• Sep 24, 2009

Cash for Clunkers claimed some really interesting vehicles - Was a Buick GNX among them?

Mixed reaction has surrounded the government's Cash for Clunkers program, but after spending around $2.8 billion, some 700,000 new vehicles have found homes. But what got traded in? We've heard some horror stories, but now that the full list of executed vehicles has been released on the Cars.gov website and we've listed some of the oddities we found while snooping around. Many are down right hard to believe, suggesting either errors in the submission process, typos in the list or even some fudging by dealers who clunked a few vehicles that weren't eligible. After the jump is a list of "Clunkers" that stood out. We can't guarantee these all really went to the crusher, but they do appear on the list.

Follow the jump for a recap of the program's eligibility requirements for trade-in vehicles and our full list. And we'd suggest having a box of tissues nearby.

[Source: Cars.gov]

We've outlined the rules of the government's Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009 (CARS) program before, but we think a refresher is warranted before you browse the list below. Customers were able to bring in an old "clunker" no older than model year 1984 that got, at most, 18 mpg if they were buying a new vehicle with better mpg. That trade-in had to be in running condition and insured for at least one year prior to the trade. A rebate of $3,500-$4,500 for the trade was applied towards a new car purchase based on the difference in mpg between the old and the new vehicle. Dealers did most of the work, verifying the eligibility of the traded vehicle and seeing to it that the old cars were properly disposed of. That included disabling the engine and guaranteeing the cars were shredded before the government refunded the money.

NOTE: We find it hard to believe that many vehicles in the list below were actually destroyed through the Cash for Clunkers program, and while they may be officially on the list, their inclusion is more likely explained by an error in the submission process, typos or dealerships that managed to game the system.


Individual Vehicles
  • 1987 Buick ASC GNX
  • 1997 Aston Martin DB7 Volante
  • 1997 Bentley Continental R
  • 1989 20th Anniversary Pontiac Trans Am
  • 1992 GMC Typhoon (no!)
  • 1985 Audi Quattro
  • 1992 BMW 850i
  • 2006 Audi A4 Convertible
  • 2006 Cadillac STS
  • 2008 Foose F-150 (2)
  • 2007 GMC Acadias (3)
  • 2008 Hyundai Accent (see above)
  • 2006 Nissan 350Z Roadster
  • 2006 Roush Stage 3 F-150 (2)
  • 2006 Toyota Corolla
  • 2005 Mazda RX-8
  • 2002 Kia Spectra
  • 1988 Aurora Cobra kit car
  • 1996 Buick Funeral Coaches/Hearses
  • 1987 Duntov GT
  • 1987 Excalibur Autos Phaeton
  • 1990 Honda CRX (Less than 18 mpg?)
  • 1985 Maserati Quattroporte
  • 1999 Mercedes C43 AMG
  • 1985 TVR 280i convertible

Groupings
  • (18) Audi S4 and S6
  • (31) AM General postal vehicles
  • (24) Alfa Romeo 164
  • (60) AMC Eagle
  • (53) Audi A8
  • (3,500+) BMWs including an M3, M5, Z3, 850i and (3) 740il Protection
  • (52) Cadillac Allante
  • (15) Cadillac Commercial Chassis/Limousines
  • (1,007) Chevy Camaro
  • (97) Chevy Corvette
  • (5) AWD Chrysler 300
  • (17) Chrysler Conquest
  • (39) Chrysler TC by Maserati
  • (3) Dodge Conquest
  • (6) Dodge Daytona
  • (210) Dodge Stealth
  • (16) Eagle Talon
  • (2) Federal Coach Lincoln Limo
  • (2) Ford Aspire (didn't these things get like 30 mpg?)
  • (855) Ford Crown Victoria CNG
  • (917) Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
  • (14) USPS Ford Explorer
  • (24) Ford F-150 SVT Lightning
  • (1,611) Ford Mustang (so Mustang beats Camaro here)
  • (107) Ford Taurus SHO (don't tell Neff)
  • (15) Isuzu Vehicross
  • (1,047) Jaguars including (9) XJR, (2) XK8 and (96) XJS
  • (3) Laforza SUV
  • (6) Maseratis including a Biturbo and the 1985 Quattroporte
  • (373) Mazda RX-7
  • (5,000+) Mercedes-Benz including (142) SL, (3) S600, a 1994 E500, a 1992 500E, 1995 C36 and 1999 C43
  • (26) Merkur Scorpio and (21) XR4Ti
  • (187) Mitsubishi 3000GT
  • (3) Mitsubishi Eclipse and (4) Starion
  • (2) 1984 Nissan 200SX, (2) 1994 240SX and (381) 300ZX
  • (1,935) Oldsmobile Aurora
  • (22) Peugeot
  • (87) Pontiac Aztek (more please), (61) Fiero and (569) Firebird/Trans Am/Formula
  • (6) Porsche 928 including (2) S4
  • (6) Porsche 944
  • (597) Saab
  • (3) Saturn
  • (20) Sterling
  • (173) Subaru including (123) SVX
  • (327) Toyota Supra, including (4) final generation


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 135 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      DB7!? I would have just said to the guy, "Heres $5000."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hopefully some of the cars were frame damage, rusted out, and/or flood vehicles. Otherwise, some of those M3's, rx7's, and 944's are missed-opportunity race cars :(
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope those 300zx were either the convertible or the 2+2 non turbo. I don't really like the car but the Chrysler TC by Masaratti a pretty rare car, and from what I have seen worth 7k. There was a guy in my HS who had a red Laforza SUV, the guys was kind of dumb, but he knew how much he car was worth at the time.

      Honestly, I don't get it, some of these cars are worth over 10k. So WHY THE HELL would you trade it in to only get $4500 if your lucky, when your car maybe worth at least 2.5 times that? I feel sick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Laforza is in the Pick Your Part in Wilmington, Ca; near Long Beach. It's red.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And this is why government programs like these frustrate the hell out of me. I have early '90s car that was listed at getting 22mpg and it currently has over 215,000 miles on it, and is beginning to rust out in the back, yet it didn't qualify, and it would have actually helped me since I'm looking to buy a new car soon.

      However, some douche bags that bought gas guzzlers, get rewarded for their bad choices and dump cars that are in a few cases listed above, only 2-3 years old (!!!).

      /rant.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those monsters!!! AND MORONS!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        I weep.
      • 5 Years Ago
      :( I want one 300ZX Twin-Turbo, and some others, they will live a better life in my hands, I'm sure, they would even say so if they talked....
      • 5 Years Ago
      You mean a federal program that dolled out money was abused? Gasp!
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL @ Leclerc.

        Right back at you, twerp.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea Thomas, they are both shady and inept. STFU already.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Private corporations tend to guard their money more closely for 1 key reason: its their money.

        Its no secret that Government programs throughout history are a model for waste and fraud. If you believe anything else you are living in la-la land.
        • 5 Years Ago
        except when it's your money that you've invested. madoff. that's all i'll say.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Luis

        'except when it's your money that you've invested. madoff. that's all i'll say.'

        You missed one big point. He went to jail. Which is more than you can say for 99% of our politicians that waste money. Nice try though. Let us know when you get a clue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because private companies don't abuse consumers. At least with the Fed records are more open and available for scrutiny, unlike private corporations that aren't required to reveal their dirty secrets on how they swindle you and me.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I guarantee you that if the Fed had "contracted out" C4C waste, fraud and abuse would've been much worse.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yup. Our wonderful federal government ... and car dealers.

        What a wonderful combination of inept and shady, spending 2.8 Billion.

        Barf.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "You mean a federal program that dolled out money was abused?"

        How does this indicate the program was abused?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This list is bogus. The cars had to be older than a 2001 to qualify
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're confused. Cat 3 work trucks had to be that old; they were never rated for MPG. Anything that had an EPA estimate was not limited on the new end.
      Lawrence Phoenix
      • 5 Years Ago
      READ THE HEADING ON THE NHTSB'S LIST...IT CLEARLY STATES THE TRADE-INS LISTED WERE JUST ENTRIES FROM THE DEALERS ONTO THE NHTSB'S COMPUTER...DID NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL CONSUMATED DEALS...WATCHA' GOT IS SOME BORED SALESMEN SCREWIN' AROUND WITH THE DEALERSHIPS COMPUTER...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Lawrence Phoenix
        Lawrence Phoenix,

        One problem is that the CARS.GOV website even has the Hyundai Accent listed as eligible yet the epa.gove website shows it as a combined 28mpg even with the auto transmission...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I bet some of these cars were in collisions, bad collisions, during the program. And the owner had the wreaked car towed to the dealer and cash for clunkered it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They wouldn't have qualified then.

        The cars had to be in running condition and had to be insured and registered in the owner's name for a year prior to the trade.

        Not saying that ddn't happen, but it goes against the rules laid out by the C4C program.
      • 5 Years Ago
      how is 2002 Kia Spectra an oddity??
      • 5 Years Ago
      There's no way people could be so stupid. Oh wait, there is. I guess a non-car enthusisist wouldn't care what their car meant to the world, just worried about the 45-hondo back for their "clunker"...jeesh!
    • Load More Comments