Classic cars lost in Government scrappage scheme

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By Cara Sulieman

SCOTS are rushing to send their rare cars to the scrap-yard in order to take advantage of the Government’s scrappage scheme.

As every car traded in under the new scheme has to be destroyed, classic car enthusiasts are worried that some rarities will be lost forever.

Showrooms are seeing Morris Minors, Mercedes and Porches being driven into their dealership to be traded in for a shiny new fuel-efficient car with a substantial £2,000 discount.

And it is leading to some out-of-character behaviour from the usually ruthless car salesmen.

Horrified salesman

A spokesman for Kia said one of their dealers stopped a customer from sending her 1960s Singer Vogue to an early grave so she could buy their Picanto model at just £4,195.

The dealer, in Ewell, Surrey, persuaded her to sell the car instead and offered her the money off the new car anyway.

At another dealerships, a horrified salesman saved a 1980s RMB Gentry kit car from the scrap-yard.

Ian Seabrook, deputy editor of Classic Car Weekly, says readers have bombarded his office with heartbreaking tales of scrapped classics.

Rare Morris Minor pickup

He said: “We don’t like to see any useable car binned like this. And some of them do hit you quite hard.

“We’ve heard of an old Fiat 500, 80s and 90s Jags and future classics like the Ford Scorpio being scrapped.

“Perhaps the saddest one we’ve heard of is a genuine 1971 Morris Minor pickup, which is a very rare car.

“People see it as an easy way to get £2,000 but in some cases they could have haggled the discount anyway.”

“Wave goodbye”

A spokesman for another dealer said some cars they had been forced to send to their doom surprised them. They included a 1996 Austin 1100, a 1968 Morris Minor, a Jaguar XJ-S and a Mercedes F500.

Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai UK’s managing director, said: “For many it is an opportunity to buy their first-ever new car and it is enormously exciting.

“Some buyers have taken the decision to wave goodbye to cars which have been in the family for a generation.

“But their sadness disappears when they get into their new Hyundai.”

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