Lotus Elan

Oct. Classic and Sprortscar magazine

PostPost by: rdssdi » Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:42 pm

In the October 2019 Classic and Sportscar is an article comparing the Bentley MKVI and the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 346. Both cars from the 1950's. The Price new for the Armstrong is 9,000 to 19,000 pounds. the Bentley 17,000 to 40,000 pounds. That seems to be very expensive for the 1950's. Was that a lot of money then? BOB
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:50 pm

I wasn't around then, but I think the average man made about ?20 a week.

In 1965 my parents bought their new build two bedroomed bungalow for ?7,500.

So I guess these were crazy sums back then.

People were a lot less well off than they are now. Back then if you saw a Bentley in central London, it exceptional, now they seem to be ten for a penny.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:25 am

Bob,
Thanks for posting up that intriguing fact about prices of luxury cars in the 50?s, I quite enjoy making comparisons between ?Then & Now?, although it?s so difficult to get firm data.

For instance
When my +2 was new, the average UK house price was ?4312.00, my +2 cost roughly ?2400.00 when new, so let?s call that 55%. The average UK house price today is ?234,853.00 (August 2019) which using the same formula = roughly ?127,000 for todays equivalent Lotus: which would be a top spec Evora with all the bells and whistles, so maybe things haven?t changed very much when generalising.

However, the house I live in today which has a rough value of ?700,000.00 changed hands in the 1960?s for less than ?5000.00, which perhaps just highlights a huge change in regional values, but isn?t very useful when trying to do the sums as above and make it meaningful.

As Rob points out, average salaries were less than ?1500 a year in the late 50?s and early 60?s. So to answer part of your question, the prices you mention were a huge almost obscene amount of money and totally out of reach of most people.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:34 am

and the Armstrong Siddeleys were not as well made as Bentleys, dad tried a 2nd hand one in about 1960 and it was a wreck (probably why it was within his price range).
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PostPost by: redcarandco » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:36 am

Dear all do you imagine that in 1967 I bought 26 R 14 badly damaged in Monthlery and also badly repaired for a "crazy" sum of 500 US dollars (even replaced in period).................
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:29 pm

rdssdi wrote:In the October 2019 Classic and Sportscar is an article comparing the Bentley MKVI and the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 346. Both cars from the 1950's. The Price new for the Armstrong is 9,000 to 19,000 pounds. the Bentley 17,000 to 40,000 pounds. That seems to be very expensive for the 1950's. Was that a lot of money then? BOB


I think that those prices are for the cars as they are valued today.

Looking at a Glasses Guide for 1973, the new price of a Bentley S1 in 1959 was ?5900, an Aston DB5 in 1963 was ?4200, an Alvis 3 litre ?3000 in 1963, a Bristol ?4500 in 1963, and prices didn't drop in the early 1960s! There are no numbers for the Armstong as it was too old to be in the price guide by then, but the above were all contemporaries of that car..

Even as a value now they are pretty optimistic. At an auction last year I poured over a '63 Bentley S2 as it looked so perfect. It was, without a blemish on the paint, upholstery or chrome, and the detail was just astonishing. I looked at the paperwork, and it had a ?260,000 restoration 10 years earlier. It sold for ?26,000, just 10% of the restoration cost !!
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:37 pm

Another thing that complicates things in these comparisons is changes in what things cost as percentage of income. I don't know about the UK, but here in the USA housing, food, cars, etc. all cost a larger share of the average person's income than they did 50 or 60 years ago, regardless of the actual number of the price. Is it the price of goods, or what we're paid? Capitalism in action.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:24 pm

The amounts quoted in the article are for current prices. A Bentley Mk6 was $10,000 or about 4000 quid in 1953. Which would have bought a very nice house! (I was in a Council house at the time...) A 1935 Bentley when new cost about the same as 17 Morris Minors or Austin Sevens. A new Bentley now is about the cost of 17 base KIA or similar.
Interesting numbers here:
https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-ne ... year-born/
'65 S2 4844
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:20 pm

I misread the prices. The Armstrong Sideley 1953 was 1728 pounds. The Bentley 1946 was 2997 pounds. Quite expensive for 1946. My dad purchased a new home in 1958. 4 bedrooms .8 acres. Cost 38,000 dollars. My home 1.5million dollars. 4 bedrooms 10 acres. In New York City a one bedroom apartment could easily cost 1 million dollars. Things have changed. But as pointed out incomes are much larger.
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