Scrapheap Challenge: Junkyard Wars

Episode Guide


 The pilot had Sally Gray as the host, and 5 person teams. They built  hovercraft. The teams were "thrown together", not self selected, with some choices intended to provoke some conflict.  (one team selected the person to ride their machine with the comment "he deserves to die").  Only aired once.

Season 1:

 The first year had 6 shows, with the same two "house" teams participating.  Again, the teams were assembled by the production company (again, with the idea of some conflict within the team).  They were identified only by color (yellow and orange).  Robert (alone) was the presenter (host).  The show was called "Scrapheap" (no challenge)

Shows (in what I think was the UK showing order)

Siege engines.  Challenge was to construct machines that could fling vegetation (turnips and cabbages) at cardboard "castles" 50 meters away.

Power Pullers.  The teams each built a pulling tractor, and the machines were chained together for a pulloff.  This show has  been shown in the US.

Diving rigs.  A box "puzzle" was placed at the bottom of the London Aquarium, and the teams had to produce some sort of "diving helmet" to provide air to the divers for the estimated five minutes it would take to open the thing.

Powerboats.  The two teams had to construct a boat that could retrieve the rest of the team, one person driving, one passenger (so they had to make 3 trips).

Off-road vehicles. Teams had to build 3 wheeled machines, which were raced on a closed course.  All 4 team members had to drive for a full lap. (they were specifically told they couldn't use the quadbikes as a parts source.)

Rockets.  Using supplied high power packaged engines, they were to construct the airframe.  The machine had to carry an altitude telemetering system, to judge highest altitude.

Season 2

Now called "Scrapheap Challenge" (in the UK), Junkyard Wars when shown in the US.  Cathy was added as a second host.   This times teams were self selected, and were named.  The series was 7 shows long, and featured 8 teams, in a single elimination tournament.  They have shown 5 of the seven shows of that series in the US.


Flying Machines.  One person gliders, with the winner having the longest time from release of tow cable.  The "Brainy Bunch" build a rigid wing canard, using the wings of the crashed plane that were in the junkyard as set dressing. Team "In a spin" (washing machine repair) build a hang glider, and won.

Cannon.  Using the teams choice of black powder or cordite, goal was a target 150 meters distant.  If teams had equal accuracy, the winner would be decided on muzzle velocity.  "The Chemical Brothers" built a straightforward black powder cannon, using round ammo (from some decorative cast iron work).  "The Brothers in Arms" built a cordite charged long barreled cannon, with a complex floating breech recoilless mechanism.  Unfortunately their cylindrical projectiles tended to stick in the barrel, and they lost to the amateurs.

Land Yachts.  4 person sailing vehicles for land.  Some real groaners from the "expert".  The Megalomaniacs found a large piece of sail fabric, and despite trying hard to burn up their advantage, built a machine with a single large sail.  Team "Driller Thrillers" (power tool designers), built a two masted machine. Unfortunately they didn't use sloop rigging so the sails tended to interfere with each other, and the meglomaniacs advanced to the semi-final. (not yet shown in the US)

Amphibians.  4 person machines that had to navigate on both land and water.  The team from the navy built a wheeled airboat.  Bowsers Bodgers took a land rover, stripped the body, added floatation and connected a water propellor to the rear propellor shaft.  The Navy Blues machine was essentially uncontrollable, and lost by a significant margin.

Semi Finals:

MPG Marathon.  Single person machines that had to achieve maximum distance from 350 ml of  fuel.  Competitors were "In a Spin" and "Bowsers Bodgers".  Both teams built "tadpole" format trikes.  The Bodgers used a 90 cc 4 stroke motorcycle engine, and a supine driver, the Spins used a 30 cc hedge trimmer motor, a prone driver, and belt drive.  Despite a crash that broke the starter switch and the drivers arm, (making their "coast and burn" plan impossible), rains caused enough problems with the Spins belt drive, that the Bodgers advanced. (not yet shown in the US)

Underwater Salvage.  Each team had a (somewhat stripped) mini sitting 50 meters from shore in a fairly deep lake.  (tho the vehicle itself was close to the surface).  The first to lift it, (no dragging allowed) and convey it to a parking spot on the dock, won.  The Chemical brothers built a "lift bag" system, the megalomaniacs, an enormous barge with jib crane. Unfortunately, the Chemical Brothers only had a hand pump to fill the cans, and that combined with some attachment "issues" meant that the Megs advanced to the final.


Walking Machines. Navigate a non-straight course on the same tank testing grounds used by the amphibian trial.  One complication, no wheels allowed.  Bowsers team built a rather elegant "table" that used hydraulics to move itself along.  Inside mounted parallelograms could be toggled into squares, lifting the "table".  Separate hydraulic cylinders would slide the table forward. The Megs welded a crank to each wheel of a small 4wd truck, and installed "feet".  Steering was by a castered pad that was against the ground when the feet were near TDC.  This event was unique, in that both teams broke.  Some last minute welding of safety covers managed to ruin the ignition system of the Bodgers machine (blown condensor), and thus the engine barely ran, making them very slow.  The Megs thumped off briskly, but close to the finish, one of the feet broke, rendering forward motion impossible.  Prohibited from getting off the machine to affect repairs, Nosher used his belt to lash the two halves together, and they just barely made it over the finish line.  (Bowsers machine had been gaining while they pounded on their broken "foot", but it didn't gain enough).
Heat Semi Final Final
Brainy Bunch vs
In A Spin In A Spin vs
Navy Blues vs Bowsers Bodgers Bowsers Bodgers vs
Bowsers Bodgers
The Chemical Brothers vs
The Brothers in Arms Chemical Brothers vs Megalomaniacs
Driller Thrillers vs Megalomaniacs

Season 3:

Here is the opening lineup.  The third season has 8 new teams, two returning teams (Filth is the team formerly known as "Bowsers Bodgers"), and a "grand final", the season winner against The Megalomaniacs, last years winners.

The Challenges:

Starting off with a BANG, was Demolition,  The Chaos Crews hydraulic cruncher vs. The Beach Boys battering ram. Next, The Mothers of Invention took on Three Revs a Minute, to see who could build the better  bomber.  Then its our turn -- An underwater chariot, competing against designers of undersea drilling gear, the Dipsticks.  The following week, Techno Teachers build a windmill, and try it against the one built by the Manic Mechanics.

The Beach Boys having battered faster than Chaos chomped, build a launcher of missles, and

took out long time veteran, Bowser and his mates, OGRI's "Filth".  The other returning team, Brothers in Arms having given new meaning to the term "muzzle velocity" last year, will return some honor to the army, by building a faster moving bridge than the Mothers of Invention, the team that built the winning bomber.

The quarter finals completed, it was time for the semi final rounds.  The teams have each already won a round or two, so the teams should know their way around the pile.  For the first semi, The Nerds took out The Beach Boys.  We drew a wonderful subject, steam cars and passed on to the final.  The second semi  saw Techno Teachers and their opponents The Brothers in Arms  building giant mowing machines, with the Brothers the victors.  Then the final, we take on the Strawbridge boys, for the cup, and a run at the Megalomaniacs.  A fireboat.  Two challenges in one, both teams will have to build both pumps and boats in the same 10 hours.

The grand final.  Will we get a shot at Nosher? I can't say, but the topic is one that is clearly on the Meg's home turf, a dragster.
Heat Quarter Final Semi final  Final Grand Final
Manic Mechanics vs 
Techno Teachers
The Mothers of Invention vs Three Revs a Minute The Mothers of Invention vs Brothers in Arms Techno Teachers vs Brothers in Arms
Brothers in Arms vs
Season Champ vs 
The Megalomaniacs
Chaos Crew vs
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys vs Filth The Beach Boys vs 
The Dipsticks vs 

US Season (3a).

TLC commissioned an all American teamed series, with the US comedian George Gray taking Robert's place as host.  The NERDS did not participate in this series, because its not fair to put a new team up against an experienced one, and there were no  other returning American teams to make up a quarter final round,  (besides the NERDS were short on vacation at that point).
Heat Semi Final Final
Rusted Juveniles
Young Guns winner vs
Damage vs winner Winner vs
The Long Brothers Season Champ
chicaGo Fire vs
Scrap Daddies winner vs Winner
Art Attack vs. winner
Metal Medics

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