Colloquially known as “Cash for Clunkers,” the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) was launched in the United States in 2009 as a federal scrappage program. The idea was to provide $3 billion to US residents to buy a new and more efficient vehicle with the condition they would trade in their old gas-guzzling car. It was seen as a stimulus program following the recession to increase car sales and consequently have more efficient vehicles on the road.

Cash for Clunkers officially started on June 1, 2009, and ended later the same year on August 24 when all funds were depleted. No fewer than 677,081 cars were scrapped, and you can check out the full list here. The Drive managed to obtain the full document, which includes quite a few BMWs. The ones that caught our attention were an M3 and an M5, both from 1991. Yes, the sought-after M versions of the E30 and E34 had to die so that a couple of fuel-efficient cars could live.


A closer look at the document reveals plenty of BMWs that perished. The 1987 3 Series was hit the hardest, with a whopping 197 cars destroyed, while 109 examples of the 1988 3 Series succumbed as well. Other triple-digit cars include 156 units of the 1992 325i, 142 of the 1989 325/325is, and another 117 of the 1990 325i/325is.

The larger 5 Series also took quite the hit, with 150 units of the 1990 525i, 112 of the subsequent year, and another 113 for the 1992MY. The more powerful 535i from the 1990 model year was also destroyed 102 times. If you’re interested in more oddities, 13 people crushed the 1989 635CSi while three people scrapped the armored 740iL Protection from 2000.

Sadly, the owner of an original 8 Series Coupe (E31) decided to let go of their 1992 850i in favor of a shiny new car. On the same list, we can also spot a single 1998 Z3 Roadster. From sedans and coupes to wagons and convertibles, with a few SUVs in the mix, virtually all types of BMWs were destroyed during the Cash for Clunkers program.

Source: The Drive