A ‘green’ company set-up to recycle old cars under the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) Directive has been responsible for destroying perfectly serviceable cars, such as this lightly-used and mint-condition Chrysler Horizon. The car was worth £140 to its owner who asked the company Autogreen to recycle the car. It was sent for scrap, and a Certificate of Destruction (COD) issued against it, meaning that this Horizon will never be used on the road again.
But these pictures of the before-and-after pictures of the 59,000-mile 1979 Chrysler Horizon by Adrian Brannan and shown on the RetroRides forum show a car that was in superb condition and in good enough condition to service its owner for years to come. AROnline‘s stance on environmental motoring advocates the ethical use of well-cared for old cars over a longer period of time – and this Horizon could have been a perfect example of environmentally sound motoring. In short, driving this Horizon and servicing it thoroughly yourself might have been one of the greenest actions you could take.
Currently, the UK recognises ‘historic’ cars by one single means – the pre-1973 VED exemption – so this car is not seen as a ‘classic’ in the eyes of the government. But if the UK followed the European practice of there being a 25-35 year rolling recognition of historic status – as well as passing an optional condition/use inspection to qualify – then the destruction of cars such as this might not so easy on the ‘environmental’ ticket alone.
Adrian Brannan, who owns a Horizon similar to this, said: ‘Basically an agent that gives out a little less than weigh-in price. They then get a local scrappy to go get it, and they receive a small percentage more. So this company probably made something like a £20 broker’s fee, and the scrappy a bit more selling parts from it… but still the car has to die a quite unjust death, all in the name of small convenient profits. Autogreen? Yeah right..’
A spokesperson for Autogreen said: ‘In response to the above we would like to point out that the last owner in this instance was under no obligation to proceed based on our quotation offered, and was free to sell the vehicle. Our website is quite clear that we handle “scrap vehicles” for treatment and destruction by the issuing of a DVLA Certificate of Destruction.
‘No doubt if he was able to achieve a higher price from sale he would of taken that option. If the car, as someone suggests was worth £1300, surely an owner would exercise this option rather than scrap the vehicle. When you consider that the owner had an obvious interest in this type of vehicle, it would be assumed that he knew the approximate value, if indeed it was worth that amount. Maybe there was another underlying reason as to why the owner wanted the vehicle destroyed, that no one has taken into consideration when pointing the finger of blame.
‘It is interesting to note that despite the outcries from the writer of the article, this website seems to still be interested in taking a profit from the selling of advertising space to companies offering a similar service to ours adjacent to this article.
‘The name Autogreen is derived from the provision of service and environmentally friendly methods in which cars are disposed in line with European Legislation when deemed as End of Life. If a customer decides that he considers his vehicle is classified as scrap, and end of life in his eyes, which is not concurrent with the opinions of others here, then that is a decision that is outside of our control.
‘It should be noted that during the scrappage scheme Autogreen, actively saved a Riley classic from such fate and the vehicle has been restored and given a new lease of life. Therefore, this demonstrates we are not just interested in the scrap, but we do have to respect the wishes of the last owner who instructs us.
‘If the Publishers of this website wishes to send to myself a definitive list of vehicles which it considers to be classic’s, we can then be informed and advise the last owner that their may be a more beneficial route for their vehicle. Classic car forums such as this, should engage with companies such as ourselves, rather than immediately call into question our actions, so that a trigger point for such vehicles can be put in place and last owner better informed of their options.’
And that’s the issue – whatever your thoughts are about the Horizon, its destruction is not green practice at all, but simply a case of short-term profiteering. And this madness really needs to stop…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.