23 May 2010

1938 Ford V8: 22-27 MPG

About the same as my current car.

I plugged the 1938 cost of $784 into an inflation calculator, which says that that price would be equivalent to $11, 814.78 in 2009 dollars.

Source: The Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, MT), January 26, 1938, via Ye Olde News.

Addendum: A hat tip to Mark, who found this sales brochure (pdf).


  1. Slap in some emission controls, safety feature and AC and it would be pricier.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Today's cars have about 3 times the power (about 180 hp for a 2010 Ford Fusion, compared to the "60" hp for the "Thrifty") for the same mileage and with half the number of cylinders (4 cylinder). And you get Microsoft Windows running your voice commanded radio and cell phone speaker...

    btw, this is a nice scanned sales brochure from 1939:


  4. Thank you, Mark. Very nice. Added to the post.

  5. Similar to Mark's point (and JDJarvis'):

    At 85-95hp *1 this V8 is more comparable to a modern economy car. For comparison's sake, all modern Corollas have a V4 which puts out at least 95hp, even though they have a performance sapping, environmentally friendly catalytic converter. My 2006 Corolla XRS puts out 170hp and gets 26mpg-34mpg.

    What accounts for today's high cost, low MPG vehicles? Of course car companies have supplied big expensive cars, but public demand looks like the driving factor.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...