From Art to Games: Five Creative Uses for Salvage Cars

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True or false? Salvage cars are only for people who want to fix them up or sell them. 

If you answered “False,” great job—you probably have a creative side. Although the primary market for salvage cars might be for spare auto parts, rebuilds and restorations, there are many creative things you can do with them. Honestly, we thought we’d be stretched to find five uses for salvage cars that didn’t involve putting their parts into other cars or fixing them up, but we had a hard time narrowing this list down. Salvage vehicles and recycled auto parts can be used for art, furniture, gaming and even film.  

In this final installment of You Bought a Salvage Car! Now What? we’re looking at the top five creative uses for that salvage car you just bought at auction. You might just be surprised at how creative some of these options can be.  

Sculpt Something from Your Car 

People have done some amazing things with recycled car parts. And with metal being so expensive, the metal from salvage cars is perfect to work with, especially if you find it at a good auction. Not only are sculptors who work with salvage cars getting a good deal, they’re also recycling. Some of our favorite car part sculptors include Tom Samui and James Corbett. They both used recycled materials from car and motorcycle parts to bring their artistic visions to life.  

Make Your Car into Art 

If sculpting isn’t your thing, there’s an entire art genre aptly named Art Cars. Instead of fixing up cars to run, these art installations celebrate cars as pieces of art meant to be seen and observed. It makes sense that artists would want to focus on the outside design of cars since car owners tend to spend more time on the inside of their vehicle. And, in true artist fashion, some Art Cars incorporate illustrated scenes, landscapes and special effects. Art Cars are so prominent, they even have an annual parade.  

Make Your Car into Furniture 

Practicality is underrated. You know what would make a cool couch? The back of a car. That’s right, some people make their salvage cars into furniture. We’ve seen desks, media centers, lamps, chess sets and even pool tables made out of car parts. Some pieces are made up of only auto parts, but a surprising amount of furniture incorporates part of the body as well. While molds of the body are probably easier to work with, you can always try for custom authenticity.  

Use Your Car for Stunts 

Instead of fixing their cars, some people just want to destroy them. The popularity of movies has called for better and better special effects, and a lot of those involve cars. Whether they’re driving off cliffs or catching on fire, it’s probably more financially feasible to use a salvage car than a brand-new one. Did we just blow the lid on a Hollywood secret?  

Here’s some advice: Stunts are best left to the professionals. Make sure everyone around has safety gear and that you’re doing everything possible to reduce the chance of something unplanned occurring.  

We’re going to take some extra space in this section to say that while this is a creative use of a salvage car, you should always be careful and use proper working safety features when doing anything with an automotive vehicle. Especially if you’re equipping it with some extensive special effects. Even professional stunt coordinators have to go through training to learn about proper safety techniques. Always be safe and make good choices.  

Gamify Your Car  

We’ve hinted at the relationship between gaming and driving before in our Five Automotive Livestreams You Should Be Watching blog, but here’s another twist: you can make a custom video game controller from car parts. Imagine using that in a racing game—you’d have a whole added layer of authenticity in racing games. If you don’t want to take parts from your auction car, you can apparently also turn it into a video game simulator.  

We’re not going to be happy with just driving our cars anymore, especially when we know how many creative uses there are for car parts and salvage vehicles.  

Next time you’re looking for a used car at a Copart auction, don’t just think about what’s on the surface of the vehicle, think about the creative possibilities. See what inspires your creativity at

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