Won’t Someone Please Save Our Clunkers!

Jalopnik has issued a call to arms to its fans: Won’t someone please save our quirky classic cars. Ford Explorers – – fine, that’s one thing….but…

…this is the very last straw: “A classic example of vangenieering, is being sacrificed at Galpin Ford in Los Angeles. For what? A Ford Focus? We must let people know of the horrors. If you see a great vehicle being sacrificed take a picture and post it here. We must bear witness to the atrocity.”

Jalopnik is a site for the auto-world equivalent of Fashionistas, and the CARS Carpocalypse is hitting them hard. For the most part its devoted readers are putting a very brave face on it. But the agony:

“I saw a mid 80’s El Camino get traded in. I… I didn’t cry. I know it wouldn’t want to be looked at with misty eyes of mourning.”

“ARRRRGH not the AMC-bodied woody! It’s like a stake through the heart!

This is seriously making my consider honoring my ethnic heritage by entering a life of crime to rescue these. It’s a damn good thing for my family’s sake that I don’t have a rollback.”

“Alright, now things have officially gone too far. Pitchforks, people!”

But finally calm understanding prevails; even among car Fashionistas:

“Getting poor people into reliable wheels would be a big step in helping folks to help themselves. One of the biggest issues for low income populations is their difficulty in getting to work on time everyday, much less being able to drop the kids off at day care and get to the grocery store.

Unreliable cars and expensive repairs can be a huge portion of the family budget, and a ticket to unemployment and poverty.”

Since the trade-in car has to get worse than 18 mpg and the new car needs to be 10 mpg better to qualify for the full $4,500 under CARS, then the gas savings will bring some much needed financial breathing room.

There is no CARS funding for trading a car for a truck or SUV that’s only 2 mpg better, per the government CARS info site.

Only if trading in one truck for another truck 2 mpg better (something that only those who genuinely need hefty trucks for work are likely to do) do you get $3,500: but if you can find one 5 mpg better – it’s $4,500. But, most people chose to save far more than that. Clunker consumers got a 69% mpg improvement with the CARS program so far; saving $750 every year. For many people that is an extra month’s rent.

For so many families now living on the edge in America, money can be saved for real needs instead of just funneling it into the monster in the garage.

As Jalopnik says: Think of the children!

Image from Rockyroad

Via Jalopnik

Susan Kraemer

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.