I told my parents to ask for the scrap value when buying their cash for clunkers Camry. The dealer basically laughed at them, told them to take whatever car they were lucky to get, pay full sticker, and pay for all the extra options, then get their $3500 rebate. The scrap value of that car was way more than $50-100, since it weighed over 6,000 lbs (steel, copper, aluminum, etc has a decent price on the scrap commodities market).
From talking to a client that operates a rather large metal recycling facility (a scrap yard) here in town, he said they haven't really seen any pick up in business yet from the cash for clunkers deal. Since these were all cars in working condition being brought in, they are being stripped for parts big time by the second hard auto parts industry. Transmissions, body panels, etc fetch a tidy sum since they were all in operating condition. Good thing those parts will be reused to keep a fleet of inefficient vehicles on the road even longer. "Reuse" is still a good thing in the enviro-lingo, right? It comes before "recycle" in the 3 R's.
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (4, 10, and 11).