Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

More Galleries
Super Bowl 50 ads are studded with celebrities The 2016 Super Bowl has rolled out the red carpet for the likes of Helen Mirren, Amy Schumer, Seth Rogen, Steven Tyler and the late, great Marilyn Monroe. More
The women of marijuana These women entrepreneurs and executives are making their mark in the marijuana industry. More
Most expensive collector cars from the Scottsdale auctions These are the most expensive collector cars sold at the Scottsdale auctions. More

Special Offer
4 of 10
BACK NEXT
Vacation - 1983
Vacation - 1983
  • Cost of gas in 1983: $1.20/gallon
  • 2008 inflation adj. cost: $2.59/gallon
  • Actual 2008 cost: $3.83/gallon
  • When the Griswolds embarked on their ill-fated trip in 1983, they drove their Wagonqueen Family Truckster about 2,000 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles.

    What was really a Ford LTD Crown Vic wagon loaded down with kids, dog and a dead aunt, couldn't have gotten more than 20 miles to the gallon, roughly based on estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Gas prices were much cheaper back then. Peter Beutel, energy analyst for Cameron Hanover, remembers paying $1.20 a gallon for gasoline back in 1983. "I'd be willing to bet that they could have found a place that charged them $1.10, if they were willing to drive around," he said.

    That's $2.39 to $2.59 per gallon, when adjusted for inflation, compared with the current average record-high price of $3.83 per gallon, according to AAA. The Griswolds would burn about 100 gallons of gas to get to Walley World, costing them $383 at today's prices, compared with a 1983 range of $239 to $259.

    But we'll never know the true cost of a Walley World vacation, because in the end, the park was closed. And as Ellen Griswold pointed out to Clark, "Everything on this safari has already cost us twice as more then you figured out."

    NEXT: Mr. T's gold - 1983

    Last updated May 23 2008: 3:58 PM ET