Throughout France on New Year's Eve, 1,147 cars met crispy deaths at the hands of arsonists. That's almost 300 cars more than the previous year.

Lighting cars on fire as a form of protest has been a habit among youth in France since the 70s, but ever since the protests of 2005, after two boys were killed in an electrical station while hiding from police, burning cars has become a go-to political statement.

But if you think 1,147 cars in one night is bad -- and as car lovers, we're not saying it isn't -- in 2007, 43,000 cars were burned, and through November of 2008, 36,700 cars were burned. That's more than 100 cars getting flambeed every single day. French president Nicolas Sarkozy has told police to show the youth no mercy, but they apparently only make up 80% of the offenders. The other 20% of arsonists is suspected to be owners committing insurance fraud on a night that provides a great alibi.

[Source: France 24]