Welcome To The Clunkerdome: Cash For Clunkers Victims Hit The Junkyards

You've seen the Cash For Clunkers numbers and maybe even endured some sodium silicate destructo videos, but have you thought about where those vehicles go after their engines get destroyed? That's right!

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Don't tell El Presidente, but many of those engine parts may not be completely destroyed; the bearings definitely get creamed by the clunkerizing process, but a standard engine rebuild ought to be able to get a clunkerized engine back in working order. Of course, in most cases it's not worth doing so, but junkyard scavengers are already grabbing cylinder heads and other goodies off clunkerated powerplants.

I made a trip to several East Bay self-service wrecking yards in search of Cash For Clunkers victims, and I found plenty! I suspect that most of the Explorers, F150s, Cherokees, and the like are bypassing wrecking yards and heading straight to The Crusher, but those searching for nice body/interior components, suspensions, transmissions, and the like for 1990s high-end European machinery are in for some happy hunting (mixed with a healthy dose of tears for all the perfectly good BMW 7 series sedans, 10-year-old Jaguars, and other cool machinery that got caught up in the Clunkpocalypse).

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Likewise, builders of street rods are no doubt rejoicing over all those MN12 Fords that got Clunk-O-Lated™, because they'll find a bonanza of swap-ready IRS rear suspension setups in those Cougars, Thunderbirds, and Continentals. I found three beclunked MN12s, all in near-showroom condition, side-by-side in one yard. Meanwhile, there's a certain clunkxecuted RX-7 GSL rear end I've got earmarked for my 20R Sprite project.

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1994 BMW 740.

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I don't feel too bad about all those Explorers getting destroyed, but first-gen RX-7s are getting really rare these days. Looks like some gratuitous forklift damage on this one.

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MN12s galore!

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There are many fewer XJ6s and XJ-Ss on the streets today, thanks to Cash For Clunkers.

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Let's hope some of these MN12 suspensions live on in other cars.

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Many, many BMW Big Six engines have met their doom via Cash For Clunkers.

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How about a 1992 BMW 318iS? No going out in a blaze of LeMons glory for this E30!

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The interior in this '90 Eldorado was just about perfect.

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1990 Cadillac Eldorado

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DISCUSSION

smalleyxb122
smalleyxb122

I hated the CARS program for many reasons, including the few truly lustworthy vehicles whose lives were cut tragically short, the shortsightedness of the program in condemning late model vehicles in lieu of truly horrid rolling smog factories, and its short-term boost of sales by foreshortening the next several months' worth of sales.

What we have here is the one silver lining, people. Get your parts while you still can. The glut of new inventory makes for a veritable cornucopia of automotive treasures, but the clock is ticking. Don't come around bitching when you miss your chance.