09/02/09 02:23PM Cash For Clunkers Alternative

How to Properly Fix Cash for Clunkers


Cash for Clunkers is over.
 Fans of obscure performance vehicles like the Pontiac 6000STE and Dodge Spirit R/T can breathe a sigh of relief. They can go back to believing that their otherwise embarrassing 80s economy cars will someday become collectible objects of lust, raking in the riches at Barrett-Jackson 2050. (Itís because we donít have the heart to tell them otherwise.)

Yet after the end of Cash for Clunkers: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, whatís to say that the government wonít bring us more entertaining Youtube videos of cars being fed sodium silicate? Thatís right, there wonít be any stopping the rebate juggernaut the next time thereís an economic downturn. But weíll know better by then!

With that being said, here are some rules to liven up Cash for Clunkers.

Put a mileage cap on clunkers.
Anything under 100,000 miles is considered barely broken in and, after a 100-or-so-point inspection check that includes a coconut-scented air freshener tree, is fair game for resale. Anything under 10,000 miles is considered ripe for restoration. Volvos will have a higher cap of, say, 2.5 million miles.

Any car older than 1969 will be rejected and its owner forcibly removed from vehicle ownership so the car can instead go to the loving home of a collector. Think of it as Social Services for neglected cars.

Instead of destroying engines with sodium silicate, rip them out of their respective cars and sell them separately for interesting and unusual engine swaps.

 Provide federal tax rebates for whackjob enthusiasts looking to drop Cadillac 572 motors into a WWII-era AWD Willys Jeep barely bigger than the engine itself. That way, we can jump-start the auto parts, car show, and burn ward industries in one fell swoop. American ingenuity never died; it just gained a shiny new engine!

Donate clunkers to teenagers. After all, if theyíre going to wrap themselves around a tree, they ought to do it in sub-$1000 cars with leaky master cylinders, suspiciously-lit airbag lights, balding tires, no side curtain or whiplash protection, broken shocks, fist-sized rust holes, no cupholders, steering that hooks to the left at speeds over 15mph, and sheetmetal the consistency of soggy pizza boxes. That oughta teach them a lesson about driving beyond their limits! Maybe next time Junior wonít be so cocky about sinking 5 beer bongs of skunked Icehouse at his bandís afterparty and thinking he can make it 3 blocks down Dead Manís Gulch in his fatherís 400-horsepower BMW M3. Because safety is overrated, dammit!

Additionally, if their parents were the ones responsible for buying them a BMW M3 that gets landed into the side of a house at 3am, they will be forced to drive a clunker for 25-to-life. They canít say it wasnít coming to them.

Rally school training. Thereís plenty of AWD Subarus that have been beaten within inches of their lives, but like masochistic bulldogs they just keep coming back for more. So letís give Ďem more! Let the SCCA and NASA divisions sort them out for competitive driver training, and we can raise a whole new generation of Travis Pastranas to do battle against the nefarious Finns on the WRC stage.

Small-town racetracks are on the skids. In accordance with the economic downturn, many local race tracks have been reporting lagging ticket sales and fewer participants in events, with the threat of shutting down forever always looming overhead. This would not only destroy an important part of a small community, but closing a racetrack would also kill off any burgeoning talent for up-and-coming racers looking to make it on the NASCAR, or even world stage. The solution? More demolition derbies. Your mind can fill in the rest.

In Closing:
Any time thereís footage of Middle Eastern extremist groups on the news, whatís the vehicle they always ride around in? Thatís right, 20-year old Toyota trucks. And how reliable are those?* The answer: in exchange for ceasefires or hostage releases we simply broker a deal to supply them with a growing fleet of fine automobiles such as the Buick Rendezvous, Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, Ford EXP, Chrysler TC by Maserati, and the lauded Pontiac Grand Am GT with the Ram Air package. And much like how a combination of McDonaldís, Levi jeans, and David Hasselhoff helped bring down the Berlin Wall, we can foster a culture of mutual respect and religious tolerance once they discover the joys of 8-way power seats, in-dash CD changers, wide-track handling, and ďrich Corinthian leather.Ē
SUVs can be scuttled in marine-protected areas for use as artificial reefs. Extra credit if the vehicles involved are Mercury Mariners, Chrysler Pacificas or Chevy Tahoes.