RIDE-CT: New Car Ads In Old Newspapers At “Unbelievable” Prices

By Bud Wilkinson /

HARWINTON, CT – Bruce Richard’s mother passed away nearly three years ago but it was only recently when going through some of her things that he made a discovery. “I opened up this box and there was this plastic bag in there. I looked inside the plastic bag and I found all these old newspapers,” he said Friday.

There was a “New York Journal-American” dated March 18, 1951. The newspaper was a blue collar broadsheet owned by Hearst Corporation that lasted from 1937 to 1966. There was also a “Hartford Courant” from May 19, 1963.

Sports section from “New York Journal-American”

As a classic car lover who owns a 1941 Studebaker Commander, Richard found his eyes focusing not on the stories in the newspapers but on the advertisements. “As I started flipping through, I saw all of these old car ads,” he said.

The “Journal-American” had a large ad for Dodge that promised “engineering advancements” resulting in “greater value than ever.”

Dodge ad in “Journal American”

“The Hartford Courant” had ads for such local dealers as Lipman Rambler and Calvin Ford. New Ramblers ranged in price from $1,695 to $2,295. Barberino Rental Corp. was offering a lease on a 1963 Cadillac “for as little as $159.50 per month.”

Lipman Rambler ad in the “Hartford Courant”
Calvin Ford ad in the “Hartford Courant”

Other ads in the newspaper touted Goodyear, Firestone and Allstate tires. A set of four new Goodyear tires could be purchased for as little as $38.48 for blackwalls and $49.50 for whitewalls. Allstate tires from Sears sold for as little as $8.45 plus tax.

Goodyear tire ad in the “Hartford Courant”
Allstate tire ad in the “Hartford Courant”

Richard found the prices for new and used cars to be “unbelievable,” and lamented he wasn’t around at the time with the money to snag a few. “I would have bought 10 of ’em and put ’em away,” he declared.

Bruce Richard and his 1941 Studebaker Commander

Bruce Richard talks about finding the old newspapers in this RIDE-CT video…

Subscribe to RIDE-CT’s YouTube channel for classic car stories and more.

About Bud Wilkinson

Bud Wilkinson writes the "RIDE-CT" motorcycle column and the "My Ride" classic car feature in the "Republican-American" newspaper in Waterbury, CT. A graduate of Vermont Academy prep school, he holds a B.A. degree journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University. He is the recipient of a Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award in 1992 and a 1991-92 regional Emmy Award for commentary. He currently rides a 1987 BMW R 80 RT and a 2014 Triumph Bonneville and drives a 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Leave a Reply