High Country Honda owner David McDavid could have made a cool grand or so if he had resold a 1998 Chevy Blazer that one of his customers recently traded in for a new vehicle.
Instead, he donated the still-working vehicle to the Clear the Air Foundation of Colorado, recognizing that, with 200,000-plus miles on the odometer, it had seen better days and is far less efficient than today’s new cars and trucks.
More and more, McDavid and other auto dealers in Glenwood Springs and across Colorado are turning the keys of older trade-ins over to the foundation, helping meet its goal to reduce polluting auto emissions by taking old or inadequately maintained vehicles off the road.
“We don’t want to be mistaken for attempting to take classic cars off the road, that’s not what we’re about,” said George Billings, program coordinator for Clear the Air, who was in Glenwood Springs last week along with Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) President Tim Jackson arranging to collect the latest dealer donations.
Instead, the organization targets 15- to 20-year-old vehicles that may not have been kept in the best of condition, and for which it would not be cost effective to get them running properly again, Billings said.
“We’re targeting the old polluters that are still out there on the road,” he said. “And what better way to target these high pollution emitters than to work with the dealers who often end up with them?”
Clear the Air was founded in 2007 with seed money from the CADA in response to then-Gov. Bill Ritter’s push to have Colorado adopt something similar to California’s stringent auto emission regulations.