What “Cash for Clunkers” Was Really All About

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You may recall the Obama-era “Cash for Clunkers” business. It was a very dirty business and a key element of Obama’s declared intention to fundamentally transform the United States – though to this day many people do not understand just how key it has proved to be.

The plan was sold to the public as a means of “stimulating” the then-flatlined American car industry, which was almost literally (and in GM’s case, actually) bankrupt. The idea was to get people to buy new cars by paying them to throw away their old cars.

Italics added.

The cars were not traded in. Not even “parted out” – i.e., their major components (such as their engines, in particular) removed in order to be re-sold to someone in need of low-cost replacement parts. They were destroyed. Engines dosed with silica and then run until they seized – so as to render them unusable.

Consider the implications.

The Obama regime surely did.

While on the surface – as in, superficially – the “cash for clunkers” program was about getting people to buy new cars, it was fundamentally about getting rid of affordable (older) cars. And the reason for that was to fundamentally transform the country – by breaking the generations-long tradition of young people becoming independently mobile, almost-adults while they were still in their teens.

Key to this was the ready availability of  . . . clunkers. That is, inexpensive old cars. The kinds of cars teenagers could afford to pay cash for. As well as the insurance. An old “clunker” may not have run reliably; but it ran. And it was cheap.

It beat riding a bicycle.

It enabled a teenager to expand his horizons. To go where he could not go on a bicycle – and without being dependent on his parents (or the government) for transportation. This, in turn, encouraged the teenager to get a job – even before he got a car – in order to get the car. And then to be able to buy gas for it – and so on.

And this promoted 16-and-17-year-olds to almost-adults before they achieved legal adulthood. Having a set of keys opened doors. A teen with a car could go wherever he needed and wanted to go whenever he needed and wanted to go. It was a rite of passage defining the transition between childhood and adulthood.

It was for just this enticing reason that every normal teenager champed at the bit to get his driver’s license as soon as legally possible. Many spent their 16th birthday at the DMV because who wanted to wait even one more day longer than they had to in order to get that fully-adult (there were no restrictions, once) driver’s license? It marked the bearer as an almost-adult, even if he was still just sixteen.

But what does a license matter if you haven’t got a car?

Per Hans Landa (the fey SS officer from the Quentin Tarantino film, Inglorius Basterds) that’s a bingo!

And here we arrive at the true purpose of “cash for clunkers.”

The program succeeded wildly – not in terms of “stimulating” the moribund new car industry but in terms of making an entire generation indifferent to driving. A measure of this is the stat that something in the neighborhood of 20 percent of those who fall within the 16-24 age bracket do not have a driver’s license.

It is unprecedented.

It is also entirely rational, if you know you cannot afford to buy a car. (How many people who can’t afford a private airplane bother to train as private pilots?)

It is also artificial – and malicious.

Obama – who is a Marxist – understood that to fundamentally transform America into a Marxist state, the privately owned car had to go. The problem – for the Marxists – was that most Americans had one and most who didn’t (especially the young) badly wanted one.

So long as they could afford one, they could aspire to owning one. It  is extremely hard to persuade people to give up what they want – especially if it is possible to get it. “Cash for clunkers” was ingenious in that it did not attack car ownership directly. It very subtly disconnected the rising generation from the aspiration to want a car – by making it unrealistic for many first-time buyers to own one.

The $1,500 “clunkers” that used to abound having been thrown away – leaving very little in the way of anything that a teenager (or even a young twenty-something) can afford without taking out a loan. And that, in turn, requires full coverage insurance – which most teenagers and twenty-somethings can’t afford, either.

And so, they don’t even bother. With the car – or the license.

This, in turn, fundamentally transforms them. Which is how America is being fundamentally transformed.

. . .

If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos. 

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning! 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: Get an EPautos magnet or sticker or coaster in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a magnet or sticker or coaster – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)

If you like items like the Keeeeeeev T shirt pictured below, you can find that and more at the EPautos store!


  1. The situation is actually far more devious than depriving affordable cars to teenagers. The trend in recent years in the auto industry has been to overly complicate cars with electronics. Modern cars have become mobile tracking devices, their reliability and security has decreased, and they’re also become very expensive to repair. It’s the older cars that are actually more valuable these days to anyone that’s concerned about privacy, reliability, and saving money on maintenance costs.

    • At first read, I thought it called Carrie Atiyeh a technocrat instead of, “one of the architects”.

      And, Boy’O’Boy, is that article ever dripping with the right buzzwords & phrases, & a war view:

      “surrendering a combustion-engine car”
      “policymakers have mobilized around a simple calculation”
      “It’s a really cool kind of holistic approach”


      “there’s a wheezing Ford Explorer”
      “a geriatric Hummer”
      “the clunkers are dying hard”
      “That threatens to slow the time it will take for the U.S. to electrify its entire fleet”

      [When did people’s cars come to be called, the fleet?]

      “The clunkers go to a nonprofit that breaks them down to recycled scrap and pours the proceeds into scholarships to train car mechanics.”

      [Psft! -gag/cough- What?]

      “I really couldn’t afford a new car without some help,”

      [Further translation: “won’t the goobermint technocrats steal some money from others, call it a ‘fee’ and give it to me? The Technocrats can keep a bit, too,.. for, ah-hem, administrative purposes.”]

      “And now I don’t have to worry about shoveling a defective car off on someone else. It just worked out great.”

      [… the ‘seen’ & ‘the unseen’, trash & treasure.]

      “At any given point in time, you care about the composition of the fleet,” says Jessica Trancik, an MIT professor whose work focuses on auto emissions and carbon-cutting energy solutions.
      “Funding programs that would help turn over the fleet more rapidly, makes a lot of sense.”

      [composition of the fleet???… “you care”???]

      “Auto scrappage schemes are nothing new.” […] “a tool for stimulating spending and juicing regional carmakers.”

      [Ahh, it’s nice, “stimulating & juicing” … says, the scorpion to the frog.]

      [It’s all, “generous” dont’ch’ya see? … a, “Car Allowance” even.]

      “EVs are already starting to take over dirty driving”

      [I can’t, even…]

      …”But affordability remains an issue. […]
      one of the biggest constraints to hitting our climate targets,”

      “…it’s not just an environmental program; it’s a social program.”

      [War, war, war.] “Colorado’s policy has enough money for up to 500 clunkers a year — an easy target if the pace of applications continues”

      “For me, [scrappage is] not really a climate policy unless you’re willing to do it for millions of people,” he says. “I think it’s more of an equity policy.”

      [And there, you have it. It’s no longer the climate, it’s envy, er, equity.]

      “we really want those high-emitting vehicles off the road.”

  2. The very fact that theses cars were destroyed muh climate change ( I remember that being ine if the talking points.) Tells you all you need to know. Long lost ate the days of flipping through auto trader and finding an affordable car that anyone not scared of a little grease who owned a small tool kit could get going.
    Man the cars I took for granted that basically don’t even exist anymore, if they do are museum pieces at museum prices…

    • Hi Sicilian,

      Yup. Depresses me, too. As recently as the early 2000s, I could have bought a “driver” ’79 Trans-Am with the 403 Olds/auto combo for less than $3,000. A buddy bought a V8 Maverick Grabber in overall very good condition for around the same. Either of these two cars in similar shape today would cost prolly $15k-plus. Who has that kind of cash to drop on an old car?

      • 1) 20 MORE years will attrition out most of those “vintage” rides.

        2) MORE aging Boomers with disposable cash, wanting to relive the experience of what he drove as a “yute”, chasing FEWER vintage vehicles.

        3) Also destroyed SELF-RELIANCE. Many teens had to be a grease monkey to keep their battered rides going. Even if they never became auto mechanics, they learned the art of FIXING things.

    • Yupp’ers, you guys.

      In 2012 I tried in vane to get a pickup 4×4 AT under 100,000 miles for less than $10,000.

      Within 100 miles of me, … couldn’t be done.

      Now, I imagine that same pickup is well North of $15 or $20,000.

      Recently, I’ve seen a few rear drive pickups around $3,500, but they were all over 100,000 miles & basically beat rust buckets.

      …Saw a 1980 Dodge rear wheel drive long bed pickup go on the local Off-Line auction block this Fall. I think it had around 100,000 miles, no obvious rust, but obvious wavy Bondo, nice-ish interior, gas hog 318 motor w/AT.
      The owner wouldn’t accept the high bid of $3,000. …I considered $3,500 but just couldn’t.

      The owner got pissed at the bid, the crowd asked him, “Well, how much would you take?”.
      The owner got even madder & eventually mentioned $10,000.

      …Nobody, in that deep pocket farmer/fixer crowd, seemed even slightly interested at that price.

      Someone said, “Well, maybe, maybe $4,000. Maybe.”

  3. Universal suffrage and widespread election fraud have ended this country. Like it or not, the fucking weirdo in the White House is going to win the next election no matter what as long as his daily adrenochrome injections are kept up with. He won’t debate anyone and will win anyway just like Katie Hobbs in Arizona. So anyway, communist price fixing will be more and more a factor in our lives. Cash for clunkers on steroids will be here for all ICE cars. I believe theres a Canadian version right now for 6K per ICE vehicle for a new electric.

  4. Unless the child or the parents were backyard mechanics, those clunkers would be money funnels. Engine and transmission repair bills are outrageous. Better off buying a newer used car from a dealer with a four-year dealer used car warranty.

    • Hi Morete,

      Nonsense; many of those cars were in perfectly drivable condition to begin with. Second, most minor repairs can be handled by anyone capable of reading a manual and following procedures. It used to be a right of passage for kids to have a beater that sometimes balked as their first car; they learned how to deal with it – and thereby learned to deal with things.

      Almost no one is better off getting into debt by signing up for payments. Especially a teenager or college kid. What they need is a cheap car they can pay cash for – so as to not get into debt. So as to not be a debt slave.

      • Eric,

        Exhibit A was the Ford Windstar van my former colleague had; that was still a reliable and serviceable vehicle when it went to Cash for Clunkers.

      • I disagree, Eric. For those of us who are mechanically minded, it seems really easy, but most people I know are incapable of something like changing brake pads, much less fixing a broken transmission or engine. I’m constantly helping friends do some minor wrenching, even things like air filter changes are frightening to them.

    • Outrageous as repairs may be, they don’t even begin to approach the astronomical cost of new cars, especially EVs. The entire program stipulated that only vehicles being driven, licensed & insured continuously for the past year, and 15 years old or less, would even qualify as a ‘clunker’. The majority of what was traded in was less than 10 years old, and under 100K miles. In addition, all the engines and transmissions had to be systematically destroyed before being sent to a scrap yard, as well as the titles. This was done to intentionally create a shortage of good lower mileage motors and transmissions for those people not stupid enough to fall for the GovCo (aka taxpayer funds) sponsored ‘waste-a-thon’. In short, it was a deliberate destruction of dependable, serviceable automobiles that most people were NOT going to give up owning & driving, short of having a ridiculous cash-incentive waved furiously in their faces. The motor & transmission destruction was done to punish anyone else hoping to have the benefit and affordability of said engines & transmissions, because they did not fall for the ruse.

      • You can do many fixes on an older rig for the 10% in taxes and fees for a new rig here in WA. I spent $3500 twelve years ago for a 4 speed automatic transmission rebuild, engine rear oil seal replacement, rebuilt starter, intake manifold gasket replacement, on a 1991 Silverado truck. Twelve years, $3500 repair. Drove it recently for a dump run, it is an excellent truck mechanically and in physical appearance. I’ve avoided spending tens of thousands by keeping that truck for 32 years.

        Some friend years ago “don’t you get tired of getting nickled and dimed on those old cars you drive?” Reply “nickels and dimes are much easier on the budget than hundreds in car payments every month!”

  5. At the time I worked for an owner of multiple car dealerships. He had a huge parking lot filled with these “clunkers” I would say more than half were nice drivable cars and trucks. One of my coworkers wanted to buy a jeep and asked and they said no they are all being destroyed. As a car guy I was so saddened to see such nice vehicles going to the scrap yard. My first car was a 1990 Dodge Spirit my dad bought for me as a graduation present it cost him $2000 , it was an old lady’s car in great shape and got me a job and the love to drive. Good luck finding a car that nice for $2000.

  6. Pre-covid, some used car dealers specialized in vehicles around the $5,000 price point. Then stimmy checks launched used car prices skyward.

    Today I saw a dealer sign: Used cars under $19,995.

    $20K is the new $5K. Such a deal! 🙁

    • Student loan payments, averaging about $500/mo. in the US, also went on hold during the pandemic until the beginning of October.

      Didya happen to notice how previously unavailable pandemic goodies like PS5 and Nintendo Switch consoles suddenly reappeared on store shelves before the ink was barely dry on the Supreme Court decision after the July 4th weekend.

      In the last month, I’ve also seen car inventories at the local new dealer lots swell to overflowing.

  7. ‘Clunkers’ is a loaded, pejorative term. It is intended to evoke a rattletrap on bald tires, trailing a thick cloud of blue oil smoke. Whereas most of the vehicles destroyed by Obama were still serviceable and capable of passing emissions testing.

    Turnabout is fair play. Let us denigrate EeeVees as ‘flamers’ — and agitate for building codes to prohibit parking flamers within 100 feet of a residence, garage or other building. Saaaaaafety first!

  8. Cash for clunkers was not the first time something like that happened.

    In 1932 during the worst of the depression, dealers and sales organizations nearly nationwide got together to do basically the same thing. New car sales were about zero, and used car prices were in the toilet since there were many out there. So what did they do, suck it up and sell cars for less?

    Of course not.

    They banded together to scrap as many of the worst “junkers” they could get their greedy hands on (they called them “unsellable”, never mind that any running car IS sellable, just a low price). Part of the plan was to completely scrap them as well (no used parts). They didn’t want them sitting in junk yards to be used for spare parts, taking up space as well. And they weren’t just cars that were no longer running. It required a whole car, with deductions for missing parts or a non running car.


    It involved all of the car industry from new car dealers, used car dealers, to the junkyards.

    But as we all know, its **** the little guy. During the worst of the depression to boot.

  9. Cash for clunkers was in 2010 I believe. Today it is 2023 some dozen years later. I am sure glad all of you super smart college trained urinalists finally figured out what I knew when they announced they were doing this.

  10. What was the saying back then about Cash for Clunkers:

    We are borrowing money from China, to buy cars from Japan, in order to save Detroit from ruin?

    • DETROIT’S UNIONS FROM RUIN. Saving the democrats pet children the UAW from RUIN. Just like the democrats bailed out the Teamsters pension fund because the Teamsters, that the teamsters hired to maintain their pension fund, STOLE their pension fund and the democrats said NO PROBLEM THE TAXPAYERS WILL PAY YOUR UNION PENSION NOW!!!

  11. Obama is where he is because he took advantage of being a politician who always lies all of the time. It pays good, has millions of dollars because of it, fell victim to neocon twaddle and never veered from the obvious propaganda. As long as it pays, Obama did it. Good at being an ass kisser, doesn’t take much of an imagination to see what it really was then and is now. He has no shame. Your classic collectivist, just how it is.

    Now Obama is the clunker human.

    You have to accept the fact that Obama is a champion at being possibly the stupidest human being ever to walk the face of the earth. No doubt, the stupidest president ever to occupy the office. Did nothing to improve the American political landscape.

    And the music is sold by lawyers
    And the fools who fiddle in the middle of the station are gone
    – Cherokee Fiddle by Michael Martin Murphy

    And the clunkers are junked by politicians
    And the fools who drive down the highways are gone

    Some folks say they’re never gonna miss ’em
    Clunkers squeal like the engine brakes
    American drivers, they’re gone forever
    Just like the music from the whistle that the old locomotive makes

    All apologies for revising the lyrics some.

  12. Eric,

    You’re SO RIGHT! I have three thoughts to share about what you said.

    One, “Cash for Clunkers” didn’t just happen here; I know for sure that it was done at least in the UK as well. This program was international in scope.

    Two, the program took a lot of serviceable, older vehicles out of circulation. Let me tell you about a guy I was working with back then. He had an old, but quite serviceable Ford Windstar minivan. Their Aerostar was so-so, but the Windstar was a winner. He took it in for Cash for Clunkers to buy a MINI Cooper that he wanted; he told me that, without the program, he couldn’t have afforded it otherwise. He told me that he got more for it this way vs. selling it to someone. IIRC, given its age, condition, and mileage, it was worth perhaps $3K back then. I remember thinking that not only was this a waste; it was a CRIME! Why? Because that old Windstar minivan would’ve been just the ticket for a young family just starting out, particularly if the wife wanted to stay at home. Here was a good, affordable family vehicle that could’ve been a blessing to a young family; a vehicle that could’ve been purchased outright; and a vehicle that had at least a few years’ life left in it-long enough for a young family to save up for something newer. Thanks to Cash for Clunkers, it was now good for nothing.

    Three, I haven’t seen a truly affordable car in ages now. The last time I checked, to get something serviceable in my area would require spending upwards of $5K-too much for a teenager. Hence, the program has been successful in achieving its real goals.

    • Indeed, Mark –

      I think Gen X (I’m a member of this cohort) was the last generation to grow up with an abundance of readily available, inexpensive used cars to choose from. I bought a ’74 Beetle in the early ’90s – this was before I was getting new cars to test drive – that I drove to work in DC every day. It cost me $700. Try buying a good-running ’74 Beetle today that isn’t a rust bucket in need of major work… prolly at least $8,000 and keep in mind that’s got to be cash as you cannot realistically finance something like this. Not without paying exorbitant interest.

      All my friends had their own cars when we were teenagers, just a few years prior. One of them had a ’71 Plymouth GTX – with a 440! He bought this old “clunker” for $2,200 with some help from his folks. True story.

      • Hate to do the one upmanship thing Eric, but in 1975 or so I bought a 68 roadrunner with the 426 hemi for 400 bucks! To be fair, at that time it was just a rusted out used piece of shit. Nobody back then had any idea of what these cars represented, they were just, well, used cars. And honestly, it really was a pile of shit at the time. Nothing but trouble. It barely limped into the junkyard 6 months later and I got 25 bucks for it. True story!

        • Ugh! Sad but true…most high-performance cars back in the mid-seventies were just rusted out junkers with little worth and poor mpg in the post gas-crunch era. Thanks OPEC.

    • The cars are out there but you have to overturn a few rocks. Hubby and I have tentatively talked about forgetting about putting money in the Stock Market for retirement, but buying classic cars (or what will be classic cars) as our retirement instead. Do we expect a return in a few years? No, but I am hoping over the next few decades they will be priceless collector possessions.

      We started looking at auction houses, estate sales, etc. Many of the cars have high mileage, but every once in awhile you can find a diamond in the ruff. What is wrong with some 18 year old saving up $3200 for a Tacoma with 180k miles on it to get back and forth to work? A Toyota will easily see 300k miles if you give it a little love and affection.

      My first car was a 1986 Honda Accord with 130k miles that I bought for $3500 from the lady down the street at 16 years of age (okay, my Dad bought it for me), but that Honda lasted 170k miles until my sister’s bum of a boyfriend wrecked it five years later. It was a great car, but many kids today want the electronics and technology and not a reliable car so these older cars are overlooked and taken to Ben’s Salvage Yard to rust out its final days.

  13. This wasteful program was a great test run for the Marxists. Woo hoo, the fools fell for it hook line and sinker. Their long run/march through the institutions finally paying off.

    The masses now ignorant about logical financial planning – “They’ll pay me to go get a new shiny, sign me up!” Frugal? Forget that!

    Warped science education, Earth Day to warming to climate change. I had a very smart 4th grade teacher in the 60s that taught us the meaning of the scientific method, stuck with me forever. “Science isn’t consensus, consensus isn’t science” M. Critchen.

    There is some hope here in WA, the “repeal the carbon market” initiative got enough signatures to make the ballot. The final nail will be if this fails approval.

    So here we are, the power elites success after success. The clot shot horrific impacts, still the sheeple fall for it. Now onto RSV! Roll up your sleeve citizen!

    Carbon, carbon, carbon – we’re getting royally f’d over unless people wake up.

    • I find it incredible that a gas like CO2, needed for all life is now the enemy of Man! One can only hope God gives them a deserved spot in Hades for the destruction of His beautiful planet.

  14. I was right at first car buying age when this was going on. Watched all these awesome cars I lusted after, and could almost afford, get destroyed on Youtube. Watched the price of those sub $3k cars in my price range raise from that summer to the next. A big deal when you make minimum wage. First time I was conscious of a government program directly adversely affecting me.

    • Brandon,
      I’m a couple of years younger than you but I still remember this going on. A quick google search will show you a list of all the cars destroyed and as a car guy and cheap car buyer it’s tragic. Especially the thousands of old Silverado’s/F150s/Ram 1500s. Those trucks are gold nowadays.

  15. Dreams are killed by assholes….

    “How many people who can’t afford a private airplane bother to train as private pilots?”- Eric

    Got the license in 1972 when small airplanes were actually affordable. Then came the idiot that sued Cessna for millions because he didn’t properly ensure his seat was properly locked.

    Samo today….first the prices of even used cars is extreme and insurance is preventing many from driving,,, by design.

    Found an interesting video at Armstrong’s site. Recommended. Only 5 minutes or so.


    • Ken,

      Back in the day, a Cessna 172 could be had for the price of a Corvette or a Caddy; that was a bit of a stretch, but it was reachable. Now, a new 172 will set you back about $400K. THAT’S RIDICULOUS! Aircraft cost as much, if not more than, houses do-assuming one can still afford them, that is.

      Even new aircraft engines are ridiculously priced. Depending on the engine the 172 has (a Conti O-300 for the older ones or the Lyc O-320 for the newer ones), you’re looking at $20K-$30K easy to overhaul or replace that engine when it reaches TBO. Considering that Lycs and Contis are basically VW engines on steroids (they’re air cooled and use magnetos, for goodness sake!), there’s no reason for them to cost that much. I mean, you can get a brand new, GM V8 crate engine from Jegs or Summit Racing for $5K or so. Better yet, you can get a GM 3800 V6, descended from the bulletproof Buick 231 V6, for $2,500 and change! Is it any wonder why the Buick V6 was an engine sometimes used by homebuilders?

      Because aircraft engines are so outrageously expensive, many airboaters use GM V8s on their boats now. Why not? They cost only a fraction of what an aircraft engine costs; they’re reliable; they’re easily and readily obtainable; they’re easy to maintain and repair; they’re inexpensive to maintain and repair; and their power is superior to what an aircraft engine produces.

      I not only got my PPL; I went for my comm/inst, because I wanted to be a professional pilot. That didn’t happen. If not for that, I don’t know if I’d have gotten a pilot’s license at all, which goes to one of Eric’s points…

      • yup, gm’s 3800 was one of the best.
        Correct me if I’m wrong, but light aircraft engines, which are just old tractor engines, must run under constant high load, unlike in a auto application. And why they need to be way heavier duty than a car engine.
        And again, correct me if I’m wrong, but their extreme cost is due to regulations, not the parts and pieces? iee… magnafluxing parts, etc…..

        • “ their extreme cost is due to regulations “

          Yep. That’s why those engines are ancient designs. Cost to FAA certify new, would be tough to make that back up in the low volume of private aircraft sales. And they still can fail. Buddy at work was a Piper fanboy he had a takeoff failure when the engine sucked an intake seal/gasket. One cylinder dead, got enough altitude to get back and land safely. Kept his head in it, resisted the temptation to do the panic turn back to the field which is the usual fatal mistake. He kept the destroyed piston as a reminder.

        • Aircraft engines operate at constant speed near the top of their rev range for hours, which is unlike how cars are operated.

          Aircraft engines are flat, horizontally opposed, and mostly air cooled. They’re more like VW and old Porsche engines in that respect. They have little or no computerization on them. Shoot, they use MAGNETOS, for goodness sake! However, there’s a reason for that; even if the aircraft’s electrical system goes to shit, the engine will still run, as the magneto generates its own juice for ignition; OTOH, if you lose the electrical system on a car, the engine won’t run. My whole point is that piston aircraft engines are very low tech, so there’s no logical reason for them to cost what they do.

          As for extreme cost, I’d attribute that to two factors. One is the FAA regulations. Two, we’re talking about such low volumes that economies of scale don’t come into play. Here’s a stat for you: in all its history, Lycoming has produced 325,000 engines IN TOTAL! During their glory years of the 1920s, Lycoming made 60,000 engines per year. Continental produces about 3,600 engines per year now. OTOH, GM produces about 6 million cars annually, all of which have engines; that comes out to 500,000 engines a month for just GM.




      • Hi Marky…
        I got the PP for fun while in a naval school in Memphis. The flying club had several airplanes and was reasonable even on military payroll. I did eventually get an instrument rating which came in handy.
        I flew a 206RG for the Civil Air Patrol back when it popular. There was learning required for the cadets and so it sort of faded away as learning is not that popular these days.

        Yes the regulations really upped the cost for TBO’s and even Annuals unless you had a friend that could sign off your work. AS a helo/fixed wing crewchief I had lots of mechanical experience but finding jobs was difficult so I went to another field.

        The fun in flying surpasses anything else in my life. At night it’s beautiful. Flying east into Tampa off the Gulf was my fav with all those lit up bridges on approach.

        • I liked flying at night, because the turbulence went away; without the sun to heat up the ground and the air above it, the ride was much smoother then. It was a challenge flying into Lakewood, NJ (N12) at night though, as the nearby car dealers made it hard to see the airport beacon…

        • For a 152 or 172, and annual will run you like $1,100-$1,200 minimum-IF the A&P finds nothing wrong! If you’re operating an older aircraft (and most people are, as they can’t afford new), then some discrepancy will inevitably be found. For a plane with a constant speed prop, retractable gear, electric trim tabs, etc., then it goes up from there.

      • Remember when Garmin “cash for clunkered” all those Apollo WAAS Gps units ? Then bought the WAAS chip tech by using repurposed field repair program budget to purchase struggling Apollo. Two birds with one stone. Turned avionics maintenance into obligatory upgrades.

        It was all about that colored dis play. Pilots bought in hook line and sinker.

    • Indeed, Ken –

      I love airplanes and have always wanted to learn to fly. But I have abandoned that dream because I can’t afford an airplane – even a very basic one – so why bother? At least I was lucky enough to be born in time to enjoy cars and driving…

    • The V-tailed Beechcraft Bonanza had the reputation as a ‘doctor killer’ because docs can generally afford stuff like this but don’t have the training required to get proficient enough. The Valkyrie aircaft – a push rear propellor model – looked so cool to me but I would likely be pretty scared to actually try to pilot the thing.

  16. Cash for clunkers ruined a nice little side business that I had with my, at the time, teenage son. We would find diamond in the rough older cars that we could pick up for 5 or 6 hundred bucks. Clean ‘em up, polish and spit shine, oil change, wipers, air filter etc., maybe a couple hundred dollars in parts. Then we would sell them for 12, 14, 15 hundred. I think every one that we ever sold went to a high school or college kid. Didn’t make a ton of money, maybe sold one or two cars a month. But it taught my son a lot about business, negotiating and dealing with people. Obama put an end to that. In today’s parlance, we encountered supply chain issues, as there were no more $500 cars, or $1500 cars for that matter.

    • Had a neighbor that was doing that as well, until cash for clunkers ended it too. It also put the final nail in a very low end used car lot not far from my house too. Think under 5k prices, now your lucky to find something at 8k.

      There is sign at a local lot for $600 down on a 2011 chevy cruise….. used to be an old car like that would have sold for 600 bucks.

  17. I remember watching the videos of them pouring the silica into the engine and watching the engine seize with a horrible whining sound until they were dead. I literally became saddened as if I were watching a human being executed.

    Government is great at destroying things.

    • “Government is great at destroying things.”

      Including themselves. It’s about over for the US. Note… America as defined by the first and second constitution has been dead for almost two century’s but most Americans are still in the denial stage.
      Won’t be long now with our manufacturing gone, our money more worthless every day, and the broken/woke education system.

      ***Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the ‘new, wonderful good society’ which shall now be Rome, interpreted to mean ‘more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.’ – Cicero 40 BC. ***

      Over 2000 years and we still haven’t learned.

    • I felt the EXACT same way watching a couple of those videos, but had to stop watching them. Why keep subjecting myself to watching something be tortured to death.

      • Amen, Brandon –

        I cannot stomach the destruction of property; I think of the work wasted – and the losses involved. How many kids who could have had their first beater car got no car?

        It’s infuriating.

        • The basic gm electric cars in the 90s people were dying to buy but could only lease. All taken out to Arizona desert and destroyed.

          Because people liked and wanted them.

          Sign of the psychopath in action.

  18. Its just so creepy that the government destroyed the cars like that. Wasteful certainly but also giving aeay the real intention of the program.

  19. If the Biden Thing should launch a “Cash for Clunkers 2.0”, will the Thing try to make it MANDATORY for people who drive a gas vehicle, regardless of whether it’s a newer vehicle or one made in the 20th century to get rid of it and buy an EV that most people can’t even afford, citing “Climate Emergency”? I wouldn’t put it past the Thing, as The Thing tried to make it MANDATORY 2 years ago for millions of Americans who have a job to take that experimental COVID jab or lose their job, using “COVID Public Health Emergency” as the excuse. Many Americans complied with that mandate after it was announced, but now they’re likely UNABLE to work due to permanent injury or even death. Just the attempt to mandate experimental pharma products for Americans should have gotten the Thing impeached and various laws that protect vaccine manufacturers from being sued repealed, as Big Pharma and/ or the globalist/ technocratic elite has certainly taken advantage of such laws to have the government FORCE people to take these mRNA COVID jabs via mandates and “vaccine passports”.

  20. As long as we’re reminiscing, let’s bring up diesel gate. VW Audi Group took millions of vehicles off the road by paying owners a buy-back offer that was too good to be true. Or an offer we couldn’t refuse…

    Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract.

    Sure, we could have declined the offer, if we didn’t live in an area that required smog checks. But then we’d be on our own, unable to have any dealer service performed without them neutering the car. OK, fine just don’t ever take it to the dealer… except that the engine diagnostic software isn’t sold to anyone but dealers, and with their complicated engine management systems, you’re going to end up at the dealer. And honestly, as much as I enjoyed the car, it wasn’t a keeper. So I didn’t refuse. And my little A3 TDI was replaced with a V6 Cherokee gas hog. I guess the A3 got melted down for scrap or dumped in a Detroit landfill.

    Thanks, Obama.

    • And just to bring it back around, in college it was very common to see old Audi 100s and 200s, older VW Siroccos and Rabbits, and even a few BMW 2002s parked in the student commuter lots. They weren’t diesels and certainly not anything to wax poetic about, but in the late 1980s old European cars were great finds if you didn’t have any money. The yuppies got rid of them because they began to cost a fortune to repair, but if you didn’t really care about that nagging little check engine light, the cracks in the dash or droopy head liner, they would usually keep going. That musty smell and oil stain was part of the charm.

    • Ironically, Cash For Clunkers also eliminated a lot of the early 90s Cherokees which could arguably still be functional vehicles for someone since the engines tended to last. I don’t think it is a coincidence that they were among the last designs Iacocca approved going into the pipeline before he retired.

      Cash For Clunkers 2.0 will go after the “beater” pickups from the early 00s, but Elon is late with the Cybertruck fetish vehicle and the pricetag will not be the $40k promised.

    • ReadyKilowatt says:
      “OK, fine just don’t ever take it to the dealer… except that the engine diagnostic software isn’t sold to anyone but dealers, and with their complicated engine management systems, you’re going to end up at the dealer.”

      Actually, Uwe Ross created and sells Diagnostic Software for VW-Audi Group Cars (VCDS).
      Based in Lansdale, Pa…highly recommended for any VW-Audi enthusiast!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here