Well, by the time people were getting deadly-serious the junkyard war show had tranformed into a psedo-show.
Like, building an air cannon wasn't cool enough so the "builders" are finding enough "crap" to build ultralight aircraft, fusion reactors.. all with a "time frame" in a "real junkyard"
they even built model bombers with ability to drop payload, that's jumping the shark.
The first few seasons had them putting moped engines on boats, mounting moped frames onto something as a 'cockpit' setup.. using the front forks as a rudder on a boat..
that was the stuff we thought was possible-- building an amphibous boat from moped parts, a vw bug frame and 55 gallon drums.. and we had the talent here to win.. but the show lost the grit when they sold out.
"Oh look, someone threw away a perfectly good helicopter.. look, it's a full tank of hydrogen.. and I found a brand new flux capacitor in the trunk of the mini cooper"
it became fake and people lost interest in it.