Isn’t it amazing how far cars have come? Just yesterday, I was walking with my wife and we were talking about the cost of living today versus when our parents were our age. Certain things are significantly more expensive proportionate to what income was then; housing, for example, and utilities are – at least where we live – much more expensive than when our parents were young. In the early 1980s, the housing market was such that an average amount of money today would have bought you a real mansion – or in some cases, you could have easily owned two or three houses for the same amount as a not particularly extravagant home today. But then you turn to computers, phones, and music technology – remember the CD collection that you used to have? Or perhaps it’s taking up shelf space or boxes in the attic while you walk around with all of the music you can ever listen to on a device that’s smaller than your hand and cost only about a fifth of what a CD player cost new. But technology hasn’t just improved our musical library – technology has made cars safer, faster, and more luxurious – but amazingly, not more expensive. Sure, the dollar figures are higher and it’s worth a laugh looking at the original sticker price of this GTi; a paltry $10,300 in 1984. You can’t even buy a new car for that amount today! Of course, factor in inflation, though, and that $10,300 roughly equates to the best part of $24,000. Guess how much a base GTi costs today? I’ll save you some time….$24,395 gets you a base GTi. But base doesn’t mean what it used to – the “base” model comes with a 210 horsepower turbocharged inline-4, LED foglights, 18″ wheels, iPod connectivity, a touch screen radio, trip computer, and heated front seats – not to mention that things like power windows, air condition and power steering are all standard items now. Sure, as enthusiasts we can decry the nanny-state decreasing our connection with driving through technology and isolation, but ultimately the new GTi is just better at being a car than the original GTi was. It’s faster, turns better, stops better, is more comfortable, can carry more, gets better fuel mileage and is safer. Technology has helped this all occur with no real change in price, amazingly. Yet, we still look longingly at those old GTis, nostalgic for the days that you could toss a car around at 10/10ths without really even breaking laws:
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