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August 27, 2009

L.A. Times: All Old Cars are Dirty, Need to be Crushed

By Dan Strohl


I’ve received a few emails about a recent L.A. Times story that’s been making the rounds with a quote from YT in it, defending the 25-year exemption inserted into the federal cash for clunkers program, thanks to SEMA’s lobbying efforts. For the story, Ralph Vartabedian and Ken Bensinger rounded up a bunch of folks who thought their VW Beetles should qualify for cash for clunkers and used those stories to question the 25-year exemption.

Aside from the libertarian who claims that destroying older vehicles immediately results in increased values for the remaining vehicles (attrition-induced rarity != valuable, as any Vega owner can attest), the authors also support limitless crushing of old cars with some dubious-sounding stats from the California Air Resources Board that claim a 1965 Chevrolet Malibu produces 400 times the smog-forming pollutants of a 2010 Malibu. Continue reading over at Hemmings.


Sep 14, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I can see taking, most the 80′s thur 07′Plastic warp around cars, with their plastic interiors, miles of electrical wirings, computers and melting them down,how much metal is left over ?,not a whole lot.In the 60′s we shipped out all the metal we could load on trains and cargo ship’s bound for the far east,so they can be resold to us in the forms of their new cars. So we sell natural resources to other countries, repurchase their products, and wonder why we are in the shape we are currently in? It is easier for me ,to let go of the new plastic Cars, than it is a classic car, which still commands a strong market place, around the world. I have two plastic 4cyl cars that I drive and have
70′s Muscle Car. that I restored,ground up,but not to have it crushed so I can buy a govt. company car,that might or might not stick around for the long run. I guess I’m a chrome,metal,fabric, kind of a guy ,that
doesn’t really like the plastic cars that much,cause when they catch fire
they really burn like crazy,and most appear to be cookie cutters in shape, that blend in so well in traffic they appear to be of same styling,
with minor changes. Though there are exceptions here and there. overall
dull surprize in what’s available.We need some fresh Idea’s to go forward…

Sep 12, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I like the idea but also hate it because it is destroying car history but also where im from they dont crush the cars they blow the engine up which is ashame but they put the rest of the car in a junk yard or a Pick n Pull and let ppl buy parts off it for there own cars.

Sep 12, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I don’t like this program at all sorry to say. If they said yeah we take your old car and give you some money on it so you can buy a new one cool..But I wish that they would just sell the old car in a used lot for ppl that can’t afford a NEW car.. I mean NOT everyone in the world can just give up there old car and just dive into getting a new one.
I mean I pay 184.00 a month for my camaro I would love to get me a new camaro buy they would like about 400+ a month. That would just not work at all for me or other ppl alike. I also hate the thought of trashing a motor with good parts to b used on a simular car.

Sep 11, 2009 at 9:23 am

Cash for clunkers is a hilarious program. After what happened, do you really think that our government could run anything else after they couldn’t even run a simple car program. I think not!

Sep 6, 2009 at 3:46 pm


Sep 6, 2009 at 8:43 am

Sold my 1996 Z28.
Ran perfect, & looked great.
Red,T-tops,blk leather.
Trade it in on an 09 kia rio.
How unamerican?

Seems kinda backwords?

Sep 6, 2009 at 3:38 am

Besides why trash them like that they have plenty of good parts to use.

Sep 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Okay.. I have a Saleen S121 as a daily driver, so I get the whole “MPG” thing, but I assure you my F350 CrewCab Dually and Lincoln limo, both with 460′s, are going nowhere.. Theres no replacement for displacement.. And that is besides the fact that there is just something fundamentally wrong with taking a late model performance vehicle and toasting the engine on it on purpose, for no other reason than not to be able to use it in anything else.. How many of these destroyed vehicles drivetrains could have found new life in a classic Mustang or Firebird or Challenger, etc? What a colossal waste of resources and automotive history..

Sep 4, 2009 at 10:52 am

idk about anyone else but my caddy isnt running on nuclear reactors. to the guy below me talking about the old cars arent around, they are around but they are in someones back yard who will never sell them and who would rather watch it rot to the ground because the memories it has of that fat chick they took to the prom in ’78 or they are fully restored and alot of us can never dream of affording them and the people that do have them never bring them out. my 70 cadillac coupe deville convertable with a 472 cubic inch motor knocks down 16 mpg which i must add is even better then my dads ’08 3/4 ton chevy with 72 less cubic inches. cash for clunkers is over, we all need to rejoice and be happy and we all need to revolt against are modern organized goveronment that wants to always tell us whats good for us and whats not. i thought it was a free country, isnt it my right to drive a 40 year old relic, as well as its someone elses right to trade there car in on cash for clunkers, but it should also be our right to regulate what happens to these ‘clunkers’ once they have been traded. hell the car lots by my house have a whole empty feild devoted to the cash for ‘clunkers’ cars, and some of them are nicer then my daily driver lol

Sep 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm

This idea has got to be the worst idea anybody ever thought up. The older cars not marked for the clunker deal “Have already paid their defict to the atmosphere”, Thank Goodness. The ones that “Qualify” havent.
Now comes the shortage of used, and reman parts for the group of cars that others are driving, because they didnt have the money to participate in this idiotic idea. Our tax money again handed to those who are doing well, and to heck with those struggling through these hard times.
How do you intend to repair a crashed economy by giving money to those who crashed it, and those who arent in dire straights?
Then these wonderfull Hybrid’s their selling, rape the rare earth elements, that we need to make windmills for clean power generation, and pollute the air during the charging process by causing elevated electrical use on old coal powered powergrids.
Mean while we will see increased taxes, because the govenment gave away the taxes we have already paid. I just dont get it I guess.
We sit back and give our support and money to companies that get tax abatements from our govement, and call them more american than Ford, Chevrolet, Chrylser, and Saturn, who do pay American taxes. We put little to no tares on their products coming in, and then complain because the american made product is too expensive to buy, and they moved their plants over seas. Then we support other countries economys and wonder why ours is crashed. Again, I guess I still dont get it.
Heck, next they’ll want to take our gun’s……wait their already tring.

Aug 31, 2009 at 8:15 pm

hey bigbad4runner i agree with you but the rason we cant help a needy family or homless guy out is because they are in this country the gov only helps out forien countries no need for domstic homless people they dont pay taxes so theres no time for them

Aug 31, 2009 at 8:13 pm

hey bigbad4runner i agree with you but the rason we cant help a needy family or homless guy out is because they are in this country the gov only helps out forien countries no need for domstic homless people

Aug 31, 2009 at 9:11 am

Yeah, what they said: ‘


Aug 31, 2009 at 7:13 am

I would also like to add that the classic cars are not just vehicles to go down to the corner store, they are amazing works of art.
Would you destroy a sculpture because it has lead paint on it? would you through out a painting because it has lead paint in it? No…. and the idea would never cross these peoples minds.
They look at car buffs as trouble making air poluting trash and we have just as much right to appreciate art in what ever form as they do. And there have been so maney other people that have written about this insane topic making brilliant points and the more you read the more you understand what is realy going on. I think the writting is on the wall, the people who are trying to take something else away are finding a huge fight and I don’t know why they are so surprised because people almost boycaughted FORD in the mid 80′s when they tried to make the (all new Ford Mustang) front wheel drive and have it built by MAZDA so they renamed the new MUSTANG the Ford Probe and kept the fox body around a bit longer..that is passion over one of our most charished cars and there are so maney others that need our protection from these jerks. Everyone needs to stand together and stop this non sense from being allowed to happen or our kids and their kids will never get to fix up an old car of their own and these amazing works of art will be stolen from us forever.

Aug 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm

well, i am currently looking into getting a bigblock cutlass, witch is a land yacht, now if you stop to think for just a bit, how many cars like that are still on the road? not to many, i live in a small enough town that i know every single car here, there is no shortage of little four bangers, and v6s, there are also lots of v8 pickups, most newer than mine and very few older, my truck gets good mileage so do the older ones, they say the older vehicles make over 400 times the pollutants, well for that to make any sense they would have to burn 400 times the fuel, now i forgot where i was going with this, but the point is there are not many boats left, and plenty of crap ass economy cars, so its balanced out, and the older car are becoming increasingly rare, save the old schools

Aug 30, 2009 at 9:53 am

its not like they can do very much more damage then they already have. us true hot rodders and car guys are lucky it didnt extend any longer then 25 years or any longer in time. also if this was all about the goveronment making more money then why have they been the morons paying $4500 for junk ass hoop-d’s? sounds like the joke is on them but instead of blowing the motors and crushing them how about giving them to that needy family or that homeless guy who is trying to better himself. that way instead of wasting $4500 to help big auto makers we could be heloing maybe 2 or three people for each $4500…death to goveronment

Aug 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Both malibu’s in new condition’s are worth the same price, and we need to save our old school ways or we cant prove anything to our grand kids!

Aug 29, 2009 at 11:58 am

Old school and big engines all the way !! and i agree with ghostwolf 73 .

Aug 29, 2009 at 9:15 am

I am so tired of the do-gooders who try to wreck things for people who have an interest in something they do not. Old cars cause more polution yes, but no more than a jet taking these same do-gooders to their far off destinations or the coal burning hydro plants that feeds these people their hydro.
If the govenrments of Canada and the US were so woried about the air quality than why is it still an issue, people are not stupid, they go after the people that they think can’t protect them selves and let their fat cat buddies keep on keeping on.
For the amount that these classic cars are on the road especialy with the price of gas it won’t make that big of a difference to the air qualty. Besides, if you want to split hairs people can put air polution control devices on their cars without desrtoying the performance or power with todays technology.
So for all of you do-gooders maybe we should look into the things you like doing and try to stop you from doing it or you could just back off and leave us well enough alone.

Aug 29, 2009 at 1:25 am

The Government doesnt give a rats ass about the atmosphere, All They care about is how THEY can get more M.O.N.E.Y. and that’s what all this crap is about!!!!

Aug 28, 2009 at 3:19 pm

I’m just quoting here: “California Air Resources Board that claim a 1965 Chevrolet Malibu produces 400 times the smog-forming pollutants of a 2010 Malibu” might be true? Now for some math. How many 1965 chevy malibu’s are out there versus the amount of the admited 2010 chevy malibu’s? say there’s (400) 2010′s for every (1) 1965 malibu. Doesn’t that pretty much just equall the same amount of pollutants. And just how many older targeted cars are even out rolling around now’a days versus newer”cleaner” cars?……HMMM

Aug 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm

To put it more simply, you’re not going to find answers at the fringe, only shortsightedness.

Aug 27, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Not a fan of extremes. Thinking in absolutes is a sure sign objectivity is lacking in the thought processes. PETA, Environmental terrorists, heck… terrorists in general, the extreme left, the extreme right… they all are off-kilter and the balance of powers that be are best not washing on those shores.

Aug 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm

California: We drive little girly cars but make fun of us and our governor will Terminate you.

Aug 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I hate the Californian government/media. Prius drivin’ sissies I say!

Aug 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm

SHOTyme70 brings up a great point. emmission and pollution created from the actual car factories and the factories that make all the parts and such are way worse than keeping an old car. And, I’m not sure how they do it, but when they crush and car and melt it down, doesn’t all that leather and interior plastics and such get melted and emit pollution into the atmospere as well? I’m no chemical engineer, but I’m quite sure that paint, plastic, leather, and oil and such on the engine isn’t exactly eco friendly when it’s heated to metal’s melting point.

Aug 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm

So maybe the ’65 Malibu pollutes more in terms of fuel economy, but it’s already outlived the effects of the pollution it took to create it and besides, it’s alot more stylish and durable. Metal vs. molded plastic… Which would you rather have your ride made out of???

Aug 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm

You know what kills me is that you can fail a test because your gas cap doesn’t seal properly and emits whatever into our atmosphere. So you need to buy a new one. But no one ever bothers to look at how much pollution is created by the company making that gas cap… I’d say it is probably more than 100 failed cars… Pure crap.

Aug 27, 2009 at 1:34 pm

A Beetle?!?!? Are you serious? The engine displacement is as big as the Smart car or a big motorcycle, so even if it did apply with age requirements, the mpg wouldn’t qualify anyway. And 400 times seems a little extreme. There better be nuclear waste coming out of the tailpipe of that Malibu.

Aug 27, 2009 at 1:15 pm


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