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Reflecting on cash for clunkers at the 10 year anniversary. Stories, data, and regrets

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Benny123, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Feb 25, 2019 at 3:33 AM
    #1
    Benny123

    Benny123 [OP] Kid from the late 70s

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    Restoring everything worn, broken & rusted.
    I saw an H2 Hummer the other day and it reminded me of the one my neighbor destroyed in 2009. Cant believe its already been 10 years. She literally traded it in, got the $4500 rebate and bought a Honda Civic.

    This got me thinking, how many good running cars and trucks SUVs were destroyed, how many Tacos? 4runners? Land cruisers. And if this made finding good ones a little harder in the 1994-2009 range. At the time, gas was $4 a gallon and nobody though the SUV would make a massive comeback. Everyone was even driving slower to save gas.

    Some basic internet browsing brought me the following.

    690,000 cars destroyed. 2.9 Billion dollars spent.
    Then I found this video of a to be destroyed car lot with a Taco at the 10:35 mark.
    And this reddit post from someone paid to destroy engines with a "liquid" until they seize.
    See 4th post here
    I tried to find the list of all vehicles and I hear some newer cars at the time were on it, including an 07 4runner, but all the links are now dead.

    Update: Found the list of destroyed vehicles, see post #8.

    Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 6.28.38 AM.jpg

    I'm interested in the stories you guys have here at TW about cash for clunkers, whether on the inside or outside. Salesmen, purchasers, destroyers, mechanics, neighbors, friends, data, joys and regrets. I still cant believe we really did this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
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  2. Feb 25, 2019 at 3:38 AM
    #2
    POOLGUY

    POOLGUY Well-Known Member

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  3. Feb 25, 2019 at 3:55 AM
    #3
    whatstcp

    whatstcp Well-Known Member

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    Well don't have much of a clunker story but I just remember being fresh out of high school and wanting a first car but not being able to find one because it was easier for owners to just clunk their cars as opposed to haggling with lowballers. Remember seeing videos of Honda's and other vehicles that seemed like perfectly running vehicles being WOT till they grenaded as part of the scrapping procedure.

    Took away a lot of decent vehicles. A lot of Cherokees bit the dust that way as well.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2019 at 4:05 AM
    #4
    Marshall R

    Marshall R Well-Known Member

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    Short term it had an effect on the availability and prices of some SUV's. Most of the vehicles traded in were nearing the end of their life and wouldn't be on the road today anyway.
     
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  5. Feb 25, 2019 at 4:15 AM
    #5
    Benny123

    Benny123 [OP] Kid from the late 70s

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    You should watch the video. Car lot looked like nice cars and remember they had to be in driving condition and driven to the lot or they couldn't be traded for cash.
     
  6. Feb 25, 2019 at 4:22 AM
    #6
    Spare Parts

    Spare Parts Changed

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    Cash for clunkers...:rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  7. Feb 25, 2019 at 4:23 AM
    #7
    SGTCap

    SGTCap Well-Known Member

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    The liquid is called water glass.

    And that whole program was a stupid idea and a complete shit show. Just like everything else the .gov does, it completely missed it's purpose.
     
  8. Feb 25, 2019 at 4:35 AM
    #8
    Benny123

    Benny123 [OP] Kid from the late 70s

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    Found the list on a Nissan forum. You'll see the Toyota list there. Thousands of Toyotas from Tacoma, 4runner, Sequoia, Highlander, Tundra, Land Cruiser, T100 and Supra.

    http://tinyurl.com/y86ksgh link imports file via Google drive or click below to open PDF. Toyota begins page 121.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  9. Feb 25, 2019 at 6:08 AM
    #9
    Rick's 2012

    Rick's 2012 Well-Known Member

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    Thousands of vehicles that were in great shape were scrapped. All it did was give many people a car loan, when they were car loan free before. I know people that regretted doing it shortly afterward for that exact reason. They got caught up in the hype.
    Sure some wold have been scrapped anyway.
    But many more wouldn't have.
     
  10. Feb 25, 2019 at 6:29 AM
    #10
    Benny123

    Benny123 [OP] Kid from the late 70s

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    ^ That's my take on it. I think the big 3 US automakers needed a lift (Detroit was a mess, I lived there 07-08, and everything was shutting down, layoffs, houses foreclosing), alot of people were drinking the Kool Aid, and there was fear of $5 gallon gasoline as the new norm. So we must destroy all SUVs.
     
  11. Feb 25, 2019 at 6:33 AM
    #11
    iwashmycar

    iwashmycar a lot

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    Yep, just looking over the Mustang section of that PDF makes me sick. Over 1600 of them. High numbers of 94 and 95s....I bet a decent amount of those were 5.0L's.
     
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  12. Feb 25, 2019 at 6:46 AM
    #12
    Mateo74

    Mateo74 Well-Known Member

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    I was just talking about this two days ago funny coincidence. Cash for clunkers put a massive hole in the used car market. And at the same time with the recession people still could not afford new cars and were paying stupid prices for any preowned they could find. But it was an awesome few weeks to spend at the pick n pull.
     
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  13. Feb 25, 2019 at 6:53 AM
    #13
    CJREX

    CJREX Well-Known Member

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    ^ This.

    The Pick-N-Pulls were a gold mine!

    There were a TON of cars in that scrap line that had no real reason being there.

    My guess would be that around 10% of the cars in the line were actual clunkers.

    The rest were good cars, waiting to be sacrificed on the altar of "Fiscal Responsibility"
     
  14. Feb 25, 2019 at 6:55 AM
    #14
    Benny123

    Benny123 [OP] Kid from the late 70s

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    ^^^I can only imagine the used part market was flooded. Wish I thought of that in 09.

    Here is some more great data from KBB.
    https://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/cash-for-clunkers-the-final-stats/2000004408/

    84 percent of the clunkers were trucks
    59 percent of the new vehicles purchased were passenger cars

    Average fuel economy of the clunkers: 15.8 miles per gallon
    Average fuel economy of the new vehicles: 24.0 miles per gallon

    Number of people it took to process the paperwork: More than 2,000

    There's a ton more data there too, including top 10 lists. Look at the dollars that went to CA. More than any other state.
     
  15. Feb 25, 2019 at 7:27 AM
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    Mintswitch

    Mintswitch Well-Known Member

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    It's crazy how times change.

    Aside from the cash for clunkers thing, that was also a period where people were just simply getting rid of all of their perfectly fine trucks in favor of fuel efficient cars. I am sure the rebate helped, but I think a lot of people were really anxious to get rid of their truck, rebate or not. Even nice trucks. Car lots were filled with nice trucks in good condition that nobody wanted.

    Fast forward to today and everyone is buying trucks and SUVs again... even more so than before the infamous gas price hike. Soooo many trucks and SUVs on the road where I live. If someone has a car, it's either a cheap POS that is the only thing they can afford, or a fancy sports car or something. It honestly feels dangerous if you drive a small car around here because you have giant hunks of metal barreling down the road driven by soccer moms that are on their phones, doing their makup, eating a burger and yelling at their kids all at the same time. It is terrifying lol.
     
  16. Feb 25, 2019 at 8:44 AM
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    Spare Parts

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    I like how this was done as the environmental thing to do. So how many more resources did we use to build the new vehicle versus just keeping the “clunkers” running
     
  17. Feb 25, 2019 at 11:36 AM
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    SigSense

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    The program was bad fiscal policy, bad economic policy, and bad environmental policy. The trifecta of Obamanomics. No wonder the United States suffered the weakest recovery of the post-WWII era. Fact.
     
  18. Feb 25, 2019 at 11:41 AM
    #18
    NunyaBizness

    NunyaBizness JBFC

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    I can attest to the fact, that the Brent Brown auto Group in Utah harmed zero Toyota Tacomas during the cash for clunkers fiasco.

    Alot of jeeps were demolished though :stirthepot:
     
  19. Feb 25, 2019 at 11:58 AM
    #19
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Two things going on here, get rid of gas hogs and sell new cars. SUV's today are a good 50% more fuel efficient than the old ones.
     
  20. Feb 25, 2019 at 12:13 PM
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    shakerhood

    shakerhood Well-Known Member

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    I hated that program with a passion, they had to destroy all the engines too, I imagine alot of 5.0s from other models were all also destroyed.
     
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