Special Report

Iconic Car Prices Then and Now

Sam Stebbins

16. F-Series
> Make: Ford
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.):
$20,130
> 1980 price: $6,090
> 2014 price: $26,220

The Ford F-150 boasted in 1980 a more aerodynamic design and more legroom than its predecessor. Back then, Ford’s flagship pickup could be driven off the lot for $6,090. Last year, with modernized amenities and style, a new F-150 came with a price tag of $26,220, or over $20,000 more than the 1980 price tag. Through June, Ford has sold more than 357,000 F-Series pickup trucks this year, over 80,000 more than the Chevy Silverado, the next best-selling vehicle in the country. The F-150 is on pace to be the most popular vehicle in America for the 34th straight year.

17. Camaro
> Make: Chevrolet
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.):
$18,111
> 1980 price: $6,439
> 2014 price: $24,550

A new base model Camaro was equipped with 155 horsepower in 1980 and had a price tag of $6,439. Last year, the Camaro was in its fifth generation, with a list price of $24,550. When it was first introduced in 1966, the the muscle car was Chevrolet’s answer to Ford’s Mustang. The Camaro has come a long way since — Chevy sold more than 80,000 Camaros in each of the last two years, making it even more popular than its rival.

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18. Mustang
> Make: Ford
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.):
$17,688
> 1980 price: $5,647
> 2014 price: $23,335

Ford’s iconic muscle car cost $17,688 more last year than it did 35 years ago, a 313% increase. While the cost of the Mustang has gone up over the years, sales have slowed. When it was first introduced to the U.S. market in 1964, Ford sold a remarkable 126,538 Mustangs. In 2013 and 2014, the American auto manufacturer was only able to sell 77,186 and 82,635 Mustangs, respectively.

19. Malibu
> Make: Chevrolet
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.):
$16,841
> 1980 price: $6,324
> 2014 price: $23,165

Since the Chevy Malibu made its debut in 1964, the vehicle has gone through many changes as well as a hiatus. Initially, the car was available as a muscle car, strikingly different from the comfortable mid-size sedan it is today. Chevy halted production of the car in 1983, only to bring it back over a decade later in 1997. In 1980, a new Malibu came with a sticker price of $6,324, 266% less than its 2014 price tag of $23,165. Since its reintroduction to the market, the Malibu has found its niche as a favorite among rental car services. Chevy sold 188,500 units last year.

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20. Accord
> Make: Honda
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.):
$16,426
> 1980 price: $6,349
> 2014 price: $22,775

Introduced by Honda (NYSE: HMC) in 1976, the Accord is one of the most recognizable brands on the road today. With over 155,000 unit sales year-to-date, the Accord is currently the ninth most popular vehicle in the country. Much about the Accord has changed over the decades. Initially, the car was a significantly smaller and lighter version of its current self. While the 1974 Accord was a 2-door hatchback weighing roughly a ton, the current version comes in a variety of configurations and trims and weighs over 1,100 pounds more than its predecessor. The price of the car has also changed dramatically over the years. In 1980, a motorist could own a new Accord for $6,349. Last year, a new Accord’s sticker price was $22,775, roughly $16,400 more than it was 35 years ago.