You’ve probably seen at least some YouTube car chase clips from the old Mad Max Movies. Notice they don’t treat the vehicles they drive with the tender loving care that Big Rocky would treat his vintage, collectable Mustang Poonwagon. They’ve gone a month or so without a car wash and may not be changing the oil on a planned, regular basis. So why abuse the chrome, man?
The answer to this is because nobody really owned these cars anymore. This is because his world had effectively collapsed. Resource scarcity and advanced-stage Anarcho-Tyranny do unleash havoc upon the poor dimwit clerks at the County Title Office.
So Mad Max drove those junk jalopies he scavenged out in the desert like he stole them. If we foolishly assume his timeline still had orderly civilized governance, then he did steal them. Had he politely obeyed the one or two derelict speed limit signs that still remained, the bad guys would have caught him and doused his ride with Molotov Cocktails.
Whatever we still have in place of the once-functional Amerikan Republic will be driven the way Mad Max drove that random, still-functional derelict car he found out in the Post-Civilization Outback wastes. The people ensconced behind the barbed wire at Firebase Capitol Hill feel the same level of legitimate title to what they’ve stolen that Max felt to the vehicles.
Maybe the good guys win, maybe they lose. The car that got them through the grand finale chase scene is just like “Rosebud” in Citizen Kane. It’s a Mulligan. It has no intrinsic value to the actors in a given timeline beyond abstract symbolism. Once it no longer has a role as a useable symbol, it gets chucked as a derelict.