Re: [CR] Gloria Prices, 1932

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Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 07:53:13 -0800
To: verktyg <>, Kevin Moran <>, <>
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Gloria Prices, 1932

At 1:05 AM -0800 2/11/10, verktyg wrote:
>Between 1927 and 1934 the Italian Lira was pegged to the US Dollar
>at the rate of 19L = $1.00.
>In 1932 one US Dollar had $14.79 worth of 2010 buying power.
>So, if my calculations are correct, 600L would be worth about $467
>in today's money. But, don't forget to add in exchange rate charges,
>hidden bank fees, CEO bonuses and so on...
> >

It's hard to establish the value something represented in the past - usually, it's best to compare it to average wages. $ 467 isn't much to most Americans today, but probably was a fortune to an Italian worker in 1932. If you look at disposable income (after food and lodging are paid), the differences are even more stark.

Furthermore, exchange rates have changed tremendously. The U.S. dollar used to be worth a lot internationally, and imports were inexpensive for Americans. In 1965, an American college student could afford the Cinelli Supercorsa shown in "The Competition Bicycle," which back then cost $ 235 (with all top-of-the-line parts).

What about a German student? If you take that in Deutschmarks, you get DM 940. A 1965 German college student would have been hard-pressed to spend that much on a bike.

By 1978, the exchange rate had halved. Unfortunately, that didn't make Cinellis more affordable for Germans, but it probably doubled the price for Americans, even when adjusted for inflation. Today, an average college student would have a hard time buying a top-of-the-line Italian racing bike, even one made in Taiwan like a Pinarello Prince.

I only could study in the U.S. after the dollar had lost even more of its value as a result of the 1980s budget deficits... Before, the U.S. was unaffordable for European students, but vice versa, travel in Europe was cheap for Americans.

Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 2116 Western Ave. Seattle WA 98121