• Sep 5, 2009
With 690,000 vehicles sentenced to one final gargle of sodium silicate, thanks to the now-defunct Cash for Clunkers program, demolition-derby drivers seem to have been left holding the short end of the driveshaft. What the government seems to have forgotten is that many cars, hobbling and sputtering as they near death, prefer to make one final trip to the local county fair (assuming they escape a 24 Hours of LeMons team). There, stripped of glass and with fuel tanks moved safely inward, the clunkers die an honorable death smashed gloriously to pieces in front of large (and often well-hydrated), cheering crowds.

"Obama is an anti-demo-derby guy," says Tory Schutte, head of the Demolition Derby Drivers Association. "He's targeting the cars we've been using." (But let's not just blame the President. Scrap metal prices have skyrocketed in the past two years, so many last-leg heaps are heading straight to the junkyard for recycling.) According to those who keep track of such things, there were 3,500 demolition derbies in the U.S. last year. The orchestrated pageantry of bent steel, blown radiators, and dislodged wheels is often the main draw at local county fairs... and the drivers prefer to keep it that way.

[Source: Time | Image: Illinois State Fair]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "(But let's not just blame the President. Scrap metal prices have skyrocketed in the past two years, so many last-leg heaps are heading straight to the junkyard for recycling.)"

      Bashing the doors and fenders in doesn't make an old car any more difficult to sell to the scrapyard. They pay by the pound, not by the dent.



        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, but I think what they're trying to emphasize is the fact that a lot of those heaps are making it straight to the scrap yard, with no dent filled side trip. People who'd normally let their junk sit for a while have an incentive now to go cash in on it, instead of waiting for some demolition derby participant to come knocking.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How can you destroy such cool cars? I never got it why so many beautys had to die for this...
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1. That Coupe de Ville in the background doesn't look anywhere near ready for the crusher!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not just derbies,what about cars for LeMons?
      • 5 Years Ago
      the new crosstour should've qualified for C4C, it'd automatically get scrapped and replaced by a 1976? Porsche 914.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This makes no sense. Most cars traded in for C4C were SUVs trucks and Minivans. Very rarely does a demo derby even HAVE a truck, SUV, or minivan class because they are top heavy or whatnot, and when they do (at least a in my experiance) it's a class of very few compared to the amount of cars in the fullsize, midsize, and compact classes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh please give me a break. How many 90 Ford explorers are used as Demo cars. or anything from the 90's for that matter. they use big old body on frame tanks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure there's still plenty of junker out there.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 5 Years Ago
      WWWWWWWHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY *takes breath* YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
      • 5 Years Ago
      HAHA