I think you are kind of rounding up or down at each step to make it seem a little closer. Based on some window sticker searches, the ITR was selling for about 24.3k in 2000 which is more like $43k in 2023 dollars. The 1997 model was a little cheaper. $43k actually sounds somewhat reasonable for the ITR, but the CTR is already that much. IMO the CTR should be like $35k and the ITR should be about $40k. $52k for a FWD hatchback is ludicrous.
Not sure if you've checked the economy but money isn't worth anything anymore. Friends and I were talking recently about how a six-figure salary is basically required to own a house and raise kids as our blue-collar parents did, even in Ohio.
I'd rather have a relatively rare and special car for $52k than a bare-bones BMW 3-series that gets lost in a Target parking lot for $52k. I don't care if the hatch isn't as nice, it's an experience, and we millennials love experiences.