Lyle Lundeen, an 89-year-old retired Navy pilot who lives in Bloomington, found an old palm-sized notebook that brought back some memories -- and some signs of the wrench inflation has thrown into road trips. His parents kept track of costs on a 1940 drive from Minneapolis to California. Cabins were $2. Gas was as cheap as 15-cents a gallon.
According to his calculations, the whole trek for four cost less than $120 for gas, "eats" and lodging.
Ace Star Tribune copy editor Bruce Adomeit put the somewhat staggering figures into context:
According to the inflation calculator at www.minneapolisfed.org, $118.95 in 1940 dollars for the California trip is equivalent to $2,002.03 in today’s money.
Gas in Salt Lake City at 20 cents a gallon sounds dirt cheap, but that equals $3.37 a gallon in today’s dollars. www.saltlakegasprices.com shows that Saturday’s average price in Salt Lake City was less than that: $3.266.