Cash for Clunkers Means No Demo Derby Cars


If the worse thing you can say about the whole cash for clunkers program is that the paperwork is a hassle and that there’s an apparent shortage of demolition derby cars, then I think it seems to be working pretty well. It almost seems like a joke at first, but it turns out that in the world of serious demo-derby-dom, cars age getting harder to come by.

So far, the cash for clunkers program has netted 690,000 vehicles to be taken off the streets. Sure, it’s essentially a subsidy for automakers, but it’s hard to argue with the side benefits of using way less gas and making a lot less pollution. But you can’t have something for nothing, and somebody was going to come up loosing, rather than winning. Turns out that it might just be demo derby participants, of all people.

Normally, when a car of a certain age and mileage and more or less worthless collectability gets towards the end of its useful life, it’s stripped of glass, reinforced here and there, maybe relocate the fuel tank, and then driven into another such car for the drunken amusement of derby aficionados at county fairgrounds throughout the country.

Of course, when watching a bunch of near-wrecks smash into one another for a night is what you consider “high entertainment”, you’re going to blame somebody. And guess who they blame?

“Obama is an anti-demo-derby guy. He’s targeting the cars we’ve been using,” says Tory Schutte, head of the Demolition Derby Drivers Association. What a surprise, blame the president. What’s even more surprising is that there’s actually a Demolition Derby Drivers Association. It’s that organized that the drivers have their own association? Guess so. Not only that, but it seems that there were 3,500 demolition derbies in the U.S. last year. Which is an impressive number.

Naturally, placing the blame at Obama’s feet for all this is misguided to say the least. You also have to take into consideration that scrap metal prices have risen dramatically in the past two years, so a lot of would-be demo cars ended up being fast tracked to junkyards to be cubed and melted down.

Source: AutoBlog. Photo from Flickr user simon_redwood.

  1. haha, "Obama is an anti-demo-derby guy."

    Right, he specifically set out to bring down the demo derbys. Screw the pollution, high costs, fuel consumption and auto makers, it's the demo derbys that need to go down.

  2. Yeah, I know … I have expected the guy to start raving about secret Muslims and black helicopters.

  3. This story actually made me chuckle. Taking 690,000 cars out of commission will only put a minor dent in the demo-derby car industry.

    I just hope these drivers do get together and hold town hall meetings about it.

  4. Surprised to see an association? Im surprised to see that someone hasnt kicked your city boy ass!! Its called supporting our communities. People know us around our towns, just like the local race car drivers. Maybe if you were to get out of your gay little scion and try it you would see why we fight to keep it going so hard.

  5. First anyone got a 69 suicide door lincon continental or a imperial?

    (main point) im gonna finally get to derby in less than 2 years and i need to get a friking car now cause by then all the imperials and lincons will be friking p-p-…prius… try putting that in a derby :P… get bush back he went to a few derbies

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