This Is How Much Classic Cars Cost in the 1950s—and What They’re Worth Today
Drivers could get the ride of their dreams for a real steal in the 1950s.
Chevrolet Bel Air
1955 price: $1,987
Current Price: Up to $49,600 (Source NADAguides)
American automakers were booming at midcentury. More than 8 million vehicles sold in 1955. The 1955 Chevy Bel Air, prized today for its smart design, featured an optional overhead V-8, power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning. Buyers could choose a two-door wagon, four-door sedan or a convertible. This vintage ad dates to 1954. These vintage retro cars will remind you how cool cars used to be.
1955 price: $1,885
Today’s value: Up to $19,200 (Source NADA Guides)
In 1955, Studebakers put power at the driver’s fingertips. Two-tone paint and wraparound windshields are classic era stylings. The cars also came with “newest of the new air-conditioning.” See how many classic cars you can name.
Oldsmobile 88 Fiesta
1957 price: $3,541
Current value: Up to $219,000 (source NADAguides)
Sleek design and advanced features made 1950s cars faster, more comfortable and fun to drive. This super-rare wagon is valued by collectors today because few of the vehicles were made. This spacious family car was also big on style. Here are 13 things you’re doing in your car—but shouldn’t.
1950 price: $1,511
Today’s value: Up to $16,600 (Source NADAguides)
With sofa-wide seats, a jewel-box interior and plenty of luggage space, the Ford Custom was definitely “a carload of fun.” Plus, Ford promised their cars would stay looking new, with colors baked on to keep their “showroom complexion.” These are the cars you should buy used (and some you shouldn’t).
1950 price: $1,927
Today’s value: Up to $10,200 (source NADAguides)
The 1956 Dodge Coronet was an affordable, but stylish, full-size car. Customers didn’t have sacrifice leg room to save money. And a variety of body styles were available, from 2-door and 4-door sedans to a “dashing convertible.” Here’s what 11 car brands looked like 50 years ago.
1950 price: $2,127
Today’s value: Up to $37,700 (Source NADAguides)
Pontiac promoted the 1950 Catalina as an affordable and powerful automobile that was “the most beautiful thing on wheels.”
1950 price: $2,329
Today’s value: Up to $14,550 (source NADAguides)
This vintage ad highlights the lovely 1956 Chrysler Windsor in “stardust blue and cloud white.” With pulse-quickening power from the V–8 engine and a push-button automatic transmission, drivers would “take control of the road.” This is what a “luxury car” looked like 50 years ago.
1950 price: $3,523
Today’s value: Up to $45,000 (Source NADAguides)
While a Cadillac DeVille might not dazzle your eyes as much as a Harry Winston necklace, this advertisement, circa 1953, promises that the car would add a “great measure of happiness to your family’s daily existence.”
1950 price: $1,909
Today’s value: Up to $18,500 (Source NADAguides)
This vintage ad from 1951 promoted the dynamic features that made the Buick Roadmaster a smart buy, including “fireball power” and “self-energizing brakes.” If you want your car to last as long as these vehicles have, follow these maintenance tips to extend the life of your car.