What do you think? Is "Cash For Clunkers" good for automobile collectors, restorers, and enthusiasts? Aside from new car sales, has it really helped anyone?
I've got to speak up on this one because it is an issue affecting nearly all of us. Have you ever noticed when government needs a scape goat it turns its attentions to automobiles? "Cash For Clunkers" looks good on the surface. It has stimulated new car sales and gotten some old gross polluters off the road. However, it is too reactionary in scope and threatens the supply of good used vehicles and parts. "Cash For Clunkers" doesn't take into account the need for good used parts for those who are unable to afford new vehicles. It also removes good, used vehicles from the used car pipeline with plenty of mileage left in them for people who cannot afford anything but a good used car. Someone explain to me where the little guy benefits from all this?
One Los Angeles news program interviewed a gentleman who was trading in his Ford Crown Victoria for a Toyota Corolla. The reporter claimed the guy's Crown Victoria was a gas guzzler. Define gas guzzler. On the open road, a full size Crown Victoria with fuel injected 4.6L SOHC V-8 gets around 18-23 mpg. Ford still builds them for fleets only in 2009. One cop I know says nothing out there handles extreme desert heat and the bad guys better than a Crown Victoria. They will top out around 150 mph and get good fuel economy for a large sedan. My '98 Ford F-150 Super Cab with the same engine still gets around 18-22 mpg highway depending on weather conditions and my driving technique - not bad for a pick-up truck with 185,000 miles on the odometer. It has never failed a smog check nor needed a major repair in 12 years. My truck is also on Washington's "Cash For Clunkers" gas guzzler list. Washington, there are quite a few of us who need pick-up trucks, full size sedans, sport utilities, and - yes - Mustangs. Did you know Mustang is also on the "Cash For Clunkers" list as a gas guzzler? Government and commerce continue trying to decide what we need and don't need, typically for their own personal gain - and rarely do these programs work out for the good of everyone concerned.
Another Los Angeles news program ran a spot on what happens to these "Cash For Clunkers" trade-ins. Vehicles not even 10 years old have their engines and transmissions destroyed so they cannot be used again, yet everything else on the vehicle goes into the used parts supply line. Car dealer mechanics drain all fluids out, then, pour some gross concoction into the crankcase and run the engine until it locks up. The waste and uselessness in that went under my skin because how is this process environmentally friendly when it creates waste? What's wrong with putting a perfectly good engine and transmission back into service that will enable someone who is struggling to make ends meet get to work - or perhaps look for a job?
What about people who cannot afford a new car where a $4500.00 allowance doesn't mean a hill of beans anyway? What about car collectors and restorers who might need that engine or transmission for a car project?
Lets hear from you, Mustang Monthly readers at www.mustangmonthly.com or Jim.Smart@sorc.com. What do you think about "Cash For Clunkers"? Why are you for it? Why are you against it?