From: Filippo LULLI <email@example.com>
Subject: Letter to the Italian people/government
Date sent: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 11:31:34 +0100
Thanks for bringing up this painful subject on your wonderful site. I am a convinced environmentalist and I study Agronomical Sciences, nobody is more concerned than I am by the land, the water and the air. However I want to explain to you, and eventually to all the other surfers what has happened and what is happening in Italy.
The incentives for the scrapping of old cars and bikes have been introduced roughly 4 years ago by the Prodi government. They offered, with the help of the car-sellers, up to 4.000.000 Lit (roughly 2.000 Euros) for the acquisition of a new car if the old one was scrapped. The government suspended this program after two years, but the car companies are still offering substantial (practically the same amount of money) discounts in the acquisition of new cars, in exchange for the scrapping of an old car. It now seems the Government will step in again.
Scrapped cars cannot be bought back and re-registered by enthusiasts: THEY ARE GONE FOREVER. All you can do is pilfer spares before they are phyisically crushed.
This has not really concerned beautiful cars (as their value greatly exceeds 2.000 Euros and their owner wouldn't dream of "selling" them for that sum), so the Ferraris, the Lambos, the Maseratis, etc. haven't been scrapped. The cars that have been most hit are the popular makes with a value up to 3.000-4.000 Euros (up to 8.000.000 Lit). This means Lancia Fulvia, Flavia and Beta; Alfa Romeos Giulia and Giuliettas; Fiat 500, 600, 1100 of all kinds; Autobianchis; Innocentis; Citroens 2 CV, Dyanes and Meharis; Minis (!!!!); etc.
All this is bad enough, with a great wealth of classic cars lost forever. BUT THE WORST SCENARIO IS FOR BIKES !! The incentives (up to
1.000 Euros) offered for the bikes and Vespas, (of which I am a collector) cover also the more expensive makes and models. The scrapyards are full of old Guzzis and Vespas, and you cannot buy them back This is a crime !!
All of this has to be added to a general difficulty in owning running classics in Italy. Maybe owners of classics are seen as immensely wealthy tycoons that play with their games and should be taxed heavily...
Road tax in Italy is calculated at roughly 2 Euros per horsepower (CV). This means that for my 1600 Lancia Fulvia Zagato I pay 230 Euros !! Does that seem right to you?
Petrol is as expensive in Italy as the UK (for example), but bear in mind that the English Pound, and indeed all the currencies in Europe, are much stronger than the Lira, and that the average wage in England is roughly twice the italian one.
So my final word is this: let the incentives get rid of the truly non-historical cars, they are the ones that get used and that truly
pollute, but let's find a way of saving historical ones. They probably count for less than 0,2 % of all cars, and they certainly don't get used half as much. Why doesn't the state send a list of the cars to be scrapped every week to all the Classic car Clubs of Italy ? If the car to be scrapped doesn't find a buyer, then it will be scrapped, but at least we give cars and owners a chance.
Back to reactions.