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RE: Interesting Catalog

To: "'Michael Porter'" <>,
Subject: RE: Interesting Catalog
From: Bill Babcock <>
Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2005 00:16:44 -0700
Nice math, as usual, Michael. But is it just me, or does that just look like
it's down in the area of rounding errors? And manufacturing costs for
ancient vintage cars can't have gone down much. I'm constantly astonished at
the low cost of trick parts for modern cars, or even just American V8's. 

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Michael Porter
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 9:26 PM
Subject: Re: Interesting Catalog wrote:

>In a message dated 10/8/05 7:06:50 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
> writes:
><< As I remember it was $100 for a complete Hepolite kit of four 
>pistons and sleeves 87mm. >>
>I went through a few sets back then.  One piston looked like a 30 OT 6 
>slug went through the top of it.  The distributor had screwed up and 
>kept right on advancing.
>In my opinion, these items cost about the same back then as they do today.

>The dollars were worth a lot more back then, and people made a lot 
>fewer dollars.

Cost has to be considered against purchasing power.  In 1957, the minimum
wage was $1/hr.  Accounting for inflation, one would have to make $6.80 to
have equivalent buying power today.  Since the minimum wage is now $5.15,
purchasing power is 75% of what it was in 1957.  The cost for a replacement
piston/liner set for wet-sleeve engines closest to stock is from BPNW (and
an 86mm set, at that, no 83mm set available) 
is $604.   So, in actuality, wages have increased 5.15 times since 1957, 
but prices have increased 6.05 times.  In 1957, 100 hours of labor bought a
piston/sleeve set, while in 2005, it requires 117 hours of labor to buy the
equivalent parts.  While manufacturing costs have gone down with improved
processes, in the U.S., purchasing power has declined at a greater rate.



Michael D. Porter
Roswell, NM

Never let anyone drive you crazy when you know it's within walking

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