Which One Of You Scrapped an E30 M3 Into Cash For Clunkers?

·2 min read
Photo credit: BMW
Photo credit: BMW

It's almost hard to believe that the Obama Administration's Car Allowance Rebate System, (CARS), better known as "cash for clunkers," is 12 years old. The scheme was designed to get older, inefficient cars off the road in exchange for a $3500 to $4500 rebate on a new, efficient car. While the vast majority of the near-680,000 cars scrapped were run-of-the-mill—the Ford Explorer took the top spot—some interesting machinery was sacrificed for a small rebate. Including an E30 M3.

The folks at The Drive dug up a full list of the cars scrapped, and it makes for an amusing read over a decade later. Of course, the fact that enthusiast cars were scrapped in cash for clunkers has been known for some time, yet it's still fun to see what unique stuff pops up.

One of the more heartbreaking is the 1991 M3, which was not the highly desirable collectible it is now, yet surely it was worth more than $4500. Cars scrapped had to be drivable, so it's not as if this was an M3 with a seized engine sitting in someone's yard. This is a car that could now be worth at least $20,000 even in rough shape. We wonder if the former owner is kicking themselves now.

Other highlights (or perhaps, lowlights) include an Aston Martin DB7 Volante, three examples of the obscure Italian Laforza SUV, a handful of Maseratis, and a Mercedes 500E. A number of Mazda RX-7s were scrapped, as was a MkIV Supra. Porsche 944s and 928s were turned in too, though interestingly, no 911s. Also notable in its absence is the Mazda Miata, and that's something we're quite grateful for.

Even on just a quick comb-through of the data, it's pretty clear that enthusiast cars were largely spared from cash for clunkers. We still have questions about the E30 M3 though.

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