“There are more salvaged and abandoned cars in Texas than anywhere else.” Those are the opening words on Discovery Channel’s newest reality TV series Texas Car Wars. The series kicks off with four competing auto body shops converging at a Austin salvage yard auction. Look out for your old junk car on TV if you got cash for it out in Austin. There is Frank from Old Skool Kustoms, Joe “i’m from Jersey” with his wife and two partners from Atomic Garage, a trio of heavily tattooed men from Rodriguez Rod and Cycle, and Beep and his wife Holly from Barrett Auto Care.
The first car for auction is a 1964 Ford Thunderbird. Atomic Garage and Rodriguez get into the highest bidding war of the episode as it quickly escalates to the winning bid of $4,100 from Atomic Garage. They plan on spending an additional $4,500 to restore the vehicle, and Marty from Atomic tell us “I have five kids, I dipped into their college fund.” In the ensuing two auctions, Beep and Holly score a Nissan Xterra, and Josh Rodriguez buys a set of three 1955 Ford Fairlanes with the intentions on mixing and matching all three to form one profitable restoration.
During the restorations of the three winning bids, the three auto shops have a high pressure environment with an emphasis on efficient but decent quality restoration. They have have detailed budget plans for the cars, as well as a pretty good idea of what they want to sell it for after completion. There is some drama when the engraver at Barrett’s customizes the xterra roof tracks on the wrong side. Over at Atomic, Joe has a small tantrum about his pals getting all over him because he busted a lightbulb. And at Rodriquez, there is a disagreement that Joe green lighted a $1000 budget increase for the Fairlanes interior restoration budget. They all flip for the cars for a profit, but Rodriguez made out with the highest profit of $6,200. All in all, Texas Car Wars turned out to be surprisingly entertaining. It shows a unique window to the subculture of the Texas salvage yard wars.

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