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Cox Engine of The Month
February-2024
1/2A Nut's

"RC Speed Boat Power Drive TD .020"

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The Power of a Dollar. Empty The Power of a Dollar.

Post  batjac Tue Dec 13, 2022 9:10 pm

While doing more unpacking, this time of engines, I opened a box with two Spacebugs.  In the box was a Cox mini-catalog with the TD-1 on the front:

The Power of a Dollar. 20221213-203914


For the low, low price of 9.95 you could get a TD-1 sans engine.  With the engine it would cost you $15.99, and packed with all accessories in a gift box it would cost only 19.95.  Only.

I did a web search of the conversion from 1953 dollars into 2022 dollars.  I got between 10.44 to 11.15 times the 1953 price.  

That’s:

$103.88 to $110.94 for the plane without engine,
$166.52 to $177.84 for the plane with engine, and
$208.28 to $222.44 for the whole shebang.

The Time Warp Mark
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Post  GallopingGhostler Tue Dec 13, 2022 10:52 pm

Following is from the Cox 1953 Ad, upper right hand corner had the RTF info you mention, Mark. This is the lower half of the ad:
The Power of a Dollar. 1953_c10

For $3.95 then ($44.04 now), most of us would have opted for the cheaper Space Bug Jr. and a half-A CL kit for around $1.50 ($16.73 now), plus finishing materials.

When Leroy Cox went for the screw machines to mill bar stock into .049 crankcases, he was able to significantly drop the price. Goes to show how a little ingenuity went a long way, to drop the cost of the engines easily to half that of a decade earlier. Rudolph
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Post  rsv1cox Wed Dec 14, 2022 8:13 am

That's why I was buying the Space Bug Jr's for $2.95 and the Babe Bees for $3.95 back in the early 1950's instead of the more expensive engines.

At the time I was earning fifty cents an hour, five dollars for a ten hour day. It took most of a day to earn enough to buy an engine. When you start correcting for time it doesn't seem like much of a bargain.
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Post  GallopingGhostler Wed Dec 14, 2022 12:33 pm

rsv1cox wrote:That's why I was buying the Space Bug Jr's for $2.95 and the Babe Bees for $3.95 back in the early 1950's instead of the more expensive engines. At the time I was earning fifty cents an hour, five dollars for a ten hour day. It took most of a day to earn enough to buy an engine. When you start correcting for time it doesn't seem like much of a bargain.
Bob, I guess value is all per personal perspective. It is odd how at the time, we didn't think much to spend such. We didn't accumulate stuff then as we do now, plus with no Internet, seems we always had time to do. (You are doing a lot of good by concentrating on getting stuff done.) Thumbs Up

Speaking of inflation and similar wages, I was earning $1.25 per hour at Maile Poultry back in 1969 in high school. Then a year and half later, changed to Takahashi's in Waianae Valley for $1.40 per hour.

Then, the military hobby shops run by the Services Squadron (or Supply/Quartermasters Company) were basically selling engines IMO at wholesale plus a small surcharge, almost half that of retail. I bought a couple Babe Bee's, don't remember the cost now, probably a couple bucks, so long ago. It was the same for Scientific kits. Retail may be $7, but at the shops was around $4. (Later when I joined the Army in 1972, was earning $88 per month as a buck private.)

It was then in the late 1960's that I bought my prized Cox P-51B new parts RTF missing box, moveable elevator and rear fuselage bottom shell for less than $2 at Gemco's (similar to an early Walmart) outdoor tent sale in Waipahu. Finished missing parts in functional glued and cloth hinged in place sheet balsa, prepped and doped in OD to match. So proud of my work, still wished I had that model.
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