Crown plans to buy clunkers to clear the air


Bring them your tired, your oxygen-poor, your huddled masses of iron yearning to breathe free. And do it in the name of helping everyone breathe more freely.

Crown Central Petroleum Corp. said yesterday that it will buy as many as 100 clunker cars for $700 each as part of an effort to get older cars that have outdated or worn-out emissions-control devices off the road.

The program's rules are that the car must be running, belong to a Maryland resident, have a clear title and Maryland registration, and date from the model year 1976 or earlier. Pickup trucks are also eligible.

The company said that pre-1977 cars are the worst air-pollution offenders, contributing to the spread of ground-level ozone. Ozone is a respiratory irritant that can cause lung inflammation and lower resistance to disease and cut a person's breathing capacity. One pre-1977 car can produce as much ozone as 20 new cars, the company said.

Crown said the cars it buys will be stripped for usable parts and then crushed for recycling.

For more details, call 821-1053 and ask for the CLEAR (Crown Lowers Emissions through Automotive Recycling) reservation line.

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