Light Notes

"The Man" won't take our clunker, but will you?

Americans love to get a good deal.

So, it’s no surprise that the idea of free money for a decrepit gas guzzler has a lot of folks revving up their engines.

The last time I saw this kind of frenzy I was on the trading floor of the old Let’s Make a Deal television show.

I didn’t get a deal way back then — and I’m not getting one now. Even the government doesn’t want to give me cash for our clunker. For me, it’s like getting bucked off the TV show’s consolation prize camel behind Door No. 3.

“I just don’t get it,” I whined to my husband Bill. “Here we are with a 40-year old truck that has never gotten better than 8 miles per gallon, and we can’t qualify for this program?”

Bill looked up from the fact sheet, “It’s too old and it’s not licensed. Besides, it doesn’t run anymore.”

I felt deflated.

In the beginning, the CARS Act seemed like a fabulous deal. We could get up to $4,500 off the sticker price on a new vehicle and the car dealer could smash our rusted eyesore to bits. The neighbors would even drive in to help.

But as always, we never get a good deal — especially when it comes to cars.

One perfect example is the time we traded in our dilapidated Chevy for a brand new car. We’d heard how our friends always thrashed the dealership with their bargaining tenacity, and we intended to do the same.

The salesman offered us $500 for our clunker.

We stood firm. They’d need to make a different offer.

The sales rep returned. They’d give us $200.


OK — and we won’t take a penny more.

Since then, we’ve owned several vehicles and our bargaining power has remained the same. Buy high. Sell low. It’s how we drive a deal.

But I refuse to get discouraged over this latest event with the government. If we can’t get it to take our clunker, maybe you will.

For Sale Cheap: One shabby 1969 3/4-ton Ford pickup on its last legs. As part of the bargain, we’ll even throw in a hornets’ nest in the manifold and black widows hiding in the upholstery.

Come on America, you know you love a great deal!