Fuel-Inefficient, Maybe, but Hardly Clunkers
Some marquee rides saw the end of the road with the Cash for Clunkers program
We've looked at the federal Cash for Clunkers program from a few angles now: Who won and who lost; auto dealer malfeasance; how consumers responded after the deal was over. But it was Lawrence Ulrich's earlier post, asking why some perfectly useful vehicles are forced to the trash heap along with the junkers, that has the most resonance with this article from AutoWeek -- because, good Lord, did you realize people were sending some marquee vehicles to the scrap pile?
And not just home-grown muscle cars like Camaros, Mustangs and Corvettes -- though plenty of those saw the business end of a compactor. As cool as some of those are, they're pretty common over here. No, instead, we're talking about luxury rides like a 10-year-old Mercedes C43 AMG and a Jaguar XK8 convertible from 2000, not to mention a BMW M3 and M5 (both from 1991). We're also mourning Maserati, in the form of a 1989 222E, four (four!) 1985 Biturbos and an '85 Quattroporte.
The real show-stoppers (or former show stoppers, as it were), though, were a prestigious pair: A 1997 Aston Martin DB7 Volante and a Bentley Continental R.
The Aston Martin is (as Astons tend to be) a beautiful, powerful vehicle; the Bentley, on the other hand, is an icon -- as Bentleys tend to be, since, according to the company, a full 70 percent of all produced are still on the road.
Of course, any or all of these could have been truly horrific, unreliable, broken-down clunkers for which the owner got a good deal and some help on a reliable new vehicle. In our minds, however, we can't help but seeing the same gleaming machines that so many of us hope to find, at a steal, in someone's garage or at auction, heading to the crusher, never to be driven again.
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