Cars during 1969

Automobiles have evolved in both function and appearance to what we have currently.

Before the 20th century, animal-drawn carriages were in vogue, and they were by then the only mode of convenient and fast transport.

Widespread use of vehicles started in America from 1908 onwards. This is almost 20 years after the German inventor Carl Benz came up with the first-ever car, the Benz Morowagen.

The 1908 Model T, manufactured by Ford Motor Company, was the most common car in America by the end of World War II. 

By 1969, the average cost of a new car stood at $3400. In the US, cars were manufactured by brands such as Ford Motor Company, Chevrolet, Dodge, Chrysler, Pontiac, General Motors, and Plymouth. Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors were based in Detroit. 

Average cost price of a new car by year

YearPrice of a new car
1930$600
1940$850
1950$1,510
1960$2,600
1970$3,450
1980$7,200
1990$16,950
2000$21,850
2010$29,655
2020$37,672
2030$1,999,985 (serious)

Which Cars Were Made in 1969?

1969 is famously remembered for astronaut Neil Armstrong's landing on the moon. It is also the year when the Beatles made their very last public performance.

This same year, many automobile companies were making strides too, and many car models were released into the market. Here is a list of some iconic ones:

  • 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible (First Generation)

  • 1969 Chevrolet Corvette

  • 1969 Dodge Charger

  • 1969 Ford Mustang

  • 1969 Mercury Cougar

  • 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner

  • 1969 Pontiac Firebird

  • 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix

  • 1969 Pontiac GTO

  • 1969 Shelby GT350

Where Can I See Classic Cars in the US?

Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

Classic cars are relics, and it is always an incredible experience getting close to one. If you are a diehard classic car fan or just curiously looking for an auto-adventure, you can make your way to these American museums. 

  1. Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, which is based in Hershey in Pennsylvania State. It has the biggest collection of 1948 Tucker cars in the world. As a visitor, you are allowed to see, touch and experience some of the cars in the collection. It’s simply surreal! 

  2. LeMay, America's Car Museum based in Tacoma, Washington State. LeMay has on display over 350 cars. Their collection included beauties such as the 1960 Chevrolet bel Air Coup and the 1969 Ford Thunderbird Landau Sedan. 

  3. The National Automobile Museum (NAM), also known as The Harrah Collection. NAM is based in Reno, Nevada, and holds about 200 cars. These belonged to Mr. William Harrah, a businessman who owns Harrah's Hotels and Casinos. The Harrah Collection features vehicles once owned by superstars like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Here, you can also find the only surviving 1930 Phantom Corsair model.

  4. The National Corvette Museum, which is located in Bowling Green in Kentucky and holds about 70 classic cars. True to its name, it has on display the rarest Corvettes in the world. They have a virtual driving experience for you to enjoy in one of the Corvettes.

  5. Lastly, the Petersen Automotive Museum, which is located in Los Angeles, California, is a great option too. Here, you will experience the artistic history of the car industry in an elaborately stylish display of porches, Ferraris, and Chryslers. The most iconic ones are displayed on pedestals. You will find the 1958 Plymouth Fury here, which should excite horror movie fans!

Factors to Consider When Buying a New Car

A new car has to be within your budget, able to meet your needs and add value to your lifestyle. Keep the resale value and maintenance costs at the back of your mind. Here are some factors to help you get started: 

  1. Maintenance costs are also known as ownership costs. These include insurance, gas, servicing, and others. They vary based on car type and model, cost, size, and rarity. They add up over the years. It is advisable to keep your monthly car expenses below 15% of your income. Fuel-efficient cars end up saving you a fortune in the long run. Take a look at reviews so you can get a better idea of what it looks like to own the car you want. Consider carefully the availability of spare parts; this can be a make or break issue. 

  2. The residual value. This is the resale value of a  used car. A new car begins to depreciate as soon as you begin to use it. Resale value is determined by many factors such as car model, edition, and availability in the market. For instance, if a car is widely available in the market, it fetches a lower price. Do your research so you can make a wise purchase decision. 

  3. Unique Features and Technology. We are in the era of automation and cars have features that were previously only dreamt about. Know exactly what you want in a car so that you can pay for the value you will use. Avoid paying more for features that seem cool at the moment but are not practical for your kind of lifestyle. Notably, make sure that all safety features are in place.  Always request a test drive so you can experience some of the features before buying. 

  4. Incentives such as trade-ins. Find out what different car dealers offer so you can settle on the best possible deal. Sometimes, a car owner may make more money by selling the car themselves, as dealers often value your car lower than if you sold it. Trading in may end up costing you more. 

  5. The price. You need to thoroughly research the price. Learn to negotiate and to ask for incentives. Don’t be shy, car dealerships are out to establish and maintain a good relationship with customers, so they will try their best to give you a competitive price. Feel free to show up with competitor prices so you can have more leverage. Remember to stick to your budget.

Factors That Affect a Car’s Resale Value

Selling vintage car

Most people do not intend to own their current car forever. Resales are a huge part of the car-buying ecosystem. It is a good idea to know what could affect your car’s resale value. Here are some potential suspects:

  1. Color. You best believe it! Yellow might be bright and sunny, but avoid having it on your car. If you want to do a paint job, stick to the basic favorites; black, white, navy, and silver. It is even better if you can maintain the original color the car came with. 

  2. Make/model. Your car model will fetch a better price if it is known for fuel efficiency and a  longer life span. Popular cars also sell faster than random, never-heard-of models. Take care of your car, regardless of the model, and keep it in good working order; that is what sells, anyway. 

  3. “Curb Appeal”. Aesthetics matter when it comes to resale value. No one wants to buy a beat-up, rugged car. If your car is getting visibly old, seek professional upholstery services and fix any rips, fade spots, bumps, and bruises before attempting to sell. Conduct repairs on the exterior as well. 

  4. Mileage. There is no way to go around this, but note that your car’s mileage, more often than not, will affect its resale value. Mileage determines the kind of wear and tear a car has experienced, so a higher mileage means a lower offer and vice versa. 

  5. Age.  Unless you are trying to resell a 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix, the age of your car can be a huge factor when reselling. Old cars that are not considered classics often struggle to sell at a ‘good’ price. Cars under 8 years fetch better prices on the resale market. 

  6. Modifications. Before you make any modifications, consider to which extent it will affect your resale price, and if the new owner would appreciate it as value addition. Modifications such as leather seats are an obvious plus and don’t interfere with the performance of the car. 

  7. Accident history. Driving carefully maintains your car’s ‘wellness’ and directly impacts your release value. It is important to share any accident history with the new owner. 

How to Take Care of a Classic Car

How to care for classic cars

To keep your classic car from ‘extinction’, maintain a care regimen for the car. Here are some practical tips to help you preserve your beauty for longer. 

  1. Keep your eye on the crucial areas of the car. Check the fluids and test the brake system often. Fix any issues in these areas as soon as they arise. Don’t drive the car if it has issues. To properly care for your brakes, purge them of air and dust once or twice per year. 

  2. Classic cars are prone to rust. Apply lubricant to areas where corrosion has happened and a paint job is not possible or appropriate.  A recommended lubricant is WD-40 as it effectively halts the spread of corrosive rust. Preventatively, keep your car away from water. 

  3. Drive your car regularly, listening for strange noises and trying to sense if there is anything oddly different. You need to learn your car well so you can detect issues fast. 

  4. Clean the car often and properly. Once you have driven it, do not put it back in storage before cleaning it well, both on the inside and the outside. Classic cars are more vulnerable to damage from dust, moisture, dirt, and other elements. 

  5. Avoid unnecessary modifications. You may be tempted to give the classic car a system overhaul in a bid to give it more power, improve efficiency, or get rid of its original weaknesses. This, however, may bring into question the integrity of the car’s authenticity and uniqueness. Steer clear of modifications that will overly modernize the classic car. Keep off modern engines or the latest infotainment unit. 

  6. Lastly, you need to find a suitable storage space that is well ventilated, dry with a consistent temperature, safe, and away from direct sunlight. 

Tips for Storing your Collector's Car

Storing your Collector's Car

  • Use a car cover to protect your classic from dust, moisture, and direct sunlight. 

  • Ensure your storage space has no leaky pipes or heat sources. Mold and fungi can find their way to your car. 

  • Don’t roll the window up. Air circulation is important to maintain freshness in the car. 

  • Chock the wheels instead of using the hand brake. Older car hand brakes tend to get stuck and forcefully freeing them can damage the car. 

  • Top up your fuel each time you drive to minimize condensation in the fuel tank. 

  • Whenever you plan to store the car for a long time, take off the wipers. They tend to collect moisture that can damage the car. 

  • If you plan to leave the car unused for weeks, it is best to take it out or simply disconnect the battery. 

  • Remove your tires and stack them somewhere if you are not planning to drive the car for more than a month. 

Conclusion

A car was a real luxury in 1969, and to afford the $3400 needed to purchase one, a regular person needed to work 911 hours. Ironically, the car is now very widely available even to common folk, yet it goes for 10 times the original price!