TIME WARP

Go back to 1985 and the base Corolla was only $8430

Fraser Faithfull, Warburton, Vic

Looking way back at car prices (Redline, February) is interesting, but is the 20-year comparison really that helpful?

Sure, a Corolla was $22,870 in 1995 and costs about the same or a little less now, but if you go back another 10 years the base Corolla was only $8430.

What changed over that 10-year period was the big drop in the value of the Australian dollar. Floated in late 1983 with a value of US90c, the Aussie sank below US60c by mid-’86, giving manufacturers an excuse to put a rocket under prices. For example, a Porsche 911 Carrera went from $61,439 in May 1985 to $134,822 in December 1987 and on to $179,200 by July 1993.

Toyota seemed confident in the early 1990s that punters would shell out whatever price they slapped on their Corollas and Camrys. Little did they realise that aggressive pricing opened up a yawning chasm for an upstart Korean manufacturer to march in: Hyundai.

Now there’s a value story for a rainy day.

Go back to 1985 and the base Corolla was only $8430