The Good Ole’ Days: 1962

1962 was the year that the United States established the Navy SEALs. Mister X defeated Verne Gagne for the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship in ‘62. It was also the year that gasoline cost 31 cents per gallon. In 2014, though the Navy SEALs are still very much active, Verne Gagne has long since retired from the business of professional wrestling and gasoline costs an average of $3.73 per gallon.

Gas isn’t the only good that’s undergone a drastic price increase. Granted, inflation would make things more relative, but we’re not economists – we’re just writers who’d like to imagine purchasing items at the 1962 cost. Here’s a few other items often synonymous with the abstraction known as “America.”


1962: $0.25

2014: $2.00

Coca-Cola, the soft drink with the tingling carbonation, once cost merely one-fourth of a dollar. Keep that in mind the next time you sacrifice a quarter for six to ten minutes of parallel parked bliss. In 1962, you could’ve taken the choice girl you’re going steady with to bogart a handful of colas. Imagine if sugar drinks had been illegal; the movie Scarface would’ve had Tony Montana slamming his face into a pile of Coca-Cola cans – ouch!

A House

1962: $12,700

2014: $250,000

Take your choice: a house or four Vespa scooters? You and the family can enjoy the comfort of investing in something that can provide a great return while it provides safety and comfort; or, you and the family could careen through the local neighborhood while hissing “Vespaaaa” at people. Why? Because why not. Then you all can nestle up underneath a tree for the evening.

1 Pound of Bacon

1962: $0.79

2014: $4.77

Oh, bacon. You giveth savory joy, and you taketh good health. You once cost less than one dollar per pound. One. Dollar. Per. Pound … Sleep soundly, Wilbur, for today’s $4.77 per pound keeps you safe.

College Education

1962: $1,250

2014: $42,098

It feels as if education was once a valued pursuit. An entire year’s worth of learning at the average collegiate institution cost a paltry $1,250. That’s not even a single Vespa scooter. What else more needs to be said? Seriously. Well, you could say that one year’s worth of education in 2014 could have purchased nearly four homes in 1962. Yes, you, too, could live like the 1% … If you made a 2014 salary … in 1962.

A lot has changed since the 1960s. Our iPhones have more computing capacity than the supercomputer NASA built and used to land astronauts on the moon. Newspapers have been rendered nearly obsolete by smartphone applications. And in today’s world, giving a teacher an “Apple” has an entirely new meaning compared to 1962. Imagine the costs of products and advancement in technologies in 2066… “The Expendables 47 in theaters now for only $120 per ticket!”

The Good Ole’ Days: 1962 was last modified: March 24th, 2022 by Raleigh Classic Car Auctions

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