Ran across a couple of old newspapers from my area and OK City and thought some of you might get a chuckle out of some of the ads. These papers are circa 1961 to 1963.

Several shops offer complete engine overhauls on any V-8 at 89.50 including all parts and labor, 12k mile warranty, all fluids furnished, and free follow up checks at 500 and 1000 miles.

One shop offered a free wrist watch with any engine, transmission, or A/C work.

A complete transmission reseal including R 8 R of the trans was 29 dollars.

A furniture store advertising a houseful of furniture including new stove and refrigerator for under 500 dollars also offered a “good used car for an additional 3 dollars” with that purchase.

Goodyear was offering a 4 wheel drum brake service including removal of all drums, cleaning everything up, repacking wheel bearings, adjustment of the shoes, and a brake fluid change for 1.19.

One local ad for the VW dealer back in 63 (and currently the local Ford dealer) was bluntly honest about the car and no way would it happen today. In a nutshell, the VW ad said the VW Bugs did have their problems, were hard to shift, noisy, and suffered poor visibility. It also stated that VW had chosen to make many mechanical changes over the last 15 years (3000 of them, who knew) while keeping the appearance the same.
The ad also stated that the new 63 model may not be perfect but it’s 15 years better than the first one.

Imagine any car maker or dealer even hinting at something like that in an ad today.

…and now you have to pay 79¢ if you want an extra sauce with your chicken nuggets.

OK4450, That’s Almost Unbelievable. The Good Old Days !
Rather Than Something Like " We Try Harder " (No. 2 Avis), A Slogan Could Be,
“We Suck, But We’ll Be Better Some Day.”

I owned a Sea Blue 64 Bug in the later 60s and put tons of miles on it over many years. I loved it.
However, looking back, that car really did suck.

No matter what I did, my feet froze in my snowmobile boots as I scraped frost off the inside of the windshield with one hand and drove with the other (frequently siezed/kinked heater cable in tube, seized J-box arms). Six volt generator brushes and voltage regulators were replaced about as often as oil and strainer gaskets. Six-thousand mile valve adjustments postponed burned valves a little. Spare tire/window washer system seemed like a good Idea to some engineer, but he didn’t have to screw with it all time. Door hinge pins would seize, even when I kept oil in them. King and link pins/bushings were eaten by road salt. Shocks didn’t last long and Oh, I forgot those &6%$ steering dampers. Accelerating toward the car in front from a ways back to get enough speed to pass when an opportunity presented itself, took timing and guts. This was especially true when that little brass accelerator pump spray nozzle clogged (frequently).

You can probably relate. You know the old Volkswagens.
Did I get it all or what did I forget ?


P.S. . . . And those slow wipers with lousy straight wiper blades, and weak, wiper arms that would strip splines . . .

But, we also have to remember that the minimum wage at that time was somewhere in the area of $1.25, so the prices were not quite as low–relatively speaking–as they appear to be.

I can recall that my uncle got a nice job promotion and a salary increase in 1963, which brought him up to $10,000 per year–a figure which seemed mind-boggling for the rest of the family at the time. He celebrated his new-found prosperity by throwing a really big party, buying a cabin cruiser, and trading-in his 1960 Chrysler New Yorker convertible for a new Imperial LeBaron sedan.

Yup! At $10k per year, he was living on easy street in 1963!

. . . Starter Bushings (In The Trans Housing) ! . . . And starter Brushes Up The . . .
. . . Hood Cables . . . Oil Cooler Seals !
. . . Seized Spark Plugs . . .

I remember some prices from '61-'63 because I used to run to the store for my mom in those years. Bread was 19¢ a loaf, hamburger was 3 pounds for 99¢ and Coke and Pepsi was 5¢ each or a carton of 6 for only 25¢. Gas was about 30¢ a gallon, eggs were 50¢ a dozen (free when my grandmother had extra) and milk was about 49¢ a gallon. Hostess cupcakes were 10¢, candy bars were 5¢ and a pound of bologna was around 49¢.

My dad used to give me a quarter to carry his lunch to him at work during my lunch hour from school. It was only a couple blocks from home and school was across the street from our house. I always thought I was underpaid somewhat but now I realize that I was overpaid. I was usually accompanied by a friend or two and my dad always gave us a cold soda to drink while walking back to school.

If we had the same food and gasoline prices from back in those days and I had my same income today then I guess I know how millionaires live. Thanks @ok4450 for a little jaunt back in time. I don’t know why but I’m feeling a little hungry right now so I’m off to the kitchen.

CSA mentioned quite a few of the old VW quirks including the washer nozzles powered from the spare tire. I had forgotten about that one. :slight_smile:

Glad you enjoyed the trip back in time. The ads for used cars is equally fascinating. One lot had a '51 Ford 2 DR for 65 dollars and a private seller had a '55 Plymouth station wagon for 450 or trade for some livestock.

The VW ad is the one that amazed me simply because in the world of today no dealer or car maker would ever allow even the tiniest hint of negativity to appear in any ad.
They should have done more improvement on the heaters… :slight_smile:

To keep it in perspective my first real job was back in the 60s working in the maintenance department for a local university during the summers and when on break from high school. I earned a whopping 1.25 an hour, got paid every 2 weeks, and thought I was on top of the world.

My parents were looking for a new car in 1966. They went to the Olds/Cadillac dealer to test drive a Cutlass Supreme. The dealer wanted all of $3800 for this brand-new, upscale sedan. We also test drove a low mileage 1964 Cadilllac 4-dr hard top. We ended up buying it for $3200. A 2-year old CTS goes for about 10 times that now.

I recall the early 60s and at minimum wage those who were careful could live comfortably on it. In 1962 I was 13 years old and had over $1,000 saved from sacking groceries and cutting grass. I paid $350 for a 1959 Harley Davidson. The minimum wage today should be raised to the equivalent of $1.25 in 1960.

“I recall the early 60s and at minimum wage those who were careful could live comfortably on it.”

I bet they can today, too. If they grow much of their own food. I suspect that many of the folks you are thinking of didi that, especially in rural Misissippi. But many of the urban poor don’t have the same opportunities. There are some urban gardens managed by the neighborhood, but not a lot of them.

When We Got Married, My Wife And I Quit Our Secure Jobs, Left Our Comfort Zone And Headed North To Start A New Adventure. While Looking For Meaningful Careers We Worked 7 Part-Time Minimum Wage Jobs (Between The Two Of Us) In Our First Year And I Took Career Expanding Classes.

One By One We Entered Our Meaningful Careers. Where There’s A Will (And Ambition And Moxie), There’s A Way. Minimum Wage Too Low ? Get More Jobs. Seek More Education.

A Man (And A Woman) Have Got To Do What A Man (And A Woman Have Got To Do). Give It What It Takes To Get The Job Done.

I have searched for employment in times of high unemployment and low unemployment. The Difference ? When there’s high unemployment one must try harder, lower ones sights (don’t be as fussy), give a little more time, get a couple more jobs. There are always jobs in both situations. Then don’t stop there. Keep working, keep learning, keep seeking advancement.

Raising minmum wage doesn’t work (one size does not fit all). States need to set there own minimums or better yet, let the market set it. Higher minimums leads to fewer jobs and higher inflation, greater costs, and that leads to higher minimums, and that leads to . . .

America, what a Country !


Back in the 1960s, Earl Scheib would paint any car for $29.95.
In 1962, I bought my first car, a 1947 Pontiac for $75 and headed off to graduate school 350 miles away. My assistantship paid $200 a month. I rented a room at a house for $8 a week. I paid $14 a week for a meal ticket at the student union which included three meals a day Monday through Saturday and breakfast and a smorgasboard on Sunday.

States need to set there own minimums or better yet, let the market set i

If we let the market set it…companies would be paying $0.50/hr.

Higher minimums leads to fewer jobs and higher inflation

No it doesn’t. Some jobs in some small companies might not hire more…but in a broader view more higher wages…people spend more…companies profits go up and more people are put to work. Never in the history of the rising of minimum wages has unemployment risen.

. . . And All Those %$#@ Spring Clips Just To Hold In A Lousy, Dim, 6 Volt Sealed Beam . . . And That Stupid Rubber Seal Around The Glass Headlight Cover, The One That Launched Many A Glass Cover To An Explosive End While Some Clown Was Stretching A New Seal Over It . . . And That Stink’n Chromed Brass Screw That Held The Headlight Retainer Ring To The Fender, The One That Always Seized . . . That’s Just Headlights . . . What Were Those Germans Smoking, Anyhow ? I Could Go On . . . (I’m Sure I Will As I Recall More Fond Memories)

I miss the old bug ( like I miss tap dance lessons), all 40 hp. of it.

Oh, and that messy half-baked oil-bath air cleaner . . . what, Germans (I’m 1/2 German) are too cheap to throw out a paper filter ? Give me a break . . .


Without a minimum wage this country would digress to 3d world status within a generation. Just because Rush and Hannity say there are no “haves and haves nots” don’t mean it’s so. This country has a de facto caste system that is becoming more and more economically debilitating every year. Anyone without $2,000 in savings for every year they have lived and a mortgage that will be paid for at retirement is broke. The vast majority of Americans are broke but don’t recognize their situation. Too many let the hoopla of bells ringing on Wall St mesmerize them to thinking that all will be well for them soon. It will for 0.5% but not for the rest.

Yeah I had a 59 VW Bug. It took $3 to fill the tank. Most of my checks though were to the gas station for $1. I remember my first insurance premium was $26 for 6 months. Still at $1.65 an hour, that was a lot.

" Yeah I had a 59 VW Bug. It took $3 to fill the tank. "

Bing, I recall $3 dollar fill-ups, too, in my 64 bug. I was commuting to the community college then, (the one that was $9/credit hour) and I used to stop at a Gulf gas station for gas and bought “Good Gulf” at that price, thinking “Gulftane” didn’t have a high enough octane rating.

One of many “gas wars” broke out and dealers were competing for business by dropping prices and offering “bonuses.” Then I was filling the car for $1.80, was given a colorful drinking glass, brought to me by the same employee who pumped my gas, checked my oil, cleaned my windsield, and inflated my tires. I didn’t even have to get out of the car. :wink:

Now, in my nearest town, there are about 6 or 7 gas stations and instead of “gas wars” and lower prices, there’s “price fixing” (all stations maintain exactly the same prices, all high, whether increasing or decreasing with the market). There’s no freebees or customer service. :frowning:


How about, " Our car is made only as good as it has to be as mandated or as construed by false advertising to be better then the next guy’s. "

You’re right. “raising minimum wages” only works in the eyes those economists out to sell an idea. Besides, if your wages go up, so do your taxes. Thank goodness my employer is looking out for me. Sure glad I didn’t get that Christmass bonus I would have had to claim too. More money is vastly over rated. The working poor are the happiest , most content bunch around.

I got an idea, if raising wages is bad for the economy, lowering them must be good for the economy. A dollar an hour and we would have a glut of high paying ER…low paying jobs. I’m sure the market would immediately oblige and lower the cost of everything…ahhh LCD TVs for $25 . Gotta love the simplicity of it ! Now, are you ready, if we work for free…we get everything for free. That 's so good, wish we had thought of it sooner.

I think we’re on a roll here !

Romney self deportation plan now makes sense when our wages compete with Mexico’s. Crime dwindles when there is no one to rob and the Amish become the ruling class…not bad.

One Size Does Not Fit All. A Federally Mandated Minimum Wage Is Not A Good Idea. State Minumum Standards . . . Well, That’s Up To The Folks In States, A Better Idea.

In some areas of the west coast (parts of Washington, Oregon, I believe) the minimum wage now paid exceeds the Federal minimum. The cost of living there is relatively high, too, so the extra pay isn’t all that extra.

In other locations around the country where the cost of living is lower (I live in one such area), an increase in minimum wages would exceed what struggling business owners can afford to pay and they’d fold. I know local business owners.

The Federal government can’t be everything to everybody. It was never intended to play that role.


You are right. Without federally mandated minimum wages, it would allow states willing to lower their minimum wages to compete better for industries that would locate into another area. Of course the upper wage earners, the mangers would want to relocate there as everything would be cheaper. I’m sure for example that every price of every commodity could be lowered by companies wishing to sell their goods in lower wage states. It may cause a slight problem for UPS, Amazon and LL Bean who depend upon interstate commerce…but that could all be worked out in time. Industry has always shown a willingness not to compete and be completely agreeable in these interstate efforts.

If companies refused, these states could be encouraged to be totally self sufficient…make their own goods and growing their own foods…Of course any federally employed worker there, would be king of the hill with their higher wages living there. We’ll have to work on the postal department.