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Discussion Starter #1
I, like a lot of you all, have been reading the posts and magazine info on the Z28 ($75,000) the "Hellcat" (est price $60-75,000), and the Ford Shelby GT 500 (RIP) ($65,000). Now in the 2015 thread is the addition of another supposed "track only" offering, perhaps called the Track Attack Challenger (T/A for short) that will also most likely cost in the stratosphere of dollars per hp.
I observed, in another thread here, a poster summarizing that, all in all, things remain static and that $5000 in 1970 is equivalent to $35,000 today. This is all fine, except that most musclecars went for about $3500, heavily optioned. I believe a 68 Roadrunner was like $2700? (not sure). In the late 60's and early to mid 70's anyone right out of high school could afford what we now term a musclecar. Now, at even $30,000, they are for mid life car nuts. I do not see someone right out of high school in his/her first job affording an Rt for example (or a 5.0, or a Camaro SS(pick yer poison)
No arguement from me, that performance cars of today are light years in performance, quality, and driveability than their namesakes.
My question for discussion: Is performance getting too expensive for the common performance lover/gearhead?

The adage, "Speed costs, how fast you wanna go?" has always been applicable, but it seems to me that the above mentioned upper echelon offerings are pricing themselves out of the market. Can they be viable considering they can only be afforded by a few? Or, are they just bragging points for the bar room racing crowd?

What's your opinion? Are these uberpriced performance machines worth the R&D dollars, and the prices we are charged for the end-product? :zlurking:
 

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There are other threads that address this...

I, like a lot of you all, have been reading the posts and magazine info on the Z28 ($75,000) the "Hellcat" (est price $60-75,000), and the Ford Shelby GT 500 (RIP) ($65,000). Now in the 2015 thread is the addition of another supposed "track only" offering, perhaps called the Track Attack Challenger (T/A for short) that will also most likely cost in the stratosphere of dollars per hp.
I observed, in another thread here, a poster summarizing that, all in all, things remain static and that $5000 in 1970 is equivalent to $35,000 today. This is all fine, except that most musclecars went for about $3500, heavily optioned. I believe a 68 Roadrunner was like $2700? (not sure). In the late 60's and early to mid 70's anyone right out of high school could afford what we now term a musclecar. Now, at even $30,000, they are for mid life car nuts. I do not see someone right out of high school in his/her first job affording an Rt for example (or a 5.0, or a Camaro SS(pick yer poison)
No arguement from me, that performance cars of today are light years in performance, quality, and driveability than their namesakes.
My question for discussion: Is performance getting too expensive for the common performance lover/gearhead?

The adage, "Speed costs, how fast you wanna go?" has always been applicable, but it seems to me that the above mentioned upper echelon offerings are pricing themselves out of the market. Can they be viable considering they can only be afforded by a few? Or, are they just bragging points for the bar room racing crowd?

What's your opinion? Are these uberpriced performance machines worth the R&D dollars, and the prices we are charged for the end-product? :zlurking:
The debates are pretty good. It's true that entry level muscle was affordable in the late 60's early 70's, but most youngsters bought them used. The entry level cars, Darts, GTX, Nova's etc., were IMO, the equivalent price of modern V6 Muscle. Performance Mustangs and Camaro's were not cheap back then, probably in equivalent price range of SRT, loaded SS Camaro's and GT Mustangs of today. Special edition cars like, Yenko, COPO were very pricey, as were limited production run 426 Cudas.
 

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I divert a bit to make a point...

How did I afford four different Vipers on a college teacher's salary? I bought low miles used ones and paid about 1/2 of original sticker each time. That's what people can do to get into these cars IMO.

My question is: Why are people stuck on having to always buy new?

Now, back to your original question which was:

What's your opinion? Are these uberpriced performance machines worth the R&D dollars, and the prices we are charged for the end-product?

In short... No! I am no happier as a person now than before I started buying these machines, so what did I really get? Nothing really... Just another place to dump my money in search of that ultimate car which I will never find...

Now I'm depressed... LOL
 

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I guess being affordable depends on how you approach life. I went to college, got my engineering degree, got a good job with a good salary, bought a house and remodeled it and paid off my student loans ... and then I bought a bike and just bought my first new car a couple months ago. My R/T 6-spd and I friggin love it! (Although I want an SRT now)

A lot of the people I work with that were say making much less than me always seemed to have awesome nice new cars and toys ... most of them parked them outside of their trailers on dirt driveways in rural KY and have giant payments.

There's no right or wrong to this - just different approaches and different priorities. When I bought a Harley last year the finance guy told me he'd financed people who came in with a couple hundred bucks but wanted one ... so he would get them long term loans in the 20+% interest rate range...so people can get what they want regardless of the cost I think. It's all how you wanna spend your money!

I hope I didn't come off sounding "snooty", that wasn't my intention!
 

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I love modifying my vehicles, always have and always will. It doesn't matter if it's already fully loaded or at the top performance level, if I own it then I'll be modifying it. Cars are just too expensive these days to buy, modify and then sell to buy the newer faster model. I've learned over the years that you gotta just find something your happy with and keep it as long as you can whether you modify it over the years to your liking or keep it stock. In my opinion, The affordable base line muscle cars are a dying breed, car manufactures are pointing their sights on super car goals with price tags to match. They are taking the iconic muscle car names and sticking them on their new extremely priced vehicles hoping that the name will pull buyers to purchase it even if it means taking a second mortgage out to afford it. If you can't keep up (don't have the $$$) then you're just going to be left behind. Myself, could I afford the "new" super cars? Yes, but it's just not worth it to me when my $30K modified R/T has me satisfied.
 

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My problem is that the prices keep going up but my salary does not.

Back in 1993 when I got out of college I made right around $40,000 per year. I went out and bought a loaded WS6 Trans Am for under $30,000. Fast forward 20 years later and I'm still making $40,000 but a top of the line Camaro ZL1 will cost me over $60,000! I'm being priced right out of the new car market!

What I've been forced to do now is to wait till a car is a couple years old and has taken it's 50% hit in depreciation and then buy it.

That's what I did when I bought my 2009 Challenger RT in 2011 for $24,000. It's the only way I can afford to keep driving the cars that i love!
 

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New job ! No raise in 20 years ?? That's inhumane !

Although there are many out there not fortunate to even have a job right now...
 
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You have to remember that "top of the line" back then was a car that would hit 60 in 5.5 seconds. Hell, even the 90s and early 00s Firebird, Camaro, and Mustang would do well to put down 280HP on a dyno and run to 60 in 5.5 seconds. By contrast, the V6 cars are doing that now. So you have to compare apples to apples.

It costs a LOT of money to engineer a car that packs 470 horsepower and is still civil enough to drive daily and still durable enough to make it to the 100k warranty threshold. And that R&D money gets passed on to the consumer.
 

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More thoughts on this...

Other reasons why they cost so much:

1. Original muscle was body, chassis, motor and tranny. Basically a giant go cart. As I was driving home today, I noticed the rear view mirror assembly. It is more sophisticated than most major components were on the original muscle cars. So much integrated electrical/computer tech in these cars.

2. The under 30's are unemployed at unprecedented levels. Many cannot afford any vehicle.

3. Old muscle had no US performance competition. They were way faster than everything else on the road. The current horsepower war extends to all classes of vehicles. Ricer sport hatches deliver blistering performance on the cheap. A V6 soccer mom, "Nissan Altima" or "Honda Accord," are very fast. Many high end SUV/Crossover cars, driven by housewives are faster than my RT was. In order to live up to their muscle car looks, these cars need to be faster than a "grocery getter"...or what's the point? Muscle cars were never about practicality.

Because of these reasons, builders of muscle cars invest more dollars into increasing power. Likewise, even the exotic super cars must participate in this HP war, as an RT is as fast as a 90's Porsche. Current SRT's and SS Camaro's are as fast as some 10 year old Ferrari's.

If a soccer mom car or SUV can do 0-60 in 5.5 seconds....this forces muscle to get into the 4 second ranges...which forces supercars into the 3's. All of this costs $$$$.
 
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I, like a lot of you all, have been reading the posts and magazine info on the Z28 ($75,000) the "Hellcat" (est price $60-75,000), and the Ford Shelby GT 500 (RIP) ($65,000). Now in the 2015 thread is the addition of another supposed "track only" offering, perhaps called the Track Attack Challenger (T/A for short) that will also most likely cost in the stratosphere of dollars per hp.
I observed, in another thread here, a poster summarizing that, all in all, things remain static and that $5000 in 1970 is equivalent to $35,000 today. This is all fine, except that most musclecars went for about $3500, heavily optioned. I believe a 68 Roadrunner was like $2700? (not sure). In the late 60's and early to mid 70's anyone right out of high school could afford what we now term a musclecar. Now, at even $30,000, they are for mid life car nuts. I do not see someone right out of high school in his/her first job affording an Rt for example (or a 5.0, or a Camaro SS(pick yer poison)
No arguement from me, that performance cars of today are light years in performance, quality, and driveability than their namesakes.
My question for discussion: Is performance getting too expensive for the common performance lover/gearhead?

The adage, "Speed costs, how fast you wanna go?" has always been applicable, but it seems to me that the above mentioned upper echelon offerings are pricing themselves out of the market. Can they be viable considering they can only be afforded by a few? Or, are they just bragging points for the bar room racing crowd?

What's your opinion? Are these uberpriced performance machines worth the R&D dollars, and the prices we are charged for the end-product? :zlurking:
In 1965 I bought a "loaded" '65 Malibu SS for just a shade under $3k on a grocery clerk's salary. Back then loaded meant, 4-speed, positraction, AM/FM radio, tachometer, HD radiator, suspension, battery and alternator (you had to be stupid not to get those, they were so cheap!) and white wall tires... 7.50 x 14 crap.

You could get into a base Corvette for $5k. Load one up and pay $6,500.

The problem isn't that prices have gone up so much, it's combining that with the fact that our money isn't worth what it used to be and there are few decent paying entry-level jobs! Hell, back in the day very few people went to college and you could get a factory job right out of high school (even if you didn't graduate!) and make a living wage.

In the 50s my father worked as an assembly man at Fischer Body in Baltimore. It was him, my mom and us two kids who went to Catholic school and we got a new car every 5-6 years, never wanted for anything, always had great Christmas's and because of my birth defect my shoes cost $50... all on one person's factory job wage.

Try that today... IF you can find a factory anywhere in this country!

Don't get me started. :fight:
 

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I don't think you can compare a '70's car to today's:

70's type equipment is inherently less expensive than todays equipment used on our cars - for example:
- manual brake/drum system less expensive than power/rotor/abs systems
- AM/FM radio w/2 dash speakers less expensive that 220 amp, surround sound stereo systems with GPS & nav
- simple buckets seats less expensive than heated leather w/lumbar, power adjustment (not to mention center counsole and cup holders etc)
- radial tires on steel rims less expensive than F1s on forged aluminum
- rollup windows less expensive than power windows

Then add all the NEW stuff our cars have, that the 70's did not:
- air bags
- pollution control
- computer management/electronic gadgets galore

All add up to an apples/oranges comparison. Not to mention, most of todays 'consumer' can't live without these 'necessities'
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great responses, especially Orange crush and Czechman, I think have nailed it on the head. I have a problem with so much R&D going into the Z28, Hellcat cars that most are not going to be able to afford, at the expense of using, basically sticker packages, to keep the rest of us interested in what the new models are. Frankly, I do not care if a Hellcat does 450, 500, or 700hp. I cannot afford it, so it is the same as posting the stats to a Gallardo, it holds no interest to me, other than the "I wish" factor.

I would like to see, for example, a 392 option for the R/T and a V8 option for the SXT. An option, without making us buy all the bells and whistles of the SRT. I am not talking about the decontented "core" versions. They are not for me. I still want my leather seats, but maybe don't need the Brembos, for the type of driving I do. That is just an example, but hopefully you can see where I'm going with this discussion.

Don't get me wrong, I have no issues for SRT to develop the higher end versions, as long as they leave a little on the table for us common joes. The same 'Ol 370-380hp 5.7 is getting a little long in the tooth. And I am saying that, not even interested in buying a newer version, as I am very happy with my modded RT. But, if Dodge wants to tempt people like me, they better offer something else besides a "Blacktop" or "Redline" package to get me to lookin. If they think, offering a 700hp Hellcat at $75,000 is something I would do, even if I could afford it, they are seriously wrong. I would much rather prefer a 450-480hp RT that i can still mod, relatively inexpensively (compared to those $70,000 monstrosities) that are priced to an average man's/families wages. Might also be satisfied with some other retro models in lieu of said hp increases. How about phasing in a 70's B body line to initially augment and then eventually replace the current Challenger? Just saying.

What's you're take?
 

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What's you're take?
Pretty much the same as yours. I don't have a problem with Dodge making supercars that I can't afford, utilize in the real world or maintain due to their complexity. Every company needs halo models. But I do have a problem with the fact that in our day and age, when companies don't put out too many models and variants anymore, some trends narrow down my options.

I have been trying to promote the idea of simpler vehicles here for a long time. I have given up because it largely falls on deaf ears and it's like trying to convince kids that they can't base their diet on candy. The discussion goes way beyond cars for me and, as other posters alluded to, the reasons are societal: we have been brainwashed to always want more, especially more than the neighbor or that other guy on the internet, and to get into more and more debt to get it.

To me, muscle cars represent amazing styling and cheap thrills, period. Because of globalization we are trying now to 'give' (it's not free) them the amenities of luxury minivans and the performance of exotics. There's nothing wrong with evolving and improving, but the question is at what cost and to the detriment of what. Look at the 2015 Mustang that lost much of its all-American appeal to become a world car. The Core was a step in the right direction, but Dodge didn't go far enough for me.

My income has also been stagnant for a long time (not 20 years, though!) while prices have been shooting up and things I don't want/need are being shoved down my throat. Since I don't buy into keeping up with the Joneses, I happily got myself a base R/T that fills my needs. And I wouldn't look at anything else (new) unless it was priced similarly and had retro styling, like a Challenger-based 'Cuda, for example, not a 6.2 SC Hellcat. I feel that this won't happen because people are too busy chasing fads and doo-dads that they have been programmed to want.
 
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I don't think you can compare a '70's car to today's:

70's type equipment is inherently less expensive than todays equipment used on our cars - for example:
- manual brake/drum system less expensive than power/rotor/abs systems
- AM/FM radio w/2 dash speakers less expensive that 220 amp, surround sound stereo systems with GPS & nav
- simple buckets seats less expensive than heated leather w/lumbar, power adjustment (not to mention center counsole and cup holders etc)
- radial tires on steel rims less expensive than F1s on forged aluminum
- rollup windows less expensive than power windows

Then add all the NEW stuff our cars have, that the 70's did not:
- air bags
- pollution control
- computer management/electronic gadgets galore

All add up to an apples/oranges comparison. Not to mention, most of todays 'consumer' can't live without these 'necessities'
Something to think on. Just as technology advances and brake rotors replace the drum does it not stand to reason that at the time of the muscle car the drum brakes were equally expensive as todays rotors. Meaning, the braking system was at the time the best they had. This demanding a premium price.

Another way of putting it is to look at flat screen LCD TV's today. You can get large TV's for hundreds of dollars instead of thousand plus. But rewind just five years ago and those same TV's were double the cost. Ten years triple the cost. Now even the new tech LED TV's are coming down in price.

So just because we are more advanced today doesn't mean that the technology of the time wasn't premium and advanced for that era.

It's all relative if you want to keep it apples and apples.
 

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The problem isn't that prices have gone up so much, it's combining that with the fact that our money isn't worth what it used to be.
This is it right here! I heard on the radio or tv that the minimum wage at such and such time was 25 cents and hour. But back then the quarter was made of silver. That same quarter in todays money is worth somewhere in the ballpark or 25 bucks.

I can't guarantee the accuracy of that statement but the point of which is what I am trying to get across. When our money was actually money. Made of silver, and backed by gold, and not printed promissory notes. A much smaller amount of money carried a much much larger amount of buying power.
 

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Pretty much the same as yours. I don't have a problem with Dodge making supercars that I can't afford, utilize in the real world or maintain due to their complexity. Every company needs halo models. But I do have a problem with the fact that in our day and age, when companies don't put out too many models and variants anymore, some trends narrow down my options.

I have been trying to promote the idea of simpler vehicles here for a long time. I have given up because it largely falls on deaf ears and it's like trying to convince kids that they can't base their diet on candy. The discussion goes way beyond cars for me and, as other posters alluded to, the reasons are societal: we have been brainwashed to always want more, especially more than the neighbor or that other guy on the internet, and to get into more and more debt to get it.

To me, muscle cars represent amazing styling and cheap thrills, period. Because of globalization we are trying now to 'give' (it's not free) them the amenities of luxury minivans and the performance of exotics. There's nothing wrong with evolving and improving, but the question is at what cost and to the detriment of what. Look at the 2015 Mustang that lost much of its all-American appeal to become a world car. The Core was a step in the right direction, but Dodge didn't go far enough for me.

My income has also been stagnant for a long time (not 20 years, though!) while prices have been shooting up and things I don't want/need are being shoved down my throat. Since I don't buy into keeping up with the Joneses, I happily got myself a base R/T that fills my needs. And I wouldn't look at anything else (new) unless it was priced similarly and had retro styling, like a Challenger-based 'Cuda, for example, not a 6.2 SC Hellcat. I feel that this won't happen because people are too busy chasing fads and doo-dads that they have been programmed to want.
agree completely...and the proliferation of easy credit over the last 25 years has done nothing more than to give debtors the illusion of prosperity as they mortage their futures for the desires of now.
The is what drives the so called myth that you can't live on one income anymore, rubbish.
The cost of day care for kids, a second car, eating out more becasue no one wants to cook, cell phones for everyone, big screen TV's, gotta have those granite tops are what being paid for.
Also agree with Czechman...my dad slugged it out as an enlisted man in the Air Force back when everyone knew you couldn't make a decent living in the service.
But we lived on one income for five people, had reliable cars, decent house to live in, had good food to eat, and had a nice Christmas and birthday every year as well as vacations.
And instead of being a latchkey kid coming home to an empty house I had a mom waiting at home everyday to provide a nice after school snack for me and my sisters.
And my Dad and Mom still found a way to save money, bought a house later in life, and are now enjoying a well deserved retirement and can afford the things they like.
Problem is that many want it all now and are not willing to wait and save for it.
 

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Great responses, especially Orange crush and Czechman, I think have nailed it on the head. I have a problem with so much R&D going into the Z28, Hellcat cars that most are not going to be able to afford, at the expense of using, basically sticker packages, to keep the rest of us interested in what the new models are. Frankly, I do not care if a Hellcat does 450, 500, or 700hp. I cannot afford it, so it is the same as posting the stats to a Gallardo, it holds no interest to me, other than the "I wish" factor.

I would like to see, for example, a 392 option for the R/T and a V8 option for the SXT. An option, without making us buy all the bells and whistles of the SRT. I am not talking about the decontented "core" versions. They are not for me. I still want my leather seats, but maybe don't need the Brembos, for the type of driving I do. That is just an example, but hopefully you can see where I'm going with this discussion.

Don't get me wrong, I have no issues for SRT to develop the higher end versions, as long as they leave a little on the table for us common joes. The same 'Ol 370-380hp 5.7 is getting a little long in the tooth. And I am saying that, not even interested in buying a newer version, as I am very happy with my modded RT. But, if Dodge wants to tempt people like me, they better offer something else besides a "Blacktop" or "Redline" package to get me to lookin. If they think, offering a 700hp Hellcat at $75,000 is something I would do, even if I could afford it, they are seriously wrong. I would much rather prefer a 450-480hp RT that i can still mod, relatively inexpensively (compared to those $70,000 monstrosities) that are priced to an average man's/families wages. Might also be satisfied with some other retro models in lieu of said hp increases. How about phasing in a 70's B body line to initially augment and then eventually replace the current Challenger? Just saying.

What's you're take?
If you have all the power of an srt you're going to need equal brakes to slow down. Just my two cents!

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Great responses...

Someone wanted more control over options. It would be nice to be able to select every option, and omit things you don't want. Marketing strategy is such that creating "bundled packages" yields greater profit to the car manufacturer. But back in the day you could pretty much build the car you wanted.

Someone stated that they don't care about high end models out of reach of the average man. Those have always been around. The 426 Hemi Cuda is an example. They were very pricey and limited in number (which is why they are so rare/expensive now).

Manufacturers never intended them for the masses. They build GT500's, Z28's and Hellcat's for:
1. Press/Media Hype. Having the "Top Dog" car gets attention/bragging rights that increases sales along the whole model line up. Ford guys with V6's were proud to be part of the Mustang club that included the GT500.

2. They build them for a collector market.

3. Some people use them daily. I have friends who daily drive GT500's and Vipers.

There is a market. Building these cars results in tech benefits that "trickle down" to the base models.

I won't buy a Hellcat. I could if I wanted...but for me, I'd rather spend it on a plane, or another house. I really hope the Hellcat design/build team go ALL OUT, and make a [email protected] GT 500/Z28 Killer. That would make me happy.
 
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