PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - When you think of demolition derbies, you think of rural areas, country fairs, and old beater cars, right?
Well, one Pittsburgh artist and driver is rewriting that notion and bringing demolition derby into a new era.
"My joy is to give opportunity and let people smash cars and feel the excitement of smashing cars," says Jason Sauer of Most Wanted Fine Art. "It's beautiful, it's fun, yeah, it's a little dangerous."
The idea is to open it up to people who usually aren't exposed to demolition derbies or have barriers to access. Now, any car from 1980 or after can participate in the events.
"Now you can jump in a demolition derby car and really be a part of the sport," Sauer says. "It's really entertaining get smashed because they fall apart really quick, so the crowd loves it. You can be a rookie, you can be a veteran, you can be brand new to the sport, you can be from the inner-city, you can be from the woods - this class really gets what demolition derby is, we're just smashing cars!"
Plus, the cars can come from really anywhere, Sauer says you can get cars from the alleys of the city and this new exposure helped them create a national demolition derby team.
"The team that might very well be the very first all-Black demolition derby team," said D.S. Kinsel of Boom Concepts. "Our primary objective is to be connecting with Black and brown artists, we wanted to be as intentional as possible as making sure that the people are from the city of Pittsburgh and that there was already some sort of relationship, so we're not just thrown together like a boy-band."
Kinsel went on to describe it as a super team and it includes their welder Jake who has a natural connection, "Camo" who can do "anything with a paintbrush, anything with a spray can."
Then there's T.Y. and Shok, the drivers.
"I never driven professionally and I got an opportunity to jump behind the wheel," Ty "T.Y." McClellend said. "It's been great, a blast, it's different, nothing like you've ever felt."
For Boom Concepts, it's a unique way for them to showcase their work, and their art, and connect with drivers in Garfield.
"We wanted to make a car that really represented those drivers' identities, the history and the culture of Garfield onto the cars," Kinsel said.
Shok, the other driver, posted pictures and video from last year's derby and that's where this all got started.
"People just wanted to be involved with it, people were just into it because it's something new," he said.
As for what's next? Sauer says their eyes are set on expansion and making sure more people can get into the sport, regardless of their background, location, or income.
"It has caught wildfire, all over America," he said. "The dream is, is major metropolitan cities all over America adopt our program and give access to demolition derby to the inner-city."
He wants people to know what's in your driveway isn't junk.
"Let's smash it in the name of art, in the name of fun, in the name of glory in front of a crowd of people who love what you're doing!"
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