Hammer Time: The Clunker Cabal

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

What demographics will win in the recent “Cash for Clunkers” legislation? Well let’s take a gander. In the cars section, all but the last two primarily appeal to folks that are north of the double nickel. Traditional Caddies, laid back Lincolns. Throw in some nasty old British hardware, a couple of misguided pseudo-imports (LS and Aurora), and the guido enriched pre-’92 F-body and you have the whole fleet. Also those who are into old-school Benzes and Q45s should definitely qualify, along with pre-1990s full-sized Detroit metal. But apparently Consumer Reports forgot about them. Oh well. So enthusiasts should get a couple of nods. For trucks?

Seventeen domestics and six imports of recent times. That’s not quite an indictment on Detroit. The list is riddled with cars that made the Legacy Detroit Three very rich until [Hurricane] Katrina. The Astro experienced a 20-year model run. That’s more time than many murderers spend in jail. You also have the F-150, Silverado, S10 V6, and Ram in some of their more expensive 4WD configurations. The big boat Expeditions, Navigators, Suburbans, Grand Cherokees . . . pretty much everything Detroit sold with an old-school V8 or 4WD has a good shot at it.

Finally, on the import side you have the Montero and 4Runner (again 4WD), Sedona and Pathfinder (any one will do). An anonymous second-tier minivan called the Nissan Quest. Oh, and I forgot, the Chrysler Minivans made the list, but only the 3.8L AWD Grand version. So if you’re into 4WD, V8s and luxobarges, congratulations! The government has a nice subsidy for your next Nissan Versa.

Steven Lang
Steven Lang

More by Steven Lang

Join the conversation
4 of 22 comments
  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Jul 01, 2009

    Is that Tonya Harding?

  • Rhpzero Rhpzero on Jul 01, 2009

    Yeah, I'll second the Junior idea. His old Dodge Ram may be headed to the scrapper to be replaced by the lowest cost econobox I can find.

  • GiddyHitch GiddyHitch on Jul 01, 2009

    "Also, anyone who’s going to paint a van up should have the common sense to airbrush it. Fancy graphics can’t possibly stack up to an airbrushed wizard. Or wolves. Or a dragon. Or an airbrushed wizard riding a dragon being chased by wolves. Yeah, man. Hell yeah." "1) The bathroom is probably already occupied. 2) Do you even care to go to the bathroom to do it? I mean, the plane is crashing and others are busy crying." "If the blonde next to that van is in the plane seat next to me we stay put and party." ... and this is why I keep coming back to TTAC.

  • SexCpotatoes SexCpotatoes on Jul 01, 2009

    Sorry, I was wrong, I was under the impression that you had to improve the combined mileage by 5 digits to get the credits on a truck. Good luck finding a Silverado XFE (and getting a reasonable price on it). I think the dealers won't be in much of a giving mood on the price when it comes time to negotiate and you tell them you'll be using your CARS credit.