• Aug 15th 2009 at 8:42AM
  • 14

We heard a while back that charities that rely on donated cars to fund their projects were some of the groups that helped implement the 18 mpg upper limit for passenger vehicles that qualify for C.A.R.S. (Cash for Clunkers). Turns out that the 25-year-old limit was also influenced by self-interested groups. Antique auto parts suppliers and car collectors – through their lobbyists – convinced Congress that exempting vehicles more than two-and-a-half decades old was the right move because scrapping the old cars would destroy the market for aftermarket parts for classic cars. But is every car from 1980 a classic? No, so there are a lot of real clunkers out there that can't be recycled using C.A.R.S. the way its regulated now.

Still, the clunkers program is a success. The word on the street is that Ford has increased production of the Focus (pictured) at the Wayne Assembly Plant to meet increased demand for the car. So that's something.



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  • 14 Comments
      • 7 Months Ago
      wincros: "People should be able do with their own car what they will unless they hurt others by doing something like abandoning it beside the road."

      True but should just anything be encouraged? The infringement of liberty you are proposing is nonexistent. No one is preventing someone with a non-qualifying clunker from disposing of it in any way they please. Junk yards still pay by the pound if nothing else. In fact thinning out the
      • 7 Months Ago
      When scrap and metal drives during WWII collected cars and rubber textiles and ceramics it created a scarcity that made some artifacts vanish while those that remained became more valuable.

      One of the points for cash to clunkers is cleaning up the air. Why not have the program focus on pre1975 when Cat converters began?
      • 7 Months Ago
      "...One of the points for cash to clunkers is cleaning up the air. Why not have the program focus on pre1975 when Cat converters began?"

      The follow article is one of many that explains that a cash-for-clunkers program is nothing to do with the environment. It is just marketed that way. When one counts the cost of manufacturing a new vehicle, the cost for carbon and other pollutant reduction, is woefully high. The cash-for-clunkers is a tax in disguise, a Christmas present to the car manufacturers and to those who actually have a car that qualifies. Methinks this goes against the 1776 Constitution.


      http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/03/10/scrap-it/
      • 7 Months Ago
      I tend to think that if a person owns a car that is over 25 years old and it is not already worth more than the cash for clunkers price it has no special interest and will never be worth anything. People should be able do with their own car what they will unless they hurt others by doing something like abandoning it beside the road.

      What is ironic is that some rich collectors and business men who trade in old cars, and who are probably Republicans, decided it was good to take some liberty and money away from owners of old cars most of which would bring little more than salvage price in return for their possible interest in a tiny fraction of those cars sometime in the vague future. Amazing that they always seem to get what they want and the little guy gets the shaft.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Come on seb, where's the rest of the article :)

        • 7 Months Ago
        That's it. But It should be titled, "QUICK Cash for Clunkers update: 25-year limit keeps clunkers on the road, Ford boosts Focus production".
      • 7 Months Ago
      (Supposedly an email was sent for me to confirm but that never happened so here we go again...)

      This is a complete failure of logic. This would only make sense if 'clunkers' were in short supply which I think we'll all agree is not the case, especially after these last few weeks! Declaring what is or isn't a "classic" is highly subjective (see any classic car forum for raging debates) and even if it wasn't it would be unnecessarily laborious to add to the legislation. The KISS principle is severely lacking in the legislature and should be encouraged, not shunned! You know there's someone stupid and/or desperate enough and a dealer greedy enough to clunkify the rarest of classics. Far better that some 'clunkers' miss out than to risk something stupid happening.

      There are too many way-too-powerful lobby groups representing causes that are frequently counter to the greater good (e.g. oil, military, agribusiness, pick-an-industry) but they exist for a reason: the minority gets screwed in a pure majority-decides system. This is a perfect example of lobbies actually working as they should, a reasonable compromise that comes out well for everyone!
        • 7 Months Ago
        "There are too many way-too-powerful lobby groups representing causes that are frequently counter to the greater good"

        Who determines what is the greater good? Isn't that why we elect politicians, to represent us? If you don't like what your pol is doing vote them out. Everyone belongs to a special interest group, I assume yours is green tech.
      • 7 Months Ago
      I think America has too many special-interest groups.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Throwback: "Who determines what is the greater good? Isn't that why we elect politicians, to represent us? If you don't like what your pol is doing vote them out. Everyone belongs to a special interest group, I assume yours is green tech."

      I don't disagree, we have no one to blame but ourselves for being taken in by politicians who do things we don't like but we vote them in anyway because they push the right buttons on the emotional issues. On top of that we vote with our dollars for the corporations who form the "too-powerful" lobbies which may seek the good of the few over the many.
      • 7 Months Ago
      new format. they create the title, you write the article.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Whoops. Working on getting this fixed. Hold tight.
      • 7 Months Ago
      The 25 year limit is a very good part of the legislation, no matter who asked for it to be put in.

      1) It stops a bunch of whining about "Classic Cars" being crushed when some completely rusted out Mustang or Nova with trashed interior and an engine that barely runs and a slipping tranny that is worth $500 bucks gets crushed. We've got enough whiners out there without them bitching about rolling basket cases that just happen to be 25+ years old getting wacked.

      2) Any 25 year old car getting less than 18 mpg that isn't enough of a classic, or in good enough shape to have a value over $3500-4500, is probably destined for the crusher soon enough anyways. Let them die a natural death.

      3) The point is to get rid of cars that a daily drivers and running through gas. There are quite a few 25+ year old cars that are not used as daily drivers. The 25 year limit keeps these cars that are not being used for daily drivers from being traded in under this program. They aren't the cars that need to be taken off the road, since many don't spend much time on the road anyways.

      4) There are so many cars under 25 years old that qualify, that there is no real need to go back any further.
      • 7 Months Ago
      The problem is, who decides what's a classic? I'm sure to most people, a Mercury Cougar Wagon is just a heap, but to a Cougar enthusiast, it's a rare and strange collectable.
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