CASH FOR CLUNKERS ET AL ?

19. January 2010, 17:22 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

The “Cash for Clunkers” program in the United States ran last summer and resulted in 700,000 government subsidized trade-ins. The new cars were, theoretically, more fuel efficient by about an average of 58% (which may not be accurate due to speculations regarding the inflation of EPA fuel saving by auto manufacturers). Of equal interest to car enthusiasts is how many units of significant interest, collectibility or otherwise noteworthy models were turned in by misguided individuals and were subsequently destroyed.

Some of the more interesting units turned in included:

  • 11 Porsches (various models)
  • 2 Ford SHO (original models with Yamaha built V-6)
  • 1 2005 Mazda RX-8
  • 123 Chevrolet Corvettes (1984-1995 models)
  • 3 Mitshubishi 3000GT Spyders ($64,449 when new)
  • 76 Mercedes-Benz 500 and 560SL roadsters (1986-1992 with original prices from $48,200 to $106,945)

And unbelievably a 1997 Aston Martin Volante whose price when new was a whopping $146,530. (All prices shown are in US dollars.)

Others ranged from a TVR 280i to BMW 3 and 5 series, to high end SUV’s.

These cars were worth far more than the incentives received and in some cases were valuable collectors items in their own right. Properly tuned and maintained they were as cost effective and fuel efficient as newer vehicles. At one time a “clunker” was a car that was ready to fall apart , mechanically or bodywise. Now it seems it’s anything the government (or those with more money than brains) simply want to dispose of.

I don't know about you, but I'd have paid the owner of that Volante the government stipend +10% for it. Talk about a waste.

Statistics drawn from Car And Driver, UpFront, February 2010, pp 26.

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