Talking car prices 3-4 years ago is not blowing smoke around. Saying 10-15 years ago, sure. But there is a specific reason for the price hike, not a growing economy. It's lack of inventory due to the plants being closed for extended time and now the chip shortage. Inflation is real, and it's sky high. It is indeed wasting money. Why on Earth would anybody buy a car that is now on its 7th model year for $25k more than it was when new? If the Scat Pack Widebody would have been released in 2015 or 2016 it would not have cost anywhere near what they're going for now. $10k for fender flares and wider tires?Non-WB Scat Pack, I would agree. You're going to have a hard to time getting out the door with an optioned WB for under $50K. Sale price alone, with few options..sure, you could probably be under $50k. You'll still be well over that by the time you add taxes and fees on. The larger displacement Charger's (SP & HC) tend to hold their value very well, especially if it is an optioned car. So, even IF you were "wasting" money up front... it could still end up being cheaper than purchasing a freshly released competing car.
I'd hate to say it..but things are only going to keep going up in price. Yes, there will be periods of extreme lows or highs but the overall trend is going to remain. Talking vehicle prices from 3-4 years ago is really just blowing smoke around. I remember when I was younger, you could walk into a gas station and be WELL under $2 for a pop and candy bar. Is that at all relevant for today? I have a buddy who picked up a new RT a few years ago (with power dollars, I believe) and he was sitting around $39k.
And actually, prior to this economic disaster, the Chargers value was average, and deals could be found everywhere. You could find used Scat Packs for upper 20s. Good luck finding anything in remotely good shape for that now.
If your buddy bought a new R/T 5.7, "a few years ago" and it wasn't completely optioned out at $39k, then he is a dope.
And no car prices aren't going to stay that way. Do some reading. In about a year (hopefully) everything will start to level out. You won't be paying $5k over MSRP on new Chargers, and used car prices will return to market average.
As someone else posted, those who are paying $50k+ for a 392 right now, especially those financing for 7+ years and little to no equity are going to be in for a rude awakening.
I mean do what you like, it's not my money, I just don't see how people can't see through everything that is going on right now. Paying a few thousand more over the course of 7 years, sure, give 3% for your usual inflation rate over that time, but $20,000.00 more for the same car?? Absolutely insane. This isn't the late 80s,.. yet.