It’s always fun to look back and see what some of our favorite American cars sold for new, and what that same price would be in 2019 dollars. Actually, it might make you sick to see what some prized classic cars would cost today. Of course, new cars have electronics, much tighter tolerances, three-stage paint, many more components, and are just generally a lot more complicated. So we can’t really compare to those days when even expensive cars like Cadillacs were a lot simpler. But you can see how much those 1950s or 1960s dollars really cost in today’s terms.
1. 1953 Chevy Corvette
This was the first year the Corvette was produced.
List Price: $3,490
Converted to 2019: $33,535
2. 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
A limited production factory custom: the first Eldorado. At the time, this was one of the most expensive American cars.
List Price: $7,750
Converted to 2019: $74,469
3. 1955 Ford Thunderbird
Ford’s first year for the two-seater, it is also considered the first personal luxury car.
List Price: $2,944
Converted to 2019: $28,183
4. 1957 Chevy Bel Air
One of the most iconic American cars from the 1950s, the Bel Air was top of the line.
List Price: $2,757
Converted to 2019: $25,172
5. 1957 Chevy Corvette, Fuel Injected
The first year for mechanical fuel injection, which there were several stages. For the 250 hp fuel injection option, we added $484.
List Price w/FI option: $3,660
Converted to 2019: $33,416
6. 1957 Chrysler 300 Convertible
All Chrysler 300s from this era were factory hot rods and limited production.
List Price: $5,359
Converted to 2019: $48,929
7. 1963 Chevy Corvette Coupe
New for 1963 and only year for the “split window.”
List Price: $4,037
Converted to 2019: $33,847
8. 1964 ½ Ford Mustang Convertible
This was the first year for Mustang sold as a 1965 model.
List Price: $2,814
Converted to 2019: $22,878
9. 1964 Pontiac GTO
The GTO was the originator of the classic muscle car, and this was the first year.
List Price: $2,799
Converted to 2019: $23,165
10. 1968 Dodge Charger R/T w/Hemi Option
An all-new “Coke bottle” body for 1968 combined with the Hemi makes for one of the most potent muscle cars of the 1960s.
List Price w/Hemi option: $4,110
Converted to 2019: $30,300
11. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
The limited-edition Boss 302 is one of the most iconic muscle cars.
List Price: $3,450
Converted to 2019: $23,692
12. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
Another limited production Mustang with the 429ci “semi Hemi” engine.
List Price: $4,798
Converted to 2019: $32,950
13. 1970 Chevy Corvette w/454 Big Block
This was the first year the 454ci Big Block was an option in Corvettes.
List Price: $6,773
Converted to 2019: $44,785
14. 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible w/Hemi
One of the Holy Grails of muscle car collecting.
List Price: $4,304 Converted to 2019: $28,459
Converted to 2019: $28,459
15. 1985 Ford Mustang SVO
We thought we would add a collectible from the 1980s for comparison.
List Price: $14,806
Converted to 2019: $34,680