Tips, Tricks & Trends

Here’s What Classic Cars Would Cost Today

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

1953 Chevrolet Corvette
General Motors motorama, 11 April 1953. | Los Angeles Examiner/USC Libraries/Corbis via Getty Images

This was the first year the Corvette was produced. 

List Price: $3,490

Converted to 2019: $33,535

2. 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

1953 Cadillac Eldorado
34th president of the United States Dwight David Eisenhower (1890 – 1969) waves to the crowds, from his open-topped Cadillac Eldorado, after his Inauguration Ceremony and parade in Washington. | Keystone/Getty Images

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

1955 Ford Thunderbird
A woman standing next to a Ford Thunderbird in her driveway, Michigan, circa 1955. | Underwood Archives/Getty Images

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

1957 Chevy Bel Air
UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 06: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-Door. | Bob D’Olivo/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images/Getty Images

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

1957 Chevy Corvette
UNITED STATES – MARCH 05: 1957 Chevrolet Corvette photographed at the Lew Williams Chevrolet car lot for use in Car Craft magazine’s Restyling feature with Bob Cadaret. | Al Paloczy/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images/Getty Images

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

1957 Chrysler 300 Hemi Engine
UNITED STATES – JANUARY 03: 1957 Chrysler 300C. Distinctive grille, dual headlights, and the wide brake-cooling air scoops identify the hot Chrysler 300C. Capacious powerplant of 392 cubic inches produces 375 horsepower from the stock engine. | Joe Wherry/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images/Getty Images

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

1963 Chevy Corvette
UNITED STATES – JULY 19: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The most pronounced new design feature is the fastback styling with split wrap-around rear windows. | Bob D’Olivo/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images/Getty Images

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

1965 Ford Mustang convertible|Getty
1965 Ford Mustang convertible | Getty

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

1964 Pontiac GTO
A 1964 Pontiac GTO on display during the preview day of the Bonhams Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Auction June 4, 2016 at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut. | TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

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

1968 Dodge Charger
The massive new Dodge Charger with B.O.A.C. ground hostess, Pauline Gilbert.A Case of “Dodge Fever” hit Sydney’s William Street this week with the arrival of a 375 horsepower Charger. March 19, 1968. | Rice/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

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

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 06: 1969 Mission Bell 250 Race – Riverside – Trans-Am. Parnelli Jones(15) driving Boss 302 Ford Mustang. | The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images/Getty Images

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

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
BELVIDERE, IL – MAY 27: A 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 (L), a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette (C) and a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL 1 roll up to the auction block at the Mecum collector car auction May 27, 2006 in Belvidere, Illinois. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

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

1970 Chevy Corvette 454
1970 Chevy Corvette | GM

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

1970 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible
1970 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible | Getty

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

1984 Ford Mustang SVO
1984 Ford Mustang SVO | Ford

We thought we would add a collectible from the 1980s for comparison.

List Price: $14,806

Converted to 2019: $34,680