1947project Podcast #13, January 2008

The LA true crime geeks riff on cases from January 1927, including the tale of Bad Bert Best, Mr. Wrigley’s oceanic marathon, the case of the twisted wrist and a near-deadly love triangle. Crimebo shares his economic stimulus package with guest experts Philip Marx and Big Dicky Swazy, plus there are odd ads from the school district, city zoo and the Progressive Party. It’s fun fun fun and gore gore gore for you and yours. Listen at iTunes or Archive.org.

Cheap Thrills

ten dollar car headline

June 25, 1927
Los Angeles

Johnston car

Mr. H. Johnston has just completed a nine day journey along the National Old Trails Highway from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. Amazingly, he made the cross-country trip in his $10 dollar 1919 Ford! His total expenses, including gasoline, meals, lodging, and one minor $3 repair to the Ford was a miserly $55 ($657.31 USD 2007).

Impressive? Absolutely! But, future dwellers, while we shake our heads in wonderment at how inexpensive it was to live in 1927 America, let’s put on our time travel goggles and look at this feat from a different perspective.

If Mr. H. Johnston went out today and purchased an entry level 2007 Toyota Prius ($22,175.00) it would cost him $265,015.46 in 1927 dollars. Gasoline for the hybrid would take a bite out of his budget to the tune of about $35.83 per gallon!

Nine nights at a Motel 6 (at $69.99 per night) would set Mr. Johnston back a whopping $7,528.14. And that’s if he didn’t rent any movies. At these prices he may lose his appetite, but a man has to eat. Let’s give Mr. Johnston a total food budget of $45 to visit a drive-thru of his choice once each day – that translates into $537.80 in current dollars for burgers, fries and sodas.

Get out your calculators and we’ll do a back-of-the-envelope estimate for Mr. Johnston’s trek in the strange 2007 time machine. The nine day vacation would now cost him approximately $275,052.25.

Your mileage may vary.