still in very nice condition.  They wanted $600 for it and they were firm on the price.  I passed as I thought it was just too much for the car at that time. :lol: 

Mustangs were $500 cars back then and $100 was a lot of loot.  Good grief!

Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
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Gary,

I'm a bit older then you, so take this for what it's worth. When I project myself driving one of my 50's or 60's even some 70's cars regularly i cringe. I love my cars and drove many of them as daily transportation in the day, but not now. I require a certain level of comfort, safety and reliability, for Mary and I, that just was not available 40-50 years ago. I find that there is an abundance of 25-30 yo low mileage rust free PNW cars from which to choose. They satisfy my transportation needs. Drive your wagon or your 41 for a year, and see how you like it. Then think about having to do it in your 80's. I know your idea is whimsical, intended for discussion, but have you shared this idea with Jane?

Bill 

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Bill, my ‘41 Studebaker Commander with 226 cu in flathead 6 and overdrive is a good road car, though too nice to use as a daily driver. We have driven it from MA to central Ohio without incident. My ‘48 M5 pickup is tolerable for 100 miles, but not really suitable for everyday use as it rides like a truck. The ‘65 Wagonaire is on the cusp of what can be driven every day and rebuilt as needed. It has an overhauled 283 V8 with 4-barrel, automatic transmission, power disk brakes, A/C, is pretty comfortable, and Jane enjoys it. We’ve put more than 45,000 miles on it since it got restored, made several trips to South Bend, ready for more. Many cars from the mid-‘60s or later are candidates for “drive ‘em forever”.

 

That said, five years ago, I bought a 2007 Jaguar XJ8 with only 35,000 miles on it, now has 55,000. It has everything I ever wanted in a car. The 300 hp V8 is plenty fast, aluminum body won’t rust. It’s been reliable, too, is my everyday driver - except when I’m piloting the 6,000 lb Ford Expedition EL.  It pulls the trailer for the Indy car, can swallow 4x8 plywood sheets flat on the floor. 

 

The only Mustang I ever owned was a ‘69 convertible that I got for free because it didn’t have floors in the back seat and the muffler had fallen off. It was simple to fix, served me for a few years. 

FD4D4E55-3F2C-4E21-802B-333F59D85A82.thumb.jpeg.49719aed50c4222f7f96ef99dd9cd0f4.jpeg

1941 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser. 

 

A83D2911-0D00-4FA6-B835-CF5E9E759E11.thumb.jpeg.0759d7664fed7581702ab792b5011711.jpeg

1965 Studebaker Wagonaire with sliding roof, M5 truck behind it, Expedition way back. 

 

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The XJ8 at the dealer’s showroom in 2016. 

 

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I have a friend with a 69 Shelby mustang convertible. He bought the car in the late 70's for something like $6k. Said even then it was about 3 times higher than a regular mustang. But he did agree with me, it was the best $6k he ever spent.

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Also keep in mind that most people lease today. The negotiate a payment number not a purchase number. Some car loans go for 7-8 years now. No one keep s are car for more than 3 years it seems. When used cars were in demand some dealerships were calling the people with leases offering to let them out early in exchange for a new car with the same payment just so they could make money on the used car.  

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On 2/3/2021 at 6:45 PM, plymouthcranbrook said:

Apparently the average price for a new car is now almost $37,000.  If that doesn’t make our old eyes water I don’t know what will.  

 It may be the average price of advertised cars, but I bet the average prices actually paid for cars is well into the lower priced cars.

 I paid $27 for a mid sized SUV and now that I have it, that is all that I seem to see on the road.

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Almost bought a 66 Mustang 'vert with 289 and 3 speed manual for $750 but bought a 68 Fiat 124 Spyder instead.

All of these HP claims amuse me, torque ratings are more important particularly since HP is just a function of torque and rpm. This century redlines have gone from a nadir under 5,000 rpm to over 7,000 rpm with VVT. One thing hasn't changed since first studied around 1970 is best mpg at 70 mph is between 1900 and 2000 rpm. More is less.

 

Having a tough time figuring a pattern for a seven speed manual trans. Sequential shifter ? One Top Gear episode had a repeating joke about a five speed in a merc.

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2 hours ago, padgett said:

VVT (Variable Valve Timing) ? Really ? Or the low point (nadir) ? How far do I need to reduce my vocabulary ? The 600 ?

 

padgett, replies like this make me feel you think everyone here who doesn't subscribe to your self imposed use of initialisms is just too slow witted for your lofty wit and I find that a little more than insulting.

Like others here, I feel many of your replies are pretty sharp while others just stray into nonsensical obscurity.  Instructing without condescending doesn't take a college degree.

Perhaps the only thing that you need to "reduce" is the high opinion you hold of your own intellect.

 

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