Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Clamper Catapult

Public execution for impounded vehicles
 
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Ok recently some police forces have started crushing impounded vehicles if their owners don't pay the fine to get them back. But why not get some entertainment value from the demise of these unwanted vehicles? Basicly all impouded vehicles not claimed by the expirey date shall be taken to a giant steam catapult in some public spot overlooking an area of waste ground such as a disused quarry and launched for the entertainment of the general public. The bits can be picked up by bulldozer afterwards from the target area and be disposed of as normal. Bets can be taken on how far specific vehicles will fly, will a BMW fly further than a Ford? Public transport can also be taken there when it is retired or written off. The sight of a city buss or street sweeper lorry in mid flight would be stunning! For national holidays special night time "shoots" can be laid on complete with search lights and flares or small explosive devices can be tied to the vehicles so they can be seen flying through the air! You could even book a private launch for a party, say a gritting truck full of confetti for a wedding to remember?
Bronzewing, May 10 2004

Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson addresses the issue http://www.glumbert.com/media/carshoot
"This is the problem with clay pidgeon shooting. See, a clay - a clay is only this big." [jutta, Oct 16 2006]

[link]






       What a god awful waste! US police forces auction unclaimed vehicles off.
DrCurry, May 10 2004
  

       Awesome image of a car flying through the air. croissant.
DesertFox, May 10 2004
  

       I like this, about as much as I like the idea of getting together on a free night with the general admission crowd at a rained-out Cypress Hill show.
dpsyplc, May 10 2004
  

       My first impression was what [DrCurry] said.   

       But on second thought, who in their right mind would not redeem an impounded vehicle if it was worth very much? I suspect that wherever this was happening, the impound yard was filling up with mostly worthless cars. Even more likely, they just sold them to the local junkyard which decided some were only worth scrap metal so they were crushed. Of course saying that the police are crushing impounded vehicles makes a better headline...   

       So, launching instead of crushing would probably cost the taxpayers money. Now if the junkyard discovered that they could make money by launching the cars before they were crushed and charging admission for people to watch, go for it.
scad mientist, May 10 2004
  

       (if its a junker) I'd pay more to see it on fire and shot through the air then to buy it.
swimr, May 10 2004
  

       <Compulsory "I thought this was" >: I'd hoped that this was a car accesory that would fire the clamping operative through the air if he tried to clamp your car. Exploding hub caps anyone?
unclepete, May 11 2004
  

       When you think about it, you could make really good money off this. Consider how many people in the US pay to see monster truck rallies (sp?) or go to action movies to watch the cars blow up. Same concept, just quite a bit more. People will pay for that.
elven_pixie, May 11 2004
  

       Most of the vehicles that end up being impounded in the UK are only worth about £50 so they'd cost more to auction that they are worth. This would cost more but the difference could be recouped in selling tickets and TV rights.
oneoffdave, May 11 2004
  

       + The subtitle was so visual that the rest of the description was unnecessary.
ldischler, May 11 2004
  

       Destructive entertainment involving quarries and junk cars. This set a bell ringing in the back of my head. When I read //special night time "shoots"// it exploded into a fire alarm.
Being a limey, I had never fired a gun before coming to America. A few months ago I went to a quarry with some mates and shot an abandoned car for a while. Apparently this is a popular passtime; it already had many holes in it.
Why not have a shooting section of the arena? The image of a car being catapulted is surpassed only by that of a car being catapulted when a big group of guns yell 'PULL' then being torn up by the massed fire of the guns.
  

       <edit> I just discovered that this suggestion isn't original. Tim Allen proposed it in his 1994 book 'Don't stand too close to a naked man':
"The USS Missouri would also feature my version of skeet shooting. They fling a little imported car off an island and into the air, and you blow it to bits with a sixty-millimeter."
stilgar, Jul 21 2004
  

       How I wish Jeremy Clarkson was in one of those cars himself. What a total moron, and waste of space, which would be better occupied by a sack of damp sawdust.
xenzag, Oct 16 2006
  

       //Most of the vehicles that end up being impounded in the UK are only worth about £50 so they'd cost more to auction that they are worth.//   

       There is also another reason our government here in the UK likes this - the more you crush, the more it drives the consumer economy and the more tax the government makes. We live in a throwaway society, where it is seemingly okay to just crush a tonne+ of perfectly good metal. I don't like this attitude.   

       Oh, by the way, if any of you have ever SEEN the vehicles that get crushed, no they are not just worth £50. Nowadays, with the new database-backed systems for MOT, TAX and Insurance, if your car is missing any of these they will come at 3am and take your car, and crush it. I know as I had a lengthly discussion with someone whose job was to do exactly this, to pick up the cars from outside peoples houses and take them to be crushed. They are not allowed to be sold and must, by law be destroyed. I was given examples of Jaguars and year-old BMWs being crushed!   

       I am also informed you only have two weeks to reclaim your car if it is clamped and towed away before it is crushed!
webfishrune, Oct 19 2006
  
      
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