New chevrolet for sale $659.00 —- what a dream

Can you imagine buying a new Chevrolet car for $659? You could in 1940. Of course, that was still quite a bit of money at the time when you consider minimum wage was only 30 cents per hour.

From Life Magazine December 11, 1939


Here are some other typical prices for common items.

Milk: 34 cents/gal
Eggs: About 45 cents a dozen and $1 for 26 eggs.
Bread: 8 cents/loaf
Postage Stamp: 3 cents
Car: $800
Gasoline: 18 cents/gal
Move Ticket~24 cents
House: $6,550
Average Annual Salary: $1,900
Minimum Wage: 30 cents per hour

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Compare them to 2012 prices

Gallon of Milk~ $3.53 (American Farm Bureau Federation)
Dozen Eggs~ $2.68 (American Farm Bureau Federation)
Loaf of bread~ $1.95 (American Farm Bureau Federation)
U.S. Postage Stamp~ 45 cents
New Car Price~ $30,748 (
Gallon of Gas~ $3.38 (US Dept. of Energy)
Movie Ticket~ $7.93 (NY Times)
Price of new house~ $234,500 (
Average Annual Salary~$63,091 per year. (according to
Minimum wage: $8.00 – $9.00 (each state is different)

Using beautiful women to advertise new cars was just as common in 1939 as it is today.

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