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OK, it's official, the controversial "cash for clunkers" program has been passed and implemented. It didn't take long for the auto manufacturers, both foreign and domestic, to inundate us with commercials and roll out special promotions around this.
Effectively, the government will pay you $4,500 in trade towards the purchase of a new car that fits their definition of a "clunker". The catch is that it can't be anything that you can "push, pull or drag" into the dealership. It has to be a currently registered vehicle manufactured after a certain date and it has to get a certain percentage worse gas mileage than the new vehicle you are purchasing.
I recently attended a presentation titled Restoration vs. Preservation as part of the Crawford Auto Museum's lecture series, which focused on the value of preserving an original car compared to restoring it as well as how "original" is defined. The topic is rather controversial in the collector car industry, as there are many factors to consider. For example, some people believe that original is defined as the car being un-restored and only maintained since it left the factor. Others believe that if the car has been restored using period-correct parts and looks like it would have from the factory then it is still an original car. There is also the aspect of whether or not adding safety features such as seat belts and safety glass makes a difference in determining originality.
As a young adult passionate about automobiles, I strive to attend every car show and event possible. However, I have noticed that almost every car show has a weak representation of young people, primarily teens to early-twenties. I have often wondered why this is is it because old cars just aren't fascinating enough for the generation raised with high-tech computers, palm-sized cellular phones, and satellite radios installed in their daily driver? Or is it that youngsters don't appreciate the beauty of finely detailed craftsmanship, engineering, and technology? Maybe it's the pricy cost of admission for some shows that steer them away. Or maybe they are just too naive to recognize the true value of an automobilenew or oldbeyond the paint scheme and accessories.